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Pros & Cons

  • Refined interior
  • Sporty performance
  • Below-average fuel economy
  • Mediocre safety ratings

Rankings & Research

The 2009 Mazda CX-9's #15 ranking is based on its score within the 2009 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Mazda CX-9 has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 55 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 8.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Mazda CX-9 Overview

When it was new, reviewers said the 2009 Mazda CX-9 was one of the best-handling three-row SUVs money can buy, thanks to its composed ride and great steering. All models of the CX-9 come with a 3.7-liter V6 engine that makes 273 horsepower, and front-wheel drive is standard, though all-wheel drive is available. Starting at 16/22 mpg city/highway in front-wheel drive models, the CX-9’s fuel economy ratings aren’t great compared with other crossovers. Its safety ratings also aren’t competitive with top rivals.

Though the CX-9 has an especially refined, comfortable interior, other crossovers offer a roomier back seat and more cargo space. The CX-9 comes standard with more features than many of its competitors, including a six-speaker stereo system, a leather-wrapped tilt and telescoping steering wheel and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Top-of-the-line Grand Touring trims have features like push-button start, a blind spot warning system and heated, power-adjustable front seats.

See the full 2009 Mazda CX-9 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you need three rows of seats and are willing to give up some performance, take a look at the 2009 Honda Pilot. Shoppers who think the Mazda CX-9’s sporty suspension is too stiff and jarring will love the Honda Pilot, which offers some of the most car-like performance in its class. The Pilot’s interior isn’t as upscale as the Mazda’s, but test drivers said it was well-made. The Pilot also gets much better safety scores.

Though the highly-ranked 2009 Toyota Highlander is about as far from sporty as you can get, reviewers said it has a smooth, comfortable ride and is particularly roomy for its class. The Highlander is available with a four-cylinder engine that gets stellar fuel economy for an SUV, and if you want to match the CX-9’s power, a V6 engine is also available. Regardless of which engine you choose, the Highlander will offer better fuel economy than the Mazda CX-9. The Highlander also boasts excellent safety scores.

Compare the CX-9 to the Pilot and Highlander »

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