What Is It?
The 2016 Mazda CX-9 is one of the few 7-seater crossovers that doesn’t look as if it was designed by committee. It also looks like it might actually be fun — and it is quite fun. The CX-9 is classified as a midsize, and the 2016 model is the first of a new generation. The first one was good, but its age was beginning to show, and rivals came along with more advanced technology.
Mazda has leveled the playing field by offering features, like a blind spot monitoring system, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking and radar-based Intelligent Cruise Control. The infotainment system has voice activation, Bluetooth and touchscreens in 7- or 8-inch sizes. A head-up display is also available, as is an upgraded Bose audio system.
It takes a special engine to propel a 3-row crossover, while still being able to keep within a family’s budget. The CX-9’s new 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder motor is turbocharged to deliver 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Although there are no Environmental Protection Agency figures yet, Mazda claims a 20 percent improvement in fuel consumption over the first-gen CX-9. As usual with this type of vehicle, front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional.
To be announced. The 2015 model starts at $30,865 (including a $880 destination charge).
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
The 2016 Mazda CX-9 is fresh, a pleasure to drive and more interesting than a lot of the competition.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Honda Pilot — The Honda Pilot is all-new and well-equipped.
2016 Ford Explorer — The Ford Explorer offers plenty of features, drives well and has been revamped for 2016.
2016 Toyota Highlander — The Toyota Highlander has a hybrid option and Toyota’s customary efficiency.
2016 GMC Acadia — The GMC Acadia is spacious, smart and gets everything right.
Used Acura MDX — The Acura MDX is one of the better Acura models. It is tastefully upscale.