Already awarded numerous accolades, I’ve just finished a week with the Mazda CX-9 Touring SUV. When I picked up the car from Mazda, such was the level of inclusion, I initially thought that I was in their top of the line Akera. When I couldn’t locate the heads up display, I knew that this was the Touring version.
There’s a complex variety of luxury SUV’s in the large category – BMW X5, Audi Q7, Infiniti QX70, Lexus and Mercedes GLE as well as the ‘less pricey’ brands of Hyundai, Kia, Jeep, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Ford and Land Rover. If you removed the Mazda badge, this vehicle compares suitably against the more expensive luxury brands. Mazda CX-9 is a 7 seater – very comfortable in the front and rear seats whilst the 3rd row is generally reserved for the smaller people in a family. However it doesn’t have less room than the others, simply it’s not designed for adults, certainly not on a long trip.
So let’s look at the vehicle with our slant on the features.
Front of the Vehicle and under the bonnet.
Mazda’s family style is constant from the CX-3 to the CX-5 and now CX-9. Its lines are smooth, and whilst it’s a large vehicle outside, the size doesn’t cause me any issue. Under the bonnet is Mazda’s 2.5 litre 4 cylinder turbo engine producing 170 kilowatts of power, more than sufficient when carrying a full load of people. Headlights are LED for great night vision, front fog lights are LED with halogen daytime running lights. An electric parking brake is standard across the CX-9 range.
There’s plenty of room under the bumper (ground clearance is around 220mm) so no trouble with shopping centre car parks or ‘dippier’ household driveways. Whilst it doesn’t have a low range ability the all-wheel drive capacity is sufficient to get you into some of the easier off road situations and back again.
Steering provided is electronic which gives a good positive feel. Transmission is Mazda’s propriety 6 speed automatic – SKYACTIVE- Drive, which is smooth and trouble free. Under moderate acceleration, the shifts are almost indiscernible. On harder acceleration, you can feel the transmission shifts points, but they’re not a problem.
Side Profile and Safety
The sides of the CX-9 vehicle are styled extremely well. The curves are nice to look at and removes any slab-sided look of the vehicle. Front seat passengers have heated seats, a sunglass pocket in the overhead console, passenger assist grips, map reading lights as well as an illuminated sun visor for make-up and the like.
Mazda has taken a dramatic step in safety, to a point where you’d question what it doesn’t have rather than what it does. So rather than comment on each, I’ve included the list from the Mazda website
- Advanced keyless push-button engine start
- SRS Airbags Front (driver and passenger) Side (front and Curtain (Front and Rear)
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Child Restraint Anchor Points (ISOFIX x 2, Top Tether x 4)
- Childproof Locks on Rear Doors
- Dynamic Stability Control
- Electronic Brake-Force Distribution
- Emergency Brake Assist
- Emergency Stop Signal
- Engine Immobilizer
- High Mount Stop Lamp
- Hill Launch Assist
- Intrusion Minimizing Brake Pedal
- LHS Wide Angle Mirror
- Parking Sensors – Rear
- Rear Traffic Cross Alert
- Remote Central Locking
- Reverse Camera
- Roll Stability Control
- Seat Belt Warning – all positions
- 3 point Lap-Sash Seat Belts to all seats
- Side Impact Door Beans
- Smart City Brake Support – Forward and Reverse
- Traction Control System
- Trailer Stability Alert
- Whiplash-Minimizing Front Seats
You can see from this extensive list that there’s little left out and one thing for sure, it confirms that Mazda is really focussed on the safety of the vehicle owner/driver and passengers.
Rear of the car
A 74 litre fuel tank capacity gives plenty of range. Using the published figures, you can expect to travel around 649 kilometers in suburbia and 1013 kilometers on the highway. Combined consumption shows about 880 kilometers – pretty damn good for a large 7 seater
Cargo volume with the rear row seats in use is 230 litres, so not very large, but good enough for a couple of suitcases. However, this increases to a massive 810 litres when the rear seats aren’t in use and is perfect for that long holiday or weekend, with golf clubs for 4.
A reversing camera is standard of course and Mazda now has Smart City Brake Support for the rear – so no running into other vehicles, trees or more importantly people. A rear spoiler designed to keep dust/dirt of the rear screen is included. A rear wiper with intermittent function and rear window demister is standard across the range.
A space saver spare wheel is standard in the CX-9
Mazda Cx-9 has a braked towing capacity of 2000kg and un-braked of 750kg. Disappointing, however, is the tow-ball download weight of only 100kg – certainly, limits the vehicle from towing heavier loads such as caravans and larger boats.
There’s plenty of room for second-row passengers. They’re also treated well with rear window sunshades, passenger assist grips, adjustable head restraints, centre fold-down armrest. The second row folds down in a 1 person and 2 person combination, whilst the third-row seat is 50/50. Rear seat passengers have door bottle holders and included door pockets as well
Ever played a flight simulator on a Play Station or X-Box? When you first get into the driver’s seat, the driver’s space seems almost plane like.
Instrumentation includes critical function warning lights and chimes, Cruise Control, Low fuel warning light, leather steering wheel with height and reach adjustment, heated seat, trip computer, tachometer and electronic odometer and trip meter, power windows (with one-touch up and down for the driver.), rain sensing wipers, auto headlamps which illuminate on cloudy days and at dusk.
Electric mirrors are standard along with two-speed windscreen wipers along with an electric park brake.
CX-9 Touring also provides a satellite navigation system, 8” touchscreen display, 6 speaker audio system, Bluetooth hands-free system, Internet radio integration along with steering wheel audio controls. Mazda’s proprietary i-stop and i-ELOOP systems are also standard.
Air conditioning is three-zone climate control with rear controls and vents.
On the Road
My earlier comment about Mazda CX-9 being comparable to the luxury large SUV’s is readily apparent on the road. It’s just quiet on the road and smooth. At regular round town speeds, you can hardly hear the engine running whereas on the highway the quietness is almost breathtaking. The driver seating position is excellent and even more for long distances. There’s no aching back or tired knees – CX-9 is just supremely comfortable to be in.
Turning circle is what is expected of a vehicle measuring a tad over five metres – 11.8 metres kerb to kerb.
Safety and Environmental
ANCAP Rating 5 Stars
Air Bags Dual Frontal, Side, Head
Frontal Offset 14.87 out of 16
Side Impact: 16 out of 16
Pole: 2 out 2
Whiplash Protection: Good
Pedestrian Protection: Good
Seat Belt Reminders 3 out of 3
Overall Score: 35.87 out of 37
And that’s a score that most manufacturers would be very proud of. My calculation indicates that based on current ANCAP scores, the Mazda CX-9 scores 96.79% in The Car Guy safety rating.
Combined: 8.8 litres per 100 klm
Urban: 11.4 litres per 100 klm
Extra Urban 7.3 litres per 100 klm
Air Pollution Standard Euro 5
Fuel Used: 91 Ron / 94 E10
The Mazda CX-9 Touring as tested has a drive away price in Queensland of $53526.60 including soul red metallic paint, and front and rear floor mats.
We use RACQ Insurance to provide an online insurance estimate based on a rating 1 driver, aged 60 living in Brisbane City area and paying cash for the vehicle. As a non-RACQ member, the annual insurance premium would be $731.63 and a little bit less for a member. Applying online gives a discount of $50
I’m singularly impressed with the Mazda CX-9. Badge aside, it competes on all levels with the Luxury SUV’s mentioned earlier and excels. Versus the price-sensitive competition, whilst it may be a bit more expensive, it trounces them all convincingly. All the more reason it was awarded Car of the Year on many fronts.
Vehicle supplied by Mazda Australia. To find your local dealer, visit www.mazda.com.au