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2015 Mazda CX-9 Review

The 2015 Mazda CX-9 ranks in the bottom half of the midsize SUV class. It has a strong V6 engine and lithe handling, but its low-end cabin and poor safety and reliability ratings limit this vehicle’s appeal.

Pros & Cons

  • Potent engine
  • Agile handling
  • Frustrating infotainment system
  • Low-rent cabin materials
  • Poor safety scores

Rankings & Awards

The 2015 Mazda CX-9's #14 ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2015 Best Large SUV for the Money award. Currently the Mazda CX-9 has a score of 7.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 85 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 6.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 7.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Mazda CX-9 Overview

Is the 2015 Mazda CX-9 a Good Used SUV?

The 2015 CX-9 is a decent midsize SUV, and its total ownership costs are projected to be relatively low. It has agile handling and brisk acceleration. Adults have enough room to sit in all three rows, but the cabin is plagued by hard plastics and an infotainment system that can be difficult to use. This vehicle also has some of the lowest safety scores in the class and a subpar reliability rating.

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Why You Can Trust Us

Our Mazda CX-9 review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 85 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

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

How Much Is the 2015 Mazda CX-9?

Our site has more than 500 listings for the 2015 CX-9, with an average list price of $21,800. Prices range from $17,000 to $26,200, and they vary based on the vehicle’s mileage, condition, location, and features.

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How Much Does the 2015 Mazda CX-9 Cost to Own?

Estimated expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2015 CX-9 are around $26,000 over five years, or about $5,200 per year. That’s about average for the class. Those same costs are estimated to be around $100 more for the 2015 Toyota Highlander and $1,000 more for the 2015 Nissan Pathfinder.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Mazda CX-9?

The 2015 CX-9’s average list price of $21,800 is about $10,500 higher than the 2019 Mazda CX-9’s base price of $32,280. However, the CX-9 has several notable improvements that make it worth considering.

The 2015’s V6 engine has been replaced with a more fuel-efficient turbo-four engine. The 2019 model also has more standard safety features than the 2015, such as a rearview camera and blind spot monitoring, as well as more available smartphone integration features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The new Mazda also uses higher-quality interior materials than the 2015.

If you could do without these changes, consider saving thousands of dollars with the 2015 CX-9, which also has more cargo space than the 2019 CX-9.

Read about the new CX-9 »

There are a few new midsize SUVs with prices that are comparable to the 2015 CX-9. The 2019 Kia Sorento retails for $25,990. It has more standard tech features than the CX-9, such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and more available safety features, including a driver awareness monitor, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control. Starting at $25,500, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has an upscale cabin and a suite of standard safety features.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Mazda CX-9 Is Best?

The 2015 CX-9 is part of a generation that debuted for the 2007 model year. Mazda updated the CX-9’s exterior and interior styling for 2013 and introduced a few features, such as Pandora integration. Rear cross traffic alert became available in 2014 models, and there were no major changes for 2015.

Mazda fully redesigned the CX-9 for the 2016 model year. It gained more standard features, such as a rearview camera and a 7-inch touch screen. A turbo-four engine replaced the V6, and Mazda revamped the CX-9’s interior with higher-end materials. The one negative is that the 2016 CX-9 has less cargo and third-row space than the 2015 model. Still, the redesigned 2016 CX-9 is the most appealing choice for most shoppers.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 CX-9 »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Mazda CX-9?

The 2015 CX-9 has a below-average reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about CX-9 reliability »

2015 Mazda CX-9 Recalls

As of this writing, there are two recalls for the 2015 CX-9. One concerns the passenger-side air bag rupturing, while another deals with possible steering loss. Before buying this vehicle, make sure these issues have been addressed by a Mazda dealer.

See more information on Mazda CX-9 safety recalls »

Which Used Mazda CX-9 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 CX-9 is available in three trim levels: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. Each trim has a V6 engine that produces 273 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The base Sport features a 5.8-inch touch screen, Pandora Internet radio, HD Radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, tri-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, remote keyless entry, and alloy wheels. When it was new, the CX-9 Sport was available with a package, so you might find models with heated front seats and an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.

The CX-9 Touring is the best choice in the lineup, and it won’t hurt your wallet too much. It adds the contents of the package above, plus blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, automatic headlights, leather upholstery, and a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat. You might also find models with features such as navigation, satellite radio, a 10-speaker Bose stereo, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, a moonroof, a power liftgate, and fog lights.

The CX-9 Grand Touring has a standard power liftgate, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, rain-sensing windshield wipers, fog lights, and larger alloy wheels. A moonroof, satellite radio, the Bose sound system, and navigation remain available. Some Grand Touring models also feature a rear-seat entertainment system with a 9-inch screen.

See 2015 Mazda CX-9 trims and specs »

What Does Mazda's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mazda offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For each certified pre-owned vehicle, Mazda extends the original limited powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the expiration of the original three-year/36,000-mile warranty. Every CPO Mazda must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits may include towing, a 90-day complimentary SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, extended coverage, and roadside assistance, so read the Mazda warranty page carefully.

Mazda’s CPO program is about average for an affordable auto manufacturer, according to our research. Chevy, Hyundai, and Kia all have better programs.

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How Safe Is the CX-9?

The CX-9 received mixed results in crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It earned the highest rating of Good in two crash tests, the lowest rating of Poor in the driver-side small overlap front crash test, and the second-lowest rating of Marginal in two other crash tests.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the CX-9 an overall rating of four out of five stars, with five stars in the side crash tests, four stars in the rollover test, and only three stars in the frontal crash tests.

This crossover SUV has no standard safety features. A rearview camera, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and blind spot monitoring are all available.

See CX-9 safety scores »

2015 Mazda CX-9 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Mazda CX-9 or 2015 Honda Pilot?

Neither the 2015 Honda Pilot nor the CX-9 are great picks in the midsize SUV class. Between the two, the Mazda is more appealing, with more legroom in the back two rows, more cargo space, a higher-quality interior, and a stronger V6 engine. It also handles better and feels more agile on the road than the Pilot. However, the Honda has better reliability and safety ratings than the Mazda, as well as slightly better fuel economy estimates.

Which Is Better: 2015 Mazda CX-9 or 2015 Chevrolet Traverse?

The 2015 Chevrolet Traverse is one of the best crossover SUVs you can buy. It has more total passenger and cargo room than the Mazda, and it’s the only vehicle in the class to earn a perfect reliability rating. The Chevrolet also has a comfortable ride and a handsome cabin. On average, buying the Traverse will cost around $900 more than the CX-9, but the Chevy is worth the difference.

Compare the CX-9, Pilot, and Traverse »

2015 CX-9 Performance

How Does the 2015 Mazda CX-9 Drive?

Powering the 2015 Mazda CX-9 is a 3.7-liter V6 engine that makes 273 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard.

The CX-9’s V6 engine delivers ample power and brisk acceleration, letting this crossover hold its own around town or on the freeway. It’s also one of the nimblest SUVs in the class, driving more like a sedan than an SUV. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Does the 2015 Mazda CX-9 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Mazda CX-9 gets an EPA-estimated 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway (16/22 mpg city/highway with AWD). Those are good figures for the class.

Read more about CX-9 performance »

2015 CX-9 Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 CX-9 Seat?

The 2015 Mazda CX-9 seats up to seven people on standard cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and heated front seats are available.

The long door openings and sliding seats make it easy to access the third row. Most critics said adults could fit comfortably in all three rows, though a few reviewers found third-room headroom to be lacking.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Mazda CX-9?

The 2015 CX-9 has two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the second-row outboard seats, while the second-row middle seat has a tether-only connection. There are no LATCH connectors in the third row.

2015 Mazda CX-9 Features

The Mazda CX-9 comes standard with tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a USB port, HD Radio, a six-speaker sound system, Pandora Internet radio, and a 5.8-inch touch screen. Available equipment includes satellite radio, navigation, a 10 or 11-speaker surround-sound Bose stereo, a rear-seat DVD player, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and a moonroof.

The touch screen is small, and there’s a little delay when responding to inputs. Some functions also require multiple steps to complete, which can be a distraction when driving.

See 2015 Mazda CX-9 specs »

Read more about CX-9 interior »

2015 Mazda CX-9 Dimensions

Mazda CX-9 Cargo Space

This Mazda has 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 48.3 behind the second row, and a total of 100.7 cubic feet behind the front row. The maximum cargo capacity is decent, but many midsize SUVs provide more space behind the rear seats.

2015 CX-9 Length and Weight

This vehicle is around 16.7 feet long. The curb weight ranges from 4,323 to 4,559 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Mazda CX-9 Built?

Mazda assembled the 2015 CX-9 in Japan.

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