$11,338 - $13,836

2012 Mazda CX-9 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Mazda CX-9 was new.


Interior: 7.9

Most reviewers like the 2012 Mazda CX-9’s interior, saying it’s upscale and well-built. Features like heated leather front seats are standard on the mid-level Touring trim, which is unusual for this class. The CX-9’s third row isn’t as roomy as some competitors, but test drivers say it’s fairly comfortable, even for smaller adults.

  • "Highs: Plenty of room in a nicely designed and well-appointed interior, goodly array of standard features.” -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2012 Mazda CX-9 features a cabin that's stylish and elegant, with a look that's more high end than that of many others in this segment.” -- Edmunds
  • "Some materials feel hard to the touch and sound hollow, but CX-9's interior combines padded surfaces and textured plastics to good overall effect.” -- Consumer Guide


The Mazda CX-9 comes standard with seating for seven in three rows. Base models come standard with a six-way manually-adjustable driver’s seat with cloth upholstery, but the middle-of-the road Touring trim adds an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, standard leather upholstery and heated front seats. That’s great for an affordable crossover SUV.

Reviewers say the CX-9’s seats are generally comfortable, with a third row that should fit most average-sized adults during shorter trips. One writer notes that taller drivers may wish for more front-seat head room.

  • “Within the first two rows, there's ample room even for taller passengers, but headroom is tighter for those seated in the third row.” -- Edmunds
  • "Despite a somewhat narrow door opening, access to the 3rd row is easy. Adults will be comfortable for short trips in the 3rd row as long as the 2nd-row seat is not all the way back.” -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Reviewers are impressed with the CX-9's well-appointed cockpit, saying it’s attractive and high-quality. However, they mention that models with the navigation system are more difficult to use, since it absorbs some features that have separate control knobs without navigation.

Base Sport trims come standard with features like three-zone automatic climate control, a tilt and telescoping, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a six-speaker stereo system, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability and steering-wheel mounted audio controls. That’s better than many other midsize SUVs. Touring models add standard automatic headlights, leather upholstery and the option to check the box for keyless entry and start, which is also uncommon for the class. Premium Grand Touring trims come standard with keyless start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, halogen headlights and dual power side mirrors with integrated turn signals.

Options include an upgraded Bose sound system, a power liftgate and a moonroof. Bluetooth audio integration doesn’t come standard on any model, which is surprising for this price range, but it is optional.

  • “A graceful waterfall motif on the dash and doors presents visual flair, and except for some low-rent plastics on the center stack, materials quality is respectable.” -- Edmunds
  • "Most controls fall easily to hand on models without navigation. The navigation system is separate from the climate controls. It does integrate many audio functions, complicating some simple adjustments. It also places some buttons and knobs out of easy reach for some of our testers.” -- Consumer Guide


The 2012 Mazda CX-9 provides 17.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity with all three rows of seats in use. However, the third row folds completely flat to create 48.3 cubic feet of space, and the second row folds nearly flat, freeing up 100.7 cubic feet of space. That’s very good for the class, but reviewers complain about limited small-item storage.

  • "Decent space with the 3rd-row seat up becomes ample with it down and cavernous with the 2nd row folded. The 3rd row folds flat, but the 2nd row is slightly raised above the cargo floor, which can complicate loading of large items.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The center console bin -- with its unique split-opening lid -- is quite capacious, but overall, there aren't a lot of storage opportunities inside the cabin.” -- Edmunds

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