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2008 Mazda CX-9

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2008 Mazda CX-9 Review

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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)

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2008 Mazda CX-9 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 273 Ratings for the 2007 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Nice car for a larger car need.

By on Sunday, July 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "nice seats and durability"

Cons: "A little noisy on high way, might just be mine."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Larger storage with all back seats down, have moved plenty large boxes and coaches. Smaller kids can sit comfortable in the third row, as five full size adults sit in front and middle seat. This car has given me lots of safety, while providing a smooth ride for family and friends. I would recommend this to anyone."

Really nice SUV and Priced right

By on Friday, May 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfort style utility"

Cons: "none"

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

"Nice comfortable driving car for trips. Plenty of room. Never really used the 2 seats in the back but have carried 5 adult passengers in reasonable comfort. Also quite serviceable from utility aspect. Hauled furniture lumber mulch rock and just about everything from home depot except full size plywood. Break boost fixed under warranty. Gas mileage at 70-75 mph is 23-27 on the highway."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Excellent SUV for the price

By on Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

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: "Lots of standard features on the Grand Touring"

Cons: "3rd row is a little small, but works great for kid"

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

"This is my 2nd CX9 Grand Touring, I LOVE my car!! I traded-down from the Acura MDX which was a great car. I drove the Acura to 100K miles with no problems. The Mazda CX9 had a lot of the bells & whistles w/o the addtl cost as the MDX. I drove the 1st CX9 til 85K miles and traded it in for another one (different color) in 2012. I now have 75K miles and still love my car. With 2 kids and their sports gear and long trips, its very comfortable!. The 3rd seat is a little small but its comfortable for the kids. My other drawback is they don't have a model with the Nav + Sunroof + DVD system - all 3 combined. So I had to add the headrest DVDs for the kids. Never had a problem with either CX9 mechanically. I highly recommend this car. Waiting to see the new 2016 model as the body is changing and they will be making a 4 cyl turbo - which should help with the mileage. Let's see.. stay tuned - new models should be out in the next 30-60 days. Can't wait to test drive this one."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Fantastic crossover

By on Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 133,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "pick up, handling,deep cup holders, bose system"

Cons: "cabin noise, windshield blind spot"

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

"I have owned my CX-9 for over 8 years. I have loved this car since the moment I first drove it. Although it seats seven it handles like a small sports car. It has more power "zoom-zoom" than some 8 cylinder vehicles I have owned in the past. It is excellent when merging onto highways or when entering a busy street when alot of power is needed. It has never not started for me in 8 years. I have driven it in some hairy,snowy conditions and it handles like a pro. The cargo space is great and the 3rd row seats have more room than some 3rd rows I have seen. The cabin noise is a bit noiser than some other cars and I do find a terrible blind spot at the angle of the drivers side windshield( which took some getting used to)but overall I have loved this car and am looking on purchasing another very soon."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I love my CX9

By on Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,202

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I was looking for a smaller SUV, the Hyundai Tucson, which I had owned in the past. I only looked at the CX9 because it had better incentives. At first look I thought it was too big, then I drove it. Handles great, even on mountain roads where I live. At the time I still had a child to transport and two German Shepherds. I really no longer need such a large vehicle for kids, but for the dogs and shopping and thrift stores, it is too good not to keep. I have the third row seats, which have been used only a few times, but there was plenty of room for the passengers. With the third row down the dogs have lots of room. My only issue is with the mileage, but it has been 100% reliable. My 2012 Touring, with upgrades has all the bells and whistles I didn't know I wanted, but love them. Have been looking to trade for a smaller car with better mileage, but can't seem to commit to the trade with how much I love my CX9."

19 people out of 33 found this review helpful

Perfect for drivers <6ft tall and regular size

By on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

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: "Has everything I need and well designed."

Cons: "Radio tuning knob is way too small"

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

"My wife and I are both less than 5'9. We have two kids in carseats and three dogs (200lbs of dog weight). The cargo area fits the dogs comfortably. I test drove larger SUVs, a PathFinder, HighLander, Outback, and Sienna. My research had Highlander at a clear favorite. I do like Toyota and I was a Toyota owner. Then I test drove the Mazda. Then I imagined all the miles I would be driving in this thing as the kids and dogs grew. Test drives matter. I think it matters for the driver to enjoy the drive. I can put a double stroller in the back and we still have room for the massive Costco runs that come with kids (diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc). I also got the roof racks to place a luggage box on. I have zero complaints about this car. Yes, I'd like better gas mileage, but not so much as to force a change to this car. I look forward very much to 200k on this vehicle. I love Subaru and Outbacks too. Basically, if you want an Outback but you need to haul more stuff regularly, then I would check out either the 2WD or 4WD CX9 and I think you'll be very pleased."

13 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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