Just a few weeks ago, I was handed the keys to our 2018 Mazda CX-9 as I prepared to move from the outer suburbs of Atlanta to my new apartment in the heart of the city. With what seemed like endless boxes to shuffle to my new digs, I was glad to have a large SUV to lend a hand. What I didn’t expect was a series of near-monsoons that could’ve not only rained on my parade, but brought my relocation to a halt.
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I’m a firm believer in Murphy’s Law, so it was no surprise when I looked at the weather forecast the evening prior to moving day and saw nothing but storms predicted for the rest of the week. Now, a smarter person would’ve made other arrangements, like pushing their moving day back a bit so they weren’t ferrying a couple dozen boxes of books and assorted tchotchkes through a torrential downpour, but, alas, I am not that bright. Luckily, Mazda’s flagship SUV was up to the task, and made the experience less of a nightmare than it could’ve been.
The CX-9 has three available rows of seating, of which the rear two are able to fold completely flat, allowing for a massive amount of cargo — 71.2 cu ft., to be exact. This remarkable amount of space fit all of my possessions (with the exception of my furniture) inside the CX-9 in a mere two trips. Had I been driving a hatchback, I might still be transporting boxes, soaked to the bone like a soggy Sisyphus cursed by the relocation gods to relive a seemingly never-ending water-logged moving day ordeal.
One feature that stood out during my rainy relocation was the remote rear hatch on the CX-9. When opened, the rear hatch flips up, creating a makeshift awning that allowed me to escape the incessant precipitation while loading and unloading the Mazda’s cargo area. The remote functionality also allowed me to open and close the hatch without having to stand in a monsoon while holding a box full of electronics — or worse, my girlfriend’s "priceless" Hummels that I would be relentlessly chastised for dropping.
With so much rain inundating the metro area, flooding was inevitable. Still, when you’ve been on the same road hundreds of times and have never seen it flooded, it comes as a shock when it happens. While transporting my last big load of stuff down to the city, I was following a Toyota Camry on a back road when we came upon what looked like a big puddle, until I noticed the Toyota in front of me was now pushing through about a foot of water. Before I knew it, I too was driving through the flood waters in the CX-9, but where the Camry was struggling, the increased ride height of the CX-9 and its all-wheel-drive system allowed the Mazda to handle business like it was just another day at the office. Once on the other side of the mini-river, I resigned myself to calling it a day and leaving the last unimportant odds and ends for the weekend, lest I find myself neck-deep in a situation even the CX-9 couldn’t get out of.
After experiencing the varied capabilities of the 2018 Mazda CX-9 during my moving day, I can’t wait to enjoy the rest of its amenities in my remaining time behind the wheel. I’m looking forward to flipping the seats back up and transporting friends to dinner as they marvel at the luxurious interior, or toss the dog in the back and go for a hiking excursion in the mountains. Come to think of it, I’m looking forward to doing anything in the CX-9 that doesn’t involve loading or unloading stuff during a monsoon. Or Hummels. Find a Mazda CX-9 for sale
Check out our 2018 Mazda CX-9 New Car Review