Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
  • 10 Best AWD Cars & SUVs Under $25,000
  • 2014 Compact SUV Buyer's Guide
Go

2008 Mazda CX-9

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Mazda CX-9 Review

By

Car-based "crossover" utility vehicles (CUVs) try to marry the best attributes of passenger cars and SUVs, and these days they are leaving the woods and mountains behind. The goal is to offer a sporty, urban vibe, and none pulls this off better than the 2008 Mazda CX-9. It offers the tough-to-achieve blend of sport sedan and SUV that can corner and carry equally well. Like the smaller Mazda CX-7, the CX-9 is genuinely fun to drive yet still useful on a shopping trip or a family vacation. Of the two, the CX-7 may be a tad sportier, but its larger three-row, seven-passenger CX-9 stablemate, which shares its engine and much of its architecture with Ford's Edge and Lincoln's MKX, delivers a similar feel while upping the utility quotient considerably.

You'll Like This Car If...

If large three-row CUV practicality with a fair measure of Mazda "Zoom-Zoom" character might be your cup of tea, take a look at the 2008 Mazda CX-9. Its combination of sporty looks, eager performance and people and cargo capacity should impress you.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your needs include a greater level of off-road prowess or heavier cargo and towing capability, one of many less sporty but more powerful and capable SUVs on the market would be a better choice.

What's New for 2008

A new 3.7-liter V6 replaces last year's 3.5-liter unit and provides more horsepower and torque. Mazda's Blind Spot Monitoring System will be available later in the model year.

Driving the CX-9

Driving Impressions A lightly-loaded CX-9 does a creditable job of living up to Mazda's "Zoom-Zoom" marketing promise with its rigid unibody chassis, low-friction MacPherson strut front and independent multi-link rear suspension, precise...

engine-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering and stabilizer bars at both ends. Despite its substantial size and weight, it acquits itself surprisingly well on curvy country roads and rides smoothly and quietly at freeway speeds. With more people and cargo aboard, it is understandably less athletic and loses some performance, but it remains a satisfying ride. Unlike many three-row CUVs, there is ample adult-size room in all seating positions and 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row.

60/40-split, sliding, reclining second-row seat
This versatile center-row seat slides five inches to accommodate long-legged folks either on or behind it. The seat also has reclining backrests, offers easy access to the third row with a one-handed release and folds flat into the floor to optimize cargo room.

Active Torque-Split All-Wheel Drive
On available all-wheel-drive models, sensors signal control modules to send more torque to the axle with the best traction automatically. Up to half the engine's torque can be sent to the rear through a computer-controlled coupling connected to the rear differential.

2008 Mazda CX-9 Details
2008 Mazda CX-9 photo Interior

The CX-9's interior upholds the exterior's sporting character but with more luxury touches than the less expensive CX-7. Its instrument panel has quad chrome-ringed gauges under a prominent hood and a logically laid-out audio and climate control area bounded by rich wood spears plunging from dash-top to floor and mirroring similar pieces in the door panels. The three-spoke steering wheel, contoured front bucket seats and two-tone trim say "sports car" more than "SUV," while blue indirect lighting adds an upscale glow at night. The 60/40 second-row seat reclines and slides forward to enhance third-row access, and both it and the 50/50 third seat fold flat into the floor.

Exterior

The 2008 Mazda CX-9 is well dressed for its role as the bigger brother of Mazda's CX-7 sport CUV. Its look is Mazda sporty, with a signature five-point grille over a wide, aggressive bumper, wrap-around headlights and a broad-shouldered tail with curving tail lights and twin trapezoidal chrome exhaust tips. One nice touch is a full-width chrome strip across the top of the black-out grille opening, which flows across the top of the large, centered Mazda logo.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The CX-9 is offered in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The base Sport comes with three-row, seven-passenger seating, front and rear air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry, tilt wheel, cruise control, AM/FM/CD audio and six sets of air bags (front, side and full-length side curtain). Additional safety features include four-wheel ventilated anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). The mid-range Touring and top-line Grand Touring add leather trim, power front seats and more.

Optional Equipment

The Mazda CX-9 has an options list that mimics a premium-level sedan. Major options available on the CX-9 include SIRIUS satellite radio, DVD-based touch-screen navigation, Blind Spot Monitoring System, Surround Sound Bose premium audio with a six-CD changer, rear DVD entertainment system and a power rear liftgate. All-wheel drive is an important functional option.

Under the Hood

The CX-9's new, more powerful, 3.7-liter V6 is a variation of the 3.5-liter engine that powers its American cousins, the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX. The 3.7-liter version is specific to Mazda. It powers the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission, or all four wheels with Mazda's available Active Torque-Split all-wheel drive.

3.7-liter V6
273 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
270 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (FWD), 15/21 (AWD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Mazda CX-9 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 238 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Great Car!!!

By on Thursday, July 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Great family vehicle. Handles well and has plenty of interior space. Also, the vehicle is visually attractive for those of us who must have the room to haul kids and their stuff around but still desire a car that looks good."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best SUV value on the market today!

By on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Driving dynamics design practicality reliability"

Cons: "Gas mileage, interior material quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have owned the CX-9 for 6.5 years since new. Comparison shopped it against all the competition and there was no competition. I am an avid car enthusiast and have owned a lot of high performance vehicles. This is one of my favorite vehicles of all time. Can do all the practical day-to-day missions of an SUV but does them with all the joys of a performance car. Handles like a vehicle 1000 pounds lighter. How does Mazda defy the laws of physics? My wife drives this car every day and even after 6.5 years does not want a new car (except maybe another CX-9). Bulletproof reliability, great design and looks inside and out and a very rewarding driving experience. Ours is the blue mica and we still get compliments on the color. Overall, one of the best car ownership experience I've ever had, strongly recommend this vehicle!"

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

A good car not excellent.

By on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"The CX9 does have the power zoom,zoom we are unhappy with brake noise that returns and over all many minor problems that we have had are numerous,that we have not had with other cars."

My First Mazda will not be my last

By on Friday, June 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price and service record, fun to drive,"

Cons: "none - great vehicle"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"126,000 miles and no issues! And I love driving it. Our dealer is excellent both from sales and now service. We have had no expenses associated with it other than normal maintenance. I look forward to my next one but at the rate this one is going, that won't be any time soon."

This is the best new vehicle I have ever owned.

By on Sunday, June 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Extremely fun to drive, powerful engine!!"

Cons: "Absolutely none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is new best most reliable new vehicle I have ever had the pleasure of owning. the ride is so smooth. it looks beautiful. NEVER a problem i loved driving this vehicle. My only dilemma is that it is approaching 100,000 miles. It still runs like new. AC is ice cold, seats are so comfortable. But Im considering whether or not to buy the current year model.. Im so torn because the car is paid off and runs and looks like new. My only dilemma is that it may need repairs down the road as the vehicle ages. I have owned a new Mazda Protege in the past and that vehicle had 220,000 miles before i sold it and it also ran like a champ."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Everything continues to work no problems ever.

By on Sunday, April 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great handling for an SUV"

Cons: "some highway road noise but tires have 59K miles"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Car has lived in Florida and Texas, body is in perfect shape. No engine problems, 21- 24 gas mileage."

18 people out of 29 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

See if you qualify for
up
to
Cash Back
on a new
Details