Now six years outdated, the current-generation CX-9 has served because the Japanese model’s flagship in markets like Australia and North America for a while, and has lengthy been considered a benchmark for unibody massive household crossovers.
On take a look at we’ve got the 2023 Mazda CX-9 Sport FWD, absolutely the least expensive variant cash should buy at this time. At $47,600 plus on-road prices, it’s a whole lot of steel to your cash irrespective of the way you take a look at it.
With house for seven, an exterior design that also appears sensible six years since its launch, and a top quality cabin that has stood the take a look at of time, the CX-9 makes a case for itself as reasonably priced household transport.
Even on the backside of the vary, there’s loads of options and house that might sway you from shopping for a mid- to high-spec different from the section under.
Until the CX-90 lobs in August, the CX-9 will stay high canine within the Mazda line-up.
Are you higher off nabbing considered one of these earlier than the top of its run? Or, do you have to await the even greater, much more costly new CX-90?
Pricing for the CX-9 vary kicks off at $47,600 earlier than on-road prices or the entry-level CX-9 Sport FWD we’ve got right here on take a look at.
If you need one with all of the goodies you’ll be pushing $75,000 earlier than taxes, which is some huge cash. The upcoming CX-90 will vary from $74,385 to $95,185 – or over $100,000 in your drive-way for the flagship variant totally optioned.
Other rivals embody the Hyundai Palisade (from $65,900) and Nissan Pathfinder (from $71,490), however their respective beginning costs in Australia are extra according to high-spec variations of the CX-9.
If you’re on the lookout for turbo-diesel energy as an alternative of the CX-9’s solely turbo-petrol providing, Mazda additionally affords the marginally smaller CX-8 D35 (from $49,060) which just launched in facelifted form.
2023 Mazda CX-9 pricing:
- Mazda CX-9 Sport FWD: $47,600
- Mazda CX-9 Sport AWD: $51,600
- Mazda CX-9 Touring FWD: $55,200
- Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD: $59,200
- Mazda CX-9 GT FWD: $64,700
- Mazda CX-9 GT SP FWD: $65,200
- Mazda CX-9 Azami FWD: $67,900
- Mazda CX-9 GT AWD: $68,700
- Mazda CX-9 GT SP AWD: $69,200
- Mazda CX-9 Azami AWD: $71,915
- Mazda CX-9 Azami LE AWD: $75,165
Prices exclude on-road prices
The base CX-9 definitely is kind of pared again in comparison with greater grades, however the fundamentals are nonetheless good.
Where greater grades have the newer and bigger 10.25-inch Mazda Connect infotainment show, the CX-9 makes do with a piddly little 7.0-inch display operating the traditional MZD Connect interface.
The material seat trim and extra fundamental analogue gauges are additionally a reminder that you simply’re within the base grade, however there’s an honesty to the extra fundamental CX-9’s appointments.
Even in its barest type, the CX-9 is a fairly good place to sit down by class requirements. There’s a pleasant ratio of sentimental plastics and padded leatherette rests to your arms and elbows, and the graceful leather-based on the steering wheel feels beautiful.
Speaking of tactility, you’ll be laborious pressed to search out clean buttons should you low cost the place the heated seat and steering wheel controls would usually sit, and every little thing operates in typical Mazda – chunky, with a satisfying motion.
Comfort up entrance is nice because of the nice adjustment within the driver’s seat and steering wheel, in addition to the provision material trim and plentiful bolstering.
However, should you’re long-legged like myself, you’ll discover older Mazda merchandise just like the CX-9 are sorely missing in seat base cushion size. It can get tiresome on longer stints, because the seat doesn’t assist you as much as behind the knees.
I do know that sounds oddly particular, however it’s a typical criticism I’ve had throughout a number of Mazda fashions together with the CX-5, CX-8 and CX-9. The new stuff just like the Mazda 3 and CX-30 have rather more supportive seats, and these older pews aren’t even that uncomfortable.
Props to Mazda to together with a color head-up show as commonplace, which initiatives a fundamental array of data together with velocity, cruise management and help system knowledge, along with velocity signal data.
As famous earlier, the small 7.0-inch base infotainment system stands proud like a sore thumb, particularly when there’s a bigger 9.0-inch MZD show on the Touring after which an excellent higher 10.25-inch Mazda Connect system in greater grades.
The large bezels make it look smaller than it’s too, and the grainy decision is likewise sub-par in comparison with the majority of the section.
At least loading occasions are pretty fast, and it’s a easy and straightforward interface to make use of day-to-day. This system has been round for yonks, so should you’re a earlier Mazda proprietor from the final decade or so that you’ll little doubt know your approach across the interface.
It’s pretty nicely featured too, with embedded satellite tv for pc navigation, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in addition to DAB+ radio. Sound high quality from the usual six-speaker audio system is evident too, if missing the readability, depth and bass of the thumping 12-speaker Bose association commonplace from the GT grade up.
With a hefty 5075mm lengthy physique and 2930mm wheelbase, the CX-9 has loads of house to supply within the second and third rows. It’s was the benchmark till the Hyundai Palisade and newest Nissan Pathfinder got here alongside.
There’s acres of house, notably within the outboard seats, and the flat flooring means you’re not quick modified should you get the center seat.
Even the bottom CX-9 will get a 3rd zone of local weather controls with directional air vents, although weirdly there are not any face degree vents within the third row such as you’ll discover in nearly any competitor.
The second row additionally slides and reclines, and permits for simpler entry into the third row. A fold-down centre armrest, bottle holders within the doorways, ISOFIX and top-tether factors, in addition to map pockets behind the entrance seats all characteristic.
As famous earlier, the CX-9’s third row has lengthy been a benchmark for house, however the lack of roof-mounted or face-level air vents and small home windows aren’t a match for the likes of the Hyundai Palisade.
Even at 6’1 I can match within the third row in cheap consolation for brief journeys, and youngsters will probably be very happy again right here. There are storage nooks and cup holders too.
Parents will probably be joyful to know the curtain airbags totally lengthen into the third row of seating, and each seats have top-tether factors.
I’ll have an interest to check the CX-9’s rear lodging to the upcoming CX-90, which is bigger once more.
With the third row in place, the CX-9 affords 230L of cargo capability, increasing to 820L with it folded – although this measurement is to the roof, not the cargo cowl line.
For reference, the Kia Sorento affords 187L/616L in seven-seat/five-seat configurations, and expands to 2011L with each rear rows of seating folded. Under the boot flooring is a space-saver spare wheel.
As has been the case since launch, the Mazda CX-9 is powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.
Outputs are quoted at 170kW (5000rpm) and 420Nm (2000rpm). All fashions are fitted with a six-speed computerized transmission as commonplace, with front-wheel drive commonplace (as examined) and all-wheel drive elective.
Fuel consumption, in the meantime, is rated at 8.4L/100km on the mixed cycle for FWD fashions (9.0L/100km AWD), with idle stop-start expertise additionally fitted throughout the vary.
Mazda quotes CO2 emissions of 197g/km, with 91 RON common unleaded suitable with the CX-9’s 72-litre gasoline tank.
The CX-9 has lengthy been praised for its assured on-road really feel blended with eager dynamics – not a lot has modified.
Mazda’s 2.5-litre turbo 4 is a keen unit that has diesel-like shove, with all 420Nm on faucet from 2000rpm. It outmuscles V6-powered rivals, and should you’re too eager from a standstill you’ll mild the entrance tyres up.
It’s a fairly frequent trait of high-powered front-wheel drive automobiles, so should you’re after extra assured acceleration and grip in all situations you’re greatest to splurge $4000 for all-wheel drive.
Once you’re transferring, the CX-9 FWD will fortunately putt across the metropolis and ‘burbs, making it a snug, relaxed companion to drop the youngsters in school, do the weekly store, in addition to heading out of city on a highway journey.
Mazda hasn’t skimped on consolation or refinement within the base grade, if something it’s probably the most enjoyable variant to spend lengthy durations of time in because of its chubby tyres and smaller wheels – a minimum of by way of NVH and experience consolation.
While it has correct, fluid steering and a comparatively pointy entrance finish, the CX-9 is ready as much as provide a managed degree of physique lean in corners and has the type of enjoyable, chuckable dynamics the remainder of Mazda’s vary is understood for.
It’s undoubtedly one of many extra participating massive household SUVs to drive, and affords ample efficiency in addition.
Worth noting is the two.5-litre Skyactiv-G motor’s tendency to get somewhat loud underneath laborious acceleration, with that very same buzzy notice that’s frequent to the model’s high-compression four-cylinder engine line-up.
To be sincere although, you possibly can drive this in a reasonably relaxed method 95 per cent of the time and never be left wanting for extra.
As famous earlier, the CX-9 is a pleasant cozy factor on the town or on the freeway, and whereas the cylinder depend is just 4 in comparison with a variety of rivals that provide six, the turbocharged petrol eats up freeway miles with its low-down torque.
If there was one most important criticism I had of the drivetrain, it’d be the dearth of 1 or two extra gears for motorway jaunts.
The CX-9 will sit round 2000rpm in sixth when travelling at 100km/h, which is way from laboured or unrefined, however having a seventh or eighth like most rivals would loosen up issues even additional – we’ll have to attend for the CX-80 and CX-90 for eight-speed autos, in addition to easy inline-six engines.
Otherwise, the tender however resolved experience isolates the cabin from the bumps and undulations of Australia’s nation freeways, and highway and wind noise intrusion is stored impressively hushed.
Mazda has additionally decked out even the bottom CX-9 with a full suite of driver help techniques to maintain you on the highway.
Standard adaptive cruise management with cease/go takes the load off longer stints on the freeway in addition to navigating site visitors jams, whereas blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert make lane modifications and merges into small gaps that a lot simpler given the CX-9’s 5075mm lengthy physique will be laborious to guage at occasions with the magnified aspect mirrors.
Perhaps the largest omission from the bottom Sport’s spec sheet is the dearth of a 360-degree digicam, which stays unique to the flagship Azami.
Given you possibly can possibility this tech on a base Mazda 3, it appears odd that the model hasn’t made a encompass parking digicam extra broadly out there on a bigger car that’s extra more likely to be round babies and pets in tight city environments.
CX-9 Sport highlights:
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Steel momentary spare wheel
- Auto LED headlights
- Auto high-beam
- Halogen daytime operating lights
- LED tail lights
- Rain-sensing window wipers
- Heated and power-folding aspect mirrors
- 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Wired Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- DAB+ digital radio
- Satellite navigation
- 6-speaker sound system
- Head-up show
- Tri-zone local weather management
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Leather-wrapped gear shift knob
- Cloth upholstery
- Electric parking brake
- Push-button begin
- Off-road traction help (AWD solely)
The CX-9 wears a five-star ANCAP security score primarily based in 2016 exams in opposition to older standards.
It acquired an total rating of 35.87 out of 37, plus Good scores for whiplash and pedestrian safety.
Standard security gear consists of:
- 6 airbags
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Pedestrian detection (day, night time)
- Forward, Reverse
- Adaptive cruise management incl. cease/go
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Driver consideration monitoring
- Traffic signal recognition
- Lane departure warning
- Lane hold help
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Rear parking sensors
- Reversing digicam
- Tyre stress monitoring
The CX-9 is roofed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee, with servicing required each 12 months or 10,000 kilometres – whichever comes first.
Mazda CX-9 service pricing:
- 12 months or 10,000km: $378
- 24 months or 20,000km: $424
- 36 months or 30,000km: $378
- 48 months or 40,000km: $424
- 60 months or 50,000km: $378
Scheduled upkeep is required each 12 months or 10,000km – whichever comes first. The mileage intervals are shorter than the 15,000km gaps turning into more and more frequent, one thing to think about should you do a whole lot of driving.
Fuel consumption for the two.5-litre turbo has by no means actually been a powerful level, however it’s nonetheless on par if not somewhat higher than naturally-aspirated V6 options available on the market.
We noticed 8-9L/100km with a skew to freeway and freeway stints, climbing to round 11L/100km with extra high-traffic city commuting thrown in.
There’s nonetheless life within the outdated lady.
There’s an all-new alternative on the best way, however even a number of years on from its preliminary launch the massive Mazda remains to be top-of-the-line household SUVs on the market.
The stable foundations of this entry-level Sport present the core components that make greater grades so good, and even this base specification has quite a bit to supply for not some huge cash relative to the section.
While the Touring and GT are arguably the candy spots of the vary because of their fascinating gear additions – bigger screens, entrance parking sensors and powered entrance seats – they each require important funding over this base Sport ($7800 and $17,100 respectively, ouch).
All informed, there’s no disgrace in getting one of many final CX-9s should you can’t await the CX-90, or aren’t ready to spend a hefty premium on the brand new mannequin – the entry level will probably be $75,000 earlier than on-road prices, which is about the identical as a top-spec CX-9.
I’d additionally urge you to take a look at the marginally smaller and recently refreshed CX-8, which will be had with a extra environment friendly and torquier twin-turbo diesel and options the bigger 10.25-inch infotainment show and wi-fi smartphone mirroring as commonplace.
The CX-8’s flagship standing in Japan additionally means it has some nicer cabin trims than the US-leaning CX-9 which isn’t offered in Mazda’s dwelling area.
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MORE: Everything Mazda CX-9