$17,627 - $22,571

2015 Mazda CX-9 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2015 Mazda CX-9 was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.5

A few critics point out that the 2015 Mazda CX-9 has hard plastics throughout its interior, while others mention that the CX-9's cabin is made with top-notch materials, especially in upper trims. Some auto writers think the interior has a sporty design and that controls are well-organized on the center stack. Auto journalists say the touch screen doesn’t have a very sharp display and is small for the class. They add that simple operations take too long to execute, and that sometimes the system is unresponsive.

  • "Unfortunately, the navigation system boasts a low-resolution, dated interface; there's little cargo space behind the third row, and that third row is strictly for the under-10 set." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Materials quality is unremarkable -- there's nary a soft-touch panel to be found on the dash, for example -- but it's all screwed together pretty well." -- Edmunds
  • To some, a black-on-black interior is dull. It never gets old in my closet, and in the CX-9 it underscores the crossover's sportiness. Suede trim, shiny maroon plastic panels and red contrast stitching on the seats augment the black theme." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • Carried over, mostly intact, is a well-dressed interior, especially on the leather-lined Grand Touring, with well-padded armrests and dashes of piano black and mahogany, as well as aluminum trim along the doors and console. The hard edges of the console trim, however, press against knees when bracing into corners, and use of metallic trim in the interior's high-activity areas makes it prone to scratches." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Seating

The 2015 Mazda CX-9 can seat up to seven. Leather upholstery and heated, power-adjustable front seats are optional. Test drivers are impressed with the CX-9’s spacious seating, noting that the first- and second-row seats have ample headroom and legroom. They add that adults can fit comfortably in the third row. Test drivers note that it is easy to access all three rows in the CX-9, and that finding a comfortable driving position is easy thanks to an exceedingly adjustable seat and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.

  • "Seating capacity maxes out at seven passengers, and even adults can fit in the rearmost row due to second-row captains chairs that slide forward to maximize legroom for those sitting behind. Ingress and egress is particularly easy due to extra-long rear door openings and the aforementioned sliding seats." -- Left Lane News
  • “The driver and front passenger have plenty of space, and the 2nd-row passengers get great leg- and headroom as well." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “In the first two seating rows, there's ample room even for taller passengers, but headroom is tighter for those seated in the third row. Happily, the second-row seat reclines and slides fore and aft to accommodate various passenger scenarios." -- Edmunds
  • "The driving position is good, as the seat is highly adjustable and the steering wheel both tilts and telescopes." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2015 Mazda CX-9 include Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, a USB port, tri-zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, satellite radio and a 5.8-inch touch screen. Available features include a 10-speaker Bose stereo system, an 11-speaker Bose stereo with a rear-seat entertainment system, navigation, a rearview camera, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors and blind spot monitoring.

According to test drivers, the CX-9’s touch screen is small, its buttons are difficult to press and the system can be slow to respond to inputs. They wish the touch screen offered sharper graphics and required less steps to complete simple tasks. Reviewers point out that center stack controls are well-placed and easy to find, allowing you to adjust climate and audio settings without looking away from the road for very long.

See 2015 Mazda CX-9 specs »

  • "The 5.8-inch touchscreen is a mixed bag. We appreciate that it's standard for every CX-9, but many of today's systems offer larger screens and/or more user-friendly functionality, as well as access to apps on owners' smartphones. The CX-9 is clearly behind the times on this count." -- Edmunds
  • "Controls are a snap to locate and use, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road rather than hunt for the seat warmer." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "For starters, the 5.8-inch screen is very small, making for even smaller buttons on the panel. The response time is also slow - some buttons required two or three pushes to register. The biggest problem is the number of steps for certain tasks. You have to make your way through three screens to input an address, for example, and figuring out how to cancel route guidance took a couple of minutes and lots of muttering." -- Cars.com (2013)

Cargo

The 2015 Mazda CX-9 has 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 48.3 cubic feet with the third row folded and 100.7 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. That's a smaller overall cargo capacity than many SUVs in the class. Critics think the CX-9 has a decent amount of space with the second and third rows folded, but say there isn’t much room behind the third row. They add that the CX-9 has various useful interior storage spaces.

  • "With its second and third rows folded flat, the CX-9 offers up a formidable 101 cubic feet of cargo capacity. …" -- Edmunds
  • "The second- and third-row seats fold seamlessly with easy-to-use handles and straps. When down, the seats create a nearly flat floor." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • Both the center console and the glove compartment are small for this class. It gets better as you go back, however. In the second row, there are two door pockets for bottles, two cupholders and two seatback pockets. In the third row, there are two cupholders on each side. Behind the third row, there are two shallow under-floor storage areas - one that's pretty tiny and a larger one that extends nearly the width of the vehicle." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • There's not a lot of cargo space behind the 3rd-row seat. A somewhat shallow well provides a bit of under-floor storage for smaller items. … Interior storage is quite good, with a generously sized center console and door pockets." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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