Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD Quick Review

By Cameron Kirby, 20 Oct 2016 Car Reviews

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Mazda CX-9

WhichCar puts the middle of the range Mazda CX-9 to the test.

TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR

This is the middle of the range model in Mazda’s current Mazda CX-9 line-up. The seven-seat large SUV completes the range of current-gen Mazda SUVs, sitting above the Mazda CX-3 and CX-5. A $57,362 price tag makes it a serious competitor in a popular and important category.

Mazda CX-9

STRENGTHS

  • The ride in the CX-9 is sublime. It is a sizeable car, but it handles rough roads with poise, and you don’t feel jostled inside the cabin. Its weight and expanse means you aren’t likely to carve up mountain roads, but if you do take the scenic route, the steering and suspension allow you to be confident. The CX-9 holds the road well, and the AWD system is handy when pushing on in damp conditions.
  • The CX-9 is a family car, so it should come as no surprise that it’s extremely practical. Large cupholders, plenty of storage space, easy to use infotainment system, dual climate control, and heated seats make the cabin a great place to spend time.
  • Aside from its practicality, the interior of the CX-9 is also comfortable. Plenty of legroom in the second row means you can load up fully grown adults without complaint. The seats are comfortable, if they do lack some lateral support. Standard heated seats are always a welcome inclusion.
  • There is only one engine option for the current CX-9, a 170kW/420Nm 2.5-litre turbo four cylinder petrol. Despite its small size, the CX-9 has plenty of get up and go, and isn’t too much of a gas-guzzler, with a claimed fuel economy of 8.4-8.8L/100km.

Mazda CX-9

WEAKNESSES

  • The brakes in the Mazda CX-9 Touring leave something to be desired. Weighing in at 1911kg in AWD trim, the CX-9 requires some decent stoppers, and the 320/325mm units don’t always perform as expected. Even in slow moving traffic the brakes can ask for more stopping force, with a slightly spongey feel through the pedal.
  • This is a very, very large car. While fantastic for boot space, and room inside the cabin, the CX-9 is imposingly large on the road, and you feel it. Parking spaces are tight, suburban streets are a squeeze, and manoeuvring carparks can be stressful. It isn’t a deal breaker, but it is a niggle that means driving the CX-9 is not as relaxing as it could be.

ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?

The CX-9 won our latest seven-seat megatest, but the Kia Carnival and Kia Sorento were worthy opponents, and worth looking at. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, Toyota Kluger, and the Hyundai Santa Fe are also worth considering.