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2013 Mazda CX-9 Review

A used 2013 Mazda CX-9 costs less to own than many competitors do, and it has surprisingly agile handling for a 3-row SUV. However, its poor safety rating and just-average reliability keep it in the bottom half of the midsize SUV class.

Pros & Cons

  • Athletic handling
  • Generous cargo space for the class
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Small center stack display screen

Rankings & Research

The 2013 Mazda CX-9's #7 ranking is based on its score within the 2013 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 82 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 7.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Mazda CX-9 Overview

Is the 2013 Mazda CX-9 a Good Used SUV?

The 2013 Mazda CX-9 is a good choice among midsize SUVs. It has sharp driving dynamics, a peppy engine, and plenty of storage space. As a family hauler, however, it falls short. Space in the second row is OK, but the third row is best left to the children. Also, many class competitors earn higher safety and reliability scores.

Used 2013 Mazda CX-9 Performance and Interior

A 273-horsepower V6 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission give the Mazda CX-9 punchy acceleration, both on the highway and around town. According to the EPA, a front-wheel-drive CX-9 returns just 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Models with available all-wheel drive only get 16/22 mpg city/highway. Still, it’s one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs in the class, with its responsive steering, sure-footed handling, and strong road grip. 

Read more about CX-9 performance »

The seven-seat, 3-row Mazda CX-9 has a decent interior with a number of soft-touch surfaces. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are available. Front-seat occupants will enjoy spacious and comfortable seats, as will most adults seated in the second row. However, legroom gets tight for those in the middle row after you slide the front seats back. As with most 3-Row SUVs, the CX-9’s third row has just enough space for children.

For installing child seats, there are complete LATCH connectors in the second-row outboard seats and a tether-only connection in the second-row middle seat. The CX-9 has a cavernous 100.7 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats folded. That’s one of the largest cargo capacities in the class.

Standard features include Bluetooth, a touch-screen display, a USB port, and Pandora Internet Radio. Because technology evolves rapidly, some features may not work smoothly with your device, so test it out before your buy. The standard 5.8-inch touch screen is on the small side, meaning some folks may have trouble reading the on-screen menus. Available features include a 10- or 11-speaker Bose stereo system and a navigation system that can be tricky to use.

Read more about CX-9 interior »

Used 2013 Mazda CX-9 Prices

The average price of a used 2013 Mazda CX-9 Sport with front-wheel drive is about $14,900. A CX-9 Grand Touring with all-wheel drive costs about $18,100. Pricing may differ depending on the SUV's location, condition, mileage, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 82 Reviews Analyzed

Our used car rankings are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews alongside data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 82 Mazda CX-9 reviews to help you decide if the 2013 CX-9 is the right used SUV for you. 

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site. 

How Reliable Is the 2013 Mazda CX-9?

The 2013 CX-9 has a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which his average.

See CX-9 reliability scores »

How Safe Is the CX-9?

The Mazda CX-9 scores worse than most competitors in crash testing. From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the CX-9 received the lowest rating of Poor in the small overlap front crash test and the second-lowest rating of Marginal in roof strength tests. It earned the highest rating of Good in the moderate overlap front crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2013 CX-9 four out of five stars for overall safety, five stars in the side crash test, four stars in the rollover test, and three stars in the frontal test. 

The CX-9 is available with three driver assistance features: a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and blind spot monitoring. 

See CX-9 safety scores »

Is the 2013 CX-9 the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Mazda CX-9 is part of a generation that spans the 2007 through 2015 model years. A 2012 CX-9 may save you money, but the exterior and interior styling are markedly different. The 2014 CX-9 sees few changes, though the Touring and Grand Touring trims gain a standard rear cross traffic alert system. 

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 CX-9 » 

Which Used Mazda CX-9 Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Mazda CX-9 has three trims: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. The CX-9 Sport has Bluetooth, a 5.8-inch touch-screen display, HD Radio, Pandora Internet Radio, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a USB port. The CX-9 Touring adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, a four-way power-adjustable passenger’s seat, automatic headlights, and heated side mirrors. It also adds some standard safety features, including blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors. The top-of-the-line CX-9 Grand Touring trim adds halogen fog lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power liftgate, driver’s power-seat memory settings, and push-button start. Also, it’s the only trim available with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

For added peace of mind, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned model. For each CPO vehicle, Mazda extends the original limited powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited vehicle warranty. To qualify as CPO, each vehicle must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mazda warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Mazda certified pre-owned program » 

2013 Mazda CX-9 and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Mazda CX-9 or 2013 Chevrolet Traverse?

The Chevrolet Traverse is the superior SUV for most families. It has higher safety and reliability ratings than the CX-9, and it offers more than 16 extra cubic feet of overall cargo space. The Traverse comes standard with a rearview camera and a larger touch-screen display.

Which Is Better: 2013 Mazda CX-9 or 2013 Buick Enclave?

If seating space is your priority, go with the Buick Enclave. It’s one of few SUVs in the class that has an adult-friendly third row. Additionally, the Enclave boasts a high-quality and good-looking interior that includes a standard rearview camera and a user-friendly 7-inch infotainment system. The Enclave also has one of the highest safety scores in the class and a slightly better reliability rating than the CX-9.

Compare the CX-9, Traverse, and Enclave »

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