/img/research/mi/printable/printable-atc-logo.png http://images.autotrader.com/scaler/600/450/pictures/model_info/Images_Fleet_US_EN/All/12225.jpg

2009 Mazda CX-9 Sport Utility Crossover

FWD 4dr Sport

Starting at | Starting at 16 MPG City - 22 MPG Highway

/img/research/mi/printable/rating-0.png 0

Avg. consumer rating

Rate & Review
Find It Near You

Prices & Offers

Please enter your ZIP code to see local prices, special offers and listings near you.

  • Average Retail is not available
  • $29,820 original MSRP
HERE
Printable Version

2009 Mazda CX-9 Sport Utility Crossover

Benefits of Driving a 2009 Mazda CX-9 Sport Utility Crossover

Mazda's CX-9 is a full size larger than Mazda's performance utility vehicle, the CX-7, and closely related to the Ford Edge; but compared to the Edge and most other crossover SUVs it has a sportier character than the Edge and some might find the CX-9's overall package a bit more attractive. Even though the CX-9 is among the sleekest, more aggressively styled SUVs its size, it's also very roomy inside, with three real rows of seating and cargo space behind that.

What's new for 2009?

The CX-9 carries into 2009 with only a few feature changes and increased standard equipment. A trip computer is now standard on all models, a Bluetooth hands-free calling interface has been added to the Sport model's feature list and the Grand Touring model now has a standard auto-dimming rear-view mirror with Homelink.

Model Strengths

  • Sportier driving feel than other vehicles its size
  • emphasis on on-road performance
  • very roomy interior
  • safety features

Model Review

The CX-9 comes with a very robust engine--a Ford-supplied 3.7-liter V6, making 273 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The engine has plenty of torque to bring spirited acceleration, even with a full load, and it runs on regular fuel without power loss. Fuel economy ratings range up to 16 mpg city, 22 highway according to the EPA.

Printable Version

2009 Mazda CX-9 Sport Utility Crossover

Display:
Select:

2009 Mazda CX-9

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

The Mazda CX-9 is a swift and stylish alternative to a mid-size SUV or a minivan. It's called a crossover vehicle, meaning it combines the cargo capacity of an SUV with the fuel economy, ride quality, and handling of a car.

The CX-9 can carry seven six-footers, thanks to a third-row seat designed with adults in mind. The surroundings are handsome. We found it's easy for a 5-foot, 6-inch woman to climb into the CX-9. Yet the seating position is high enough that the driver looks over at, not up to, drivers in big SUVs. The CX-9 is available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, providing a nice option for those who worry about snowy travel in hilly areas. Properly equipped, the CX-9 is rated to tow up to 3500 pounds.

What sets the CX-9 apart are its sporty looks and the road manners to back them up. The CX-9 responds quickly to driver input, feeling surprisingly enthusiastic about travel on a serpentine two-lane. Performance is provided by a 3.7-liter V6 engine delivering 273 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. This refined, 24-valve power plant was designed by Ford and is built in Ohio before being shipped to Japan where the CX-9 is assembled. It works with an impressive six-speed, Japanese-made automatic transmission that can be shifted manually if the driver is interested in some frisky motoring.

Safety has not been forgotten, either; in fact, kudos to Mazda for equipping even the least-expensive CX-9 model with electronic stability control (which help the driver maintain control on slippery surfaces), roll stability control, and air curtains, which provide head protection in a side-impact crash. The CX-9 has received the U.S. government's highest possible ratings (five stars) in frontal and side impact crashes, and four-star ratings for rollover resistance.

The Mazda CX-9 was introduced as a 2007 model. For 2009, the Blind Spot Monitoring system, which alerts the driver to vehicles lurking in those hard-to-see, over-the-shoulder locations, comes standard on CX-9 Grand Touring models. All 2009 models come with a trip computer and Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free cell phone operation.

All Mazda vehicles come with a roadside assistance program, which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, throughout the United States and Canada.

Model Lineup

The 2009 Mazda CX-9 comes in three trim levels. Each is available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive ($1,400).

The base-level Sport ($29,820) comes with three-zone automatic climate control, AM/FM/CD audio with auxiliary input jack, power windows, power door locks, remote/keyless entry, cruise control, telescope-tilt steering wheel, variable-speed wipers, rear-window wiper; cloth upholstery, six-way manual adjusting driver's seat, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. New for 2009 are a trip computer and Bluetooth connectivity for cell phones. Buyers can also now add a package ($490) that includes heated front seats and outside mirrors, plus power adjustment for the driver's seat.

Touring ($31,715) adds leather upholstery, power and heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, automatic headlamps, and storage and cupholders in the second-row center armrest. The Touring Assistance Package ($2,517) adds DVD navigation, Smart Card advanced entry and starting system, a rearview camera, a power liftgate, and, new for 2009, Bluetooth streaming audio.

Grand Touring ($33,805) adds more deluxe trim inside and out, plus turn signals integrated into the side mirrors, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, memory for the driver's seat, security system with advanced keyless entry Smart Card, and 20-inch aluminum wheels. An auto-dimming inside mirror with garage door opener has been added to the list for 2009. So has Blind Spot Monitoring. (Both were optional last year.) The Grand Touring Assistance Package ($2,300) adds navigation, a rearview camera, power liftgate, and Bluetooth streaming audio.

In order to buy either Assistance Package, buyers must also choose a rear-seat entertainment/Bose audio package ($2,760), which is available on Touring and Grand Touring only; or a moonroof/Bose audio package ($1,960) that is available on the Sport model as well. Both now include Sirius Satellite Radio with a six-month subscription. A towing package ($525) for Grand Touring FWD only boosts trailer capacity from 2,000 pounds to 3,500. For all models, Mazda lists more than a dozen dealer-installed accessories, including Sirius Satellite Radio ($430); remote-engine start ($350); and a retractable cargo cover ($205).

Standard safety features include electronic stability control with roll stability control and traction control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, side air curtains, front-seat-mounted side-impact air bags, and of course the required dual frontal air bags. Air curtains are low-pressure airbags that come down from the ceiling to cover the side windows in all three rows. The idea is to provide head protection in a side-impact crash. Studies and crash tests have shown such head protection can significantly improve the chance of surviving side-impact crashes, which are particularly deadly because there is so little metal to protect the occupants of the vehicle being struck. The air bags mounted in the front seats are designed to provide chest protection in a side-impact crash. Optional all-wheel drive adds a measure of driving safety in slippery conditions.

Walkaround

The Mazda CX-9 is presented as a substitute for a sport utility vehicle or a minivan, and Mazda has made sure it looks like neither.

It's worth noting the CX-9 is not a longer version of the five-seat CX-7. The mechanical underpinnings are different and the structures of the two vehicles are not related.

The Mazda CX-9 shares its basic structure with the five-passenger Ford Edge, although the Mazda is longer, by 2 inches of wheelbase and 14 inches overall. In fact, the CX-9 is the largest Mazda ever. Its overall length of almost 200 inches makes it nearly a foot longer than the Toyota Highlander or Nissan Murano. What is perhaps most surprising about the CX-9 is that it doesn't look big from the outside.

The CX-9's nose features a huge Mazda insignia and prominent, flared fenders that lead a character line heading back and slightly upward just below the windows. The roof arches, crests and then slides back and down. One surprise is a pronounced bulge in the tailgate, like an old-fashioned bustle. It is a neat trick that adds a little extra storage capacity.

Safety researchers say the strength of the vehicle's body is also crucial in providing protection in a side-impact crash. Mazda took this into consideration, providing B-pillars that are extra wide and strong. (The B-pillar is the second roof pillar back from the windshield, which uses the A-pillar.)

Interior Features

One finds a series of surprises upon first entering the Mazda CX-9. The first is that it is so easy to climb into the front seats. The second is that one sits as high as in most SUVs, enjoying a good look down the road. The third is the amount of room inside.

Carrying seven people means two up front, three in the second row and two in the hind quarters. One tester, at 6 feet 4 inches, could be comfortable in the driver's seat, then move back to the second row and still find enough legroom. That second row, incidentally, is split 60/40, and either side moves fore and aft almost five inches. That allows a nice amount of flexibility in carrying people and cargo of different sizes. The comments above regarding legroom apply with the seat set halfway through its range.

Then, without moving the second-row seat, we climbed into the third row and found adequate head and legroom there, too. To get to the third row one grabs a handle built into the top of the second-row seat and pulls. That releases the seat and slides it forward. The opening is smallish, in part because the wheel arch intrudes. But with a wiggle and a twist an adult can reach the third row without a severe loss of dignity.

Buyers have a choice of black or beige upholstery, and the latter made the interior seem brighter and roomier. The look is upscale, and nothing about it says boring family transportation.

Up front all the driving controls are simple and easy to use. There is a small storage bin between the front seats and relatively thin storage compartments on the front doors.

Mazda says there is 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the third row upright. That's not much more than the trunk of a mid-size sedan, and to use it all would require piling luggage up to the roof, blocking the rearward view. Nevertheless 17.2 cubic feet gives the CX-9 a significant advantage over, say, the Toyota Highlander, which has 10.3 cubic feet behind its third row, and 2.5 inches less legroom in the third row. To carry more stuff and fewer people, the Mazda's third row ( a 50/50 split) can be lowered by pulling a strap. Gravity does the work. With both sides down the result is 48.4 cubic feet of space. Getting the seat back up requires pulling the same strap, something my 5-foot 6-inch wife found easy to do.

The second row can also be folded down easily. However, it doesn't create a completely flat cargo area. There is a slight uphill slant.

One thing the very tall person (6-foot 4-inch, in my case) will quickly learn is that the tailgate when open does not have a 6-foot 4-inch clearance. There is nothing like a good rap on the forehead to brighten the day.

Driving Impressions

Mazda's place within the Ford Motor Company family is to provide the sporty vehicles, those with the zoom-zoom, as Mazda likes to say. That's easy to do with a two-seater like the MX-5 roadster, but it becomes a challenge with a seven-passenger vehicle that weighs over 4,500 pounds in its all-wheel-drive version. Still, it is a challenge that Mazda engineers have met quite nicely, based on the Touring models we drove, one with front-wheel drive and the other with all-wheel drive.

The CX-9 comes with a 3.7-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. It's rated at 273 horsepower. The torque curve surges from 3000 to 6000 rpm and peaks with 270 pound-feet at 4500 rpm. Best of all, the CX-9 runs on 87-octane regular unleaded gas, despite a sporty compression ratio of 10.3:1. The 60-degree V6 is state-of-the-art throughout, featuring a die-cast aluminum block with cast-in iron cylinder liners and aluminum heads for minimal weight. The valve train includes chain-driven dual overhead camshafts operating four valves-per-cylinder through easily adjusted bucket tappets. Intake valve timing is variable.

The CX-9 is surprisingly fun to drive for a large vehicle with so much weight up front. That is no small accomplishment for such a large, practical package. The price for the responsive handling, however, is a relatively stiff ride on anything but a smooth surface. The passengers will just have to suffer quietly while Mom or Dad has fun at the wheel. Meanwhile, the CX-9 felt strong and tight on rough roads, refusing to quiver even when striking potholes.

For the driver who wants to be a bit more involved, on mountain roads, for example, the transmission shift lever can be moved to one side, which then allows the driver to manually shift gears by tapping the lever. It is a system that works well with the transmission-control computer doing a good job of blending the upshifts and downshifts to avoid any jerks or stumbles.

Fussy drivers might notice a difference in steering feel between the front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models. The steering in our AWD test vehicle had a feel that could be called rubbery, weakening the connection between the vehicle and the driver. The steering on our FWD model was much better. The steering is tuned a bit differently on FWD and AWD chassis.

One downside of the front-drive model is what is called torque steer: Push hard on the gas pedal, and the steering wheel tugs to one side as the front wheels scramble for traction. This requires the driver to make minor steering corrections to keep the CX-9 going straight. (This is with the gas pedal slammed down, so it may not even be noticeable in most situations.) Torque steer is eliminated in the all-wheel-drive models because some of the power is being sent to the rear, reducing the demand on the front tires.

The AWD model sends most of the power to the front wheels in normal driving. But under hard acceleration, or if the front wheels begin to slip, as much as 50 percent of that power can be sent to the rear wheels. It is an automatic system and does not require the driver to do anything.

The CX-9 has anti-lock brakes to help in an emergency. We found the brake pedal felt slightly soft but overall feedback was reassuring, and it was easy to trim a little or a lot of speed.

The Blind Spot Monitoring system monitors both rear corners of the CX-9 while underway and notifies the driver of vehicles in the detection areas by illuminating the BSM warning light located in the appropriate side mirror. Additionally, the light flashes and a beeper sounds if the driver signals a turn into the path of a detected vehicle.

Summary

The Mazda CX-9 is an impressively well-rounded package offering practicality, good standard safety equipment, and style. It's enjoyable to drive, offering sporting road manners, though with a stiffer ride.

Christopher Jensen filed this report to NewCarTestDrive.com from his home base in New England.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$29,820
Model lineup:
Mazda CX-9 Sport ($29,820); Touring ($31,715); Grand Touring ($33,805)
Engines:
273-hp 3.7-liter DOHC 24-valve V6
Transmissions:
6-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
frontal air bags; side-impact airbags in the front seats; air curtains covering all side windows; electronic stability control; roll stability control; traction control; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist
Safety equipment (Optional):
Blind Spot Monitoring, rear-view camera
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
Hiroshima, Japan
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Mazda CX-9 Touring ($31,715)
Standard equipment:
three-zone automatic climate control, AM/FM/CD, leather upholstery, power and heated front seats, power heated outside mirrors, power windows, power door locks, remote/keyless entry, cruise control, telescope-tilt steering wheel, variable-speed wipers; rear-window wiper, Bluetooth connectivity, 18-inch aluminum wheels
Options as tested:
moonroof and Bose audio package ($1,960), also includes Sirius Satellite Radio; Touring Assistance Package ($2,517) includes DVD-based navigation, Smart Card advanced entry, rear-view camera, and power open-close rear hatch, Bluetooth audio streaming; Crystal White Pearl Mica paint ($200)
Destination charge:
670
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$37,062
Layout:
front-wheel drive
Engine:
3.7-liter DOHC 24-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
273 @ 6250
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
270 @ 4500
Transmission:
six-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
16/22 mpg.
Wheelbase:
113.2 in.
Length/width/height:
199.8/76.2/68.0 in.
Track, f/r:
65.1/64.7 in.
Turning circle:
37.4 ft.
Seating capacity:
7
Head/hip/leg room, f:
38.4/56.5/40.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
39.0/56/39.8 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r:
35.4/43.7/32.4 in.
Cargo volume:
100.7 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
2000 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, hydraulic shocks, anti-roll bar
Suspension R:
independent, two lateral and one trailing link per side, coil springs, hydraulic shocks, anti-roll bar
Ground clearance:
8.0 in.
Curb weight:
4334 lbs.
Tires:
P245/60R18
Brakes, f/r:
ventilated disc/ventilated disc with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist in.
Fuel capacity:
20.1 gal.

Printable Version

2009 Mazda CX-9 Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
/img/research/mi/printable/rating-0.png

No consumer rating

Rate & Review
Passenger Crash Grade
/img/research/mi/printable/rating-0.png

No consumer rating

Rate & Review
Rollover Resistance
/img/research/mi/printable/rating-0.png

No consumer rating

Rate & Review
Side Impact Crash Test - Front
/img/research/mi/printable/rating-0.png

No consumer rating

Rate & Review
Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
/img/research/mi/printable/rating-0.png

No consumer rating

Rate & Review

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Back-Up Camera Opt
Handsfree Wireless Std

Security

Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2009 Mazda CX-9 Sport Utility Crossover

Mazda Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Each Mazda Certified Pre-Owned vehicle comes with a 12-Month / 12,000 Mile Vehicle Limited Warranty with no deductible on covered components, which begins when the factory warranty ends. If it's out of warranty, the 12-month/12,000 miles warranty begins on the certified retail date.

Coverage begins on the limited powertrain warranty from the original retail sales date and covers 7-Years /100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2008-2014 model years and less than 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 150-Point Detailed Inspection

Autocheck® Vehicle History Report with 3-year buyback protection from Experian, subject to all Experian & Experian Automotive buyback terms and conditions.

Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 24hr Roadside Assistance for the life of the Powertrain Limited Warranty offers confidence on the road around the clock.
Special Financing Yes, see your Mazda dealer for details.
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2009 Mazda CX-9 Sport Utility Crossover

Data on this page may have come in part, or entirely, from one or more of the following providers.

HERE

My Hotlist

Check up to 4 to Compare

Currently Viewing

Check up to 4 to Compare

Change your ZIP code:

HERE
HERE
HERE