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2014 Mazda CX-9 Review

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 delivers good performance with athletic handling. Otherwise, it has a hard plastic interior, low safety scores, and the lowest reliability score possible. 

Pros & Cons

  • Athletic handling
  • Good cargo space for the class
  • Some cheap cabin materials
  • Small touch screen with slow response time
  • Low reliability score

Rankings & Awards

The 2014 Mazda CX-9's #19 ranking is based on its score within the 2014 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. It was a finalist for our 2014 Best 3-Row Midsize SUV for the Money award. Currently the Mazda CX-9 has a score of 7.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 85 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 7.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Mazda CX-9 Overview

Is the 2014 Mazda CX-9 a Good Used SUV?

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 is sportier than its rivals, with nimble handling and minimal body roll through turns. Its first two rows of seats are comfortable, and it has good cargo space for the midsize SUV segment. Beyond these points, there are few reasons to recommend the CX-9. Its infotainment system has a small touch screen with a slow response time. Further, its low reliability and safety scores mean it won’t hold up as well as its competitors.

A 273-horsepower V6 engine powers the Mazda CX-9. It is paired with a quick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. The CX-9 has ample power for driving around town and passing slower vehicles on the highway. Fuel economy is up to an EPA-estimated 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, which is similar to most other midsize 3-row SUVs. The CX-9 has standard front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive (AWD) is available. It is one of the best-handling crossovers in the segment.

Read more about CX-9 performance »

The CX-9 seats seven. Leather upholstery and heated, power-adjustable front seats are available. The front seats offer plenty of space, lots of adjustments, and a good view of the road. The second row offers sufficient space. As a bonus, the second-row seats move forward and backward for easy access to the third row – an area best suited to kids. The 2014 Mazda CX-9 has complete LATCH car-seat systems in the second-row outboard seats. There is a tether anchor for the middle seat in the second row, but no third-row LATCH hardware.

The 2014 CX-9 comes standard with tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, HD Radio, satellite radio, and a USB port. Also available are a rearview camera, navigation, and an 11-speaker Bose stereo with a rear-seat entertainment system. The CX-9’s small 5.8-inch touch-screen interface is hard to read compared to some rivals. Input response is slow, and entering an address into the navigation system is a multiscreen process.

Read more about CX-9 interior »

Used 2014 Mazda CX-9 Prices

The average price of a used 2014 Mazda CX-9 ranges from about $18,000 for the base Sport trim with front-wheel drive to around $23,700 for the Grand Touring trim with all-wheel drive. Prices depend on the SUV's features, condition, location, and mileage. 

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2014 Mazda CX-9?

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 has a reliability score of two out of five circles from J.D. Power and Associates. That’s the lowest rating possible.

How Safe Is the CX-9?

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 ranks low for safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave it a Poor rating, the lowest score possible, in the small overlap front crash test. It received a score of Marginal, the second-lowest rating, in the roof strength test and the head restraints and seats crash test. It earned the highest rating of Good in the moderate overlap front and side crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the CX-9 four out of five stars overall. It received three stars in the front crash test, five stars in the side crash test, and four stars in the rollover test.

See CX-9 safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used CX-9?

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 is the eighth year of the first-generation CX-9, which was introduced as a 2007 model. The CX-9 saw interior and exterior refreshes for the 2013 model year ahead of a full redesign for 2016. Little changed between the 2013 and 2014 model years, beyond the introduction of available rear cross traffic alert. Therefore, you can save money by purchasing a 2013 Mazda CX-9 – but based on its low reliability score, consider a certified pre-owned model.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 CX-9 »

Which Used Mazda CX-9 Is Right for Me?

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 has three trims: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. The base Sport trim is comparable with the higher trims when it comes to standard infotainment and climate offerings. Leather seats with heated power driver and front passenger seats make the Touring trim more comfortable. The Grand Touring trim adds convenience items like a power liftgate, bi-xenon auto-off headlights, and memory seats. Unless you live in colder climes, the Sport trim should be fine.

You might also consider a certified pre-owned CX-9. For each certified pre-owned 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 »

We Did the Research for You: 85 Pieces of Data Analyzed

Our used car rankings and reviews aren’t based on our personal opinions. Rather, we collect an array of credible expert reviews, safety and reliability scores, and total ownership costs. We analyzed 85 pieces of data on the Mazda CX-9 to help you make the best buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our team has a combined 75 years of experience covering and working in the automotive field, and we have been ranking vehicles for a decade. To ensure we remain impartial, our writers and editors do not accept expensive gifts or trips from manufacturers, and our site’s advertising is solicited by an outside team.

2014 Mazda CX-9 and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Mazda CX-9 or 2014 Chevrolet Traverse?

When compared to the CX-9, the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse succeeds as a cargo hauler, but less as a people hauler. The Chevy’s second row has 3 inches less legroom than the Mazda. However, the Traverse’s cargo hold is about 16 cubic feet larger with all seats folded, which will fit four extra golf bags. The Traverse seats eight, but its third row – like the CX-9’s – is best left to preteens. The Traverse has a standard rearview camera. That’s beneficial in a 3-row vehicle, which can be difficult to back up. Both the Traverse and CX-9 have below-average reliability scores. The CX-9’s superior passenger space makes it the better choice for families.

Which Is Better: 2014 Mazda CX-9 or 2014 Dodge Durango?

The 2014 Dodge Durango and the Mazda CX-9 have the lowest reliability scores possible. After factoring that in, the choice comes down to performance, which favors the CX-9. The Mazda has a less powerful V6 (273 horsepower compared to the Durango’s 290 horsepower), but its handling is athletic. The Durango has standard rear-wheel drive, which may be challenging for some. Its second- and third-row legroom lags behind the CX-9’s, and it has almost 20 percent less cargo volume. Neither model is a good choice due to low reliability scores, but the Mazda CX-9 is the smarter choice thanks to its better handling, cargo space, and passenger room.

Which Is Better: 2014 Mazda CX-9 or 2014 Honda Pilot?

The 2014 Honda Pilot offers a smooth ride and strong reliability. Performance is better in the CX-9, which has a more powerful V6 and better handling. The Pilot has more front legroom, but the CX-9 offers more space in the second row. Only preteens should sit in either third row. Neither model has an appealing interior; both rely on low-quality materials. A standard rearview camera gives the Pilot the edge when it comes to safety. The Pilot may be less powerful than the CX-9, but its much-better reliability and higher safety scores make it the better choice for a family SUV.

Compare the CX-9, Traverse, and Durango »

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