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2019 Mazda CX-9 SUV Road Test Review

2019 Mazda CX-9 Road Test Review

Party of eight people mover!

The Snowflake White Pearl all-wheel drive Mazda CX-9 slinked into our driveway with all the elegance and class of a black-tie affair. Its shimmering snowflake white pearl exterior glittered in the sunlight as it made its way into our parking lot which is back-dropped by a newly designed bright green soccer field. The contrast between the CX-9 and soccer field was stunning. The driveway to the Road & Travel office is long, more like a short road, and has a downhill grade so watching the Mazda role in reminded me of watching a commercial in slow motion. What a beautiful sight!

2019 Mazda CX-9 Interior
Mazda CX-9 Interior Front Seats

Our staff scrambled through the exit, squishing each other along the way, in an effort to be first to open the Mazda CX-9 doors to view the highly touted nappa leather seating. The signature interior styling and coloring did not disappoint… a decisive contrast to the white pearl exterior, and one of our personal favorites interior color combos. Who doesn’t love tan leather seats? And, there were three rows of them, enough room for eight adults though the third row would best fit the smallest of the group. Both second and third rows lay flat, independently of each other, offering oodles of cargo space for almost anything you can imagine... bags of soccer balls, a gaggle of grocery bags, even a body bag or two. In fact, with both seats folded flat, it crossed my mind that even a weary driver could pull over at a rest stop and stretch out comfortably for a snooze. Better late than never. Don't forget your blanket, pillow, snacks and bottle of water for long trips!

A treat to drive and a treat to ride in.

Since the second generation CX-9 made its debut, it has been positioned to provide the utmost in premium driving experiences. Mazda has continually looked to refine and introduce more features to heighten the ambience. From a turbocharged engine to a sophisticated interior, Mazda designers and engineers infuse their passions with every attention to detail, achieving the level of craftsmanship that can be appreciated by all.

The fluid exterior lines of the CX-9 give it an appearance of movement, even while standing still. This is an example of Mazda’s KODOSoul of Motion design philosophy, which focus on creating aesthetically pleasing emotions that entices the CX-9 to be driven. Mazda vehicles are more than a means of transportation; they are a work of art. Once seated, passengers notice a vertically stacked center console with details that wrap around from the dashboard to the rear seats, designed to envelop passengers in comfort and serenity. A sweeping single piece of aluminum adorns the dashboard and helps emphasizing the cabin’s width. Satin and polished finishes on the aluminum plinth evoke Japanese craftsmanship and are inspired by Japan’s famous hand-made knives.

Maxda CX-9 Signature Trim Front
Mazda CX-9 Signature Trim

Further heightening its elegance is the Mazda CX-9 Signature trim level that features a new Signature badge located on the rear liftgate. This top-trim level features premium elements such as an updated Santos Rosewood trim on the center console and front of the cabin, supplied by premium guitar-maker Fujigen. Supple Auburn Nappa leather covers seating surfaces with a modern design that is also evocative of bespoke horse saddles—a subtle nod to Mazda’s Jinba Ittai—“horse and rider as one”— philosophy. Jinba Ittai represents the notion that drivers should have utter confidence and control in their vehicles.

With today’s ever-more-connected lifestyles, information flows faster than ever and a little electronic device that can fit into one’s pocket can unlock the answers to so many unknowns, from directions to dinner plans. A component to streamlining these experiences has come with the advent of smartphone mirroring—Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. New for the 2019 CX-9 Touring trim levels and above, these two platforms integrate smartphones into the MAZDA CONNECT™ infotainment platform to help minimize distraction and amplify fitting the needs of a busy lifestyle. In the latest version of MAZDA CONNECT™, Mazda’s engineers have combined the functionality of Apple CarPlay™ or Android Auto™ to complement the multi-function Commander scroll knob and shortcut buttons. By adhering to Mazda’s Proactive Safety Philosophy, the system is designed with the intention of minimizing distractions, maximizing attention to the road and allowing drivers and passengers to enjoy the apps their phones have to offer. MAZDA CONNECT™ is featured on the available 8-inch, full color touchscreen display and adds a few more additions to the 2019 CX-9.

The new 360° View Monitor, first seen in the 2018 Mazda6 Signature midsize sedan, is available to help with parking situations. Also available is SiriusXM® 3 Year Traffic and Travel Link Subscription, which is provides subscription-based connected data services for traffic, local and national weather, fuel pricing, sports scores and nearby parking. Grand Touring and Signature trim levels are equipped with a windshield-projected Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition. Information projects directly onto the windshield, one to four degrees below the driver’s immediate line of sight and with an 8.5 feet focal distance, to allow the driver to keep his or her focus on the road. It can display information such as navigation directions, lane guidance, street names, prevailing speed limits, braking warnings, advanced Blind Spot Monitoring and Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go function.

Mazda CX-9 High Tech Features
Mazda CX-9 High Tech Features

A new 7-inch TFT reconfigurable gauge cluster display provides even more vehicle information that the driver can easily view. The BOSE® Premium Sound 12-speaker system was custom-engineered for the second-generation CX-9 and delivers outstanding clarity, image and range. Having been benchmarked against stereos from ultra-premium crossover utility vehicles using several different audio formats, the speaker system includes radio and both full and compressed digital formats. The BOSE® system in CX-9 was optimized to complement compressed audio formats—often the go-to for many people— and transmit it with fuller sound to better demonstrate how the artist meant for their music to be heard, regardless of audio format. BOSE® sound engineers worked with Mazda’s development team to acoustically tune the CX-9’s interior, even collaborating on the design of the speaker grilles on the instrument panel so that they optimized the audio dispersion of the BOSE® silk-domed tweeters behind them. Altogether, the technologies allow an unfettered driving experience while still allowing for the needs and wants of today’s drivers and passengers.

That’s what we love about Mazda’s engineering and technology; always leading the pack to meet today’s high-tech driver and high-standard-on-the-go busy business body on the road to becoming America’s next millionaire. No more waiting for the destination to arrive to complete the project. By the time you arrive, your work will be one and done… onto the next. Not only luxury at the tip of your fingers but also a workhorse with horsepower to ensure that every mile of your journey is the destination, and one that drives you above and beyond the competition.

Our text Mazda CX-9 came fully loaded with dozens of high tech features, safety and security features, and a Skyactiv-G 2.5T turbo engine. That means it had power and guts. Its overall cost with all the extras and delivery fees rounded off at $47K. Fuel economy hit 26 MPG on the freeway, pretty darn good for an SUV stretch that holds up to eight. And best of all, it has a 5 star overall vehicle score from the Government's 5-Star Safety Ratings.

Impressed with its style, performance and good looks, Road & Travel Magazine gives the Mazda CX-9 its own five star rating for those who may be in the market for a party of eight people mover. This is a fantastic family vehicle, to be sure. The Goldilocks of SUVs, not too big, not too small. Just right!

Visit Mazda here for more information.