It’s been a great few weeks behind the wheel of our 2018 Mazda CX-9, and I’ve really come to appreciate the 3-row crossover’s chops both on my daily commutes and through the late summer monsoons we’ve been having in Georgia. The CX-9 isn’t perfect though, and as I round out my month with the Mazda, I’ve noticed a few things that are worth mentioning.
Aside from having a tremendous amount of space inside, the CX-9’s interior hits way above its class, delivering a luxury-level cabin one would expect from an Infiniti or an Acura rather than a Mazda. The seats are comfortable and stylish, while the materials and design give me the "warm and fuzzies" nearly every time I slide into the driver’s seat. I even think the wood trim gives it a bit of unexpected panache that rounds out the lovely interior quite nicely.
While the interior of the CX-9 is noteworthy, the infotainment system leaves a bit to be desired. Navigating through options generally requires using a round dial located on the console, which can be tedious at best and a bit of a let down when you consider the quality of the rest of the Mazda crossover. The absence of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a real head-scratcher, as well, and a bit of a pain in the tuchus given Georgia’s new hands-free law. The good news is that Bluetooth pairing works remarkably well, syncing to my older iPhone consistently and quickly. The voice recognition is a bright spot as well, accepting commands delivered in my thick Northeastern accent with very little need for correction.
While I’m in love with the location of my new apartment, I’m certainly not in love with the parking lot. There are numerous narrow bends that can be a bit of a nightmare to navigate, especially in a brand new vehicle that I don’t personally own. Easing past other poorly parked vehicles and random foot-tall stone walls is nerve-wracking to say the least, and borderline panic-attack-inducing when visibility is impaired. That being said, the CX-9 has been able to thread the needle with an ease that belies its stocky crossover frame. It feels much more agile and nimble than you would expect from Mazda’s flagship SUV, and it gives the driver an air of confidence anyone could appreciate.
See Ya Soon
While I’ve enjoyed my time in the 2018 Mazda CX-9, I will have to give up the keys to the stylish crossover this week. It’s been impressive while I’ve had the privilege to pilot it, and hopefully the CX-9 will find its way back to my hands sooner than later. With any luck I won’t have any torrential downpours to navigate, though I doubt I will enjoy my commutes as much as I did in the Mazda SUV. Find a Mazda CX-9 for sale
Check out our 2018 Mazda CX-9 New Car Review