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2011 Mazda CX-9

Overview
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2011 Mazda CX-9 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

When Mazda created the seven-passenger CX-9, it sought to build a family-friendly wagon that could also radiate the sporty, urban vibe created by its CX-7 crossover utility vehicle (CUV). Three years and a boatload of awards later, the 2011 CX-9 has successful accomplished Mazda's master plan, offering everything a growing family needs in a car and still looking cool while doing it. Sharing much of its architecture and drivetrain with the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKT (a product of the now defunct Ford/Mazda partnership), the CX-9 might be considered a bit of a world car, but regardless of its pedigree, its attitude is all Mazda. From its sleek good looks to its capable handling, stunning interior and standard safety features, the 2011 Mazda CX-9 truly is the coolest way for seven people to get around.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're youthful side craves the "Zoom-Zoom" attitude of a MAZDA3, but the responsible adult in you recognizes the needs of your growing family, the CX-9 may very well satisfy both.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Although the CX-9 is great for hauling kids and cargo, if you need to pull something heavier than 3,500 pounds, there is no substitute for a full-size, V8-powered SUV.

What's New for 2011

Other then improved fuel economy and some new wheels, there are no major changes for the 2011 Mazda CX-9.

Driving the CX-9

Driving Impressions When not burden by too many passengers or toys, the CX-9 does a credible job fulfilling the marketing department's promise of a "Zoom-Zoom" driving experience. Despite its substantial size and...

weight, the CX-9 acquits itself surprisingly well on curvy country roads and rides smoothly and quietly at freeway speeds. This combination of smooth ride and agile handling results from the CX-9's rigid unit-body 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. Add people and cargo to the mix, and the CX-9 becomes understandably less athletic.

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.

2011 Mazda CX-9 Details
Interior

The CX-9's interior is practically luxury car plush. From the driver's seat the first feature that comes into view is a quad chrome-ringed gauge cluster brilliantly illuminated by blue and red lighting. Controls for ventilation and the audio system are logically laid out, flanked by rich wood spears running from dash to floor mirroring similar pieces on the door panels. The well-contoured bucket seats and two-tone trim bespeak luxury trappings, but the thick-grip three-spoke steering wheel and six-speed automatic with manual shift gate scream performance machine. 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. Like many three-row crossovers, however, the CX-9's third row seat is best suited for children or diminutive adults. However, unlike many three-row CUVs, there is an ample 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row.

Exterior

As the big brother to the Mazda CX-7, the CX-9 is well suited to its more mature role. Though longer and heavier than the CX-7, the CX-9 retains Mazda's sports-car inspired styling, touting the company's signature five-point grille stretched over a wide, aggressive bumper. The styling theme is completed by a set of wrap-around headlights and a broad-shouldered tail with curving tail lights and twin trapezoidal chrome exhaust tips. Although gaining access to the third-row seat is still a bit of squeeze if you're an adult, the CX-9's long rear doors allow the best possible access and are particularly helpful when it comes time to install a childe safety seat. The tall roof can be easily accessed by standing on the bottom of the door opening, another helpful feature for those not blessed with overwhelming height.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Mazda CX-9 is offered in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The base Sport comes with three-row, seven-passenger seating, power windows, locks and mirrors, tilt wheel, cruise control, AM/FM/CD audio, front and rear air conditioning, remote keyless entry, and six sets of airbags (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

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 (single disc when combined with navigation), rear DVD entertainment system, keyless entry and start, 4.3-inch view screen with rear backup camera and a power rear liftgate. All-wheel drive is an important functional option.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Mazda CX-9's 3.7-liter V6 is a variation of the 3.5-liter engine that powers its American cousins, the Ford Edge, however, the 3.7-liter version is specific to Mazda and Lincoln. 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: 17/24 (FWD), 16/22 (AWD)

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2011 Mazda CX-9 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 240 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 Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, fast,comfortable"

Cons: "gas mileage, console too large, no auto door locks"

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

"I bought this car as pre owned after losing my toyota camry in a flood. I wanted something large and reliable. I never even thought of buying a Mazda but the used car inventory was very limited in my area at the time because of the flood. I was fortunate to find this car which was just turned in from a lease and fell in love with it. I drove it and could not believe how fast and how easy it was to handle, very comfortable even on long trips . I get many compliments on the car. It looks just as good as the more expensive SUV's around. My only complaints are that it is not as roomy inside as I had hoped because of the very large center console in the front and the doors do not automatically lock ,you have to remember to lock the doors when you get in the car . I would buy one again."

Totally repair-free auto...my first. Beautiful

By on Sunday, July 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fair price, drives/rides like a car. Trouble-free."

Cons: "no programmable garage door opener."

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

"This auto has never been to any shop for any repairs...I should probably keep it until it dies. Excellent appearance that still draws favorable comments. Outstanding for golf trips...holds our luggage, clubs and plug-in cooler with ease. Ride is exceptional...exactly like a car. Lack of programmable remote garage opener is a negative....using a garage door opener is so 1970's."

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."

2 people out of 4 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!"

5 people out of 10 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."

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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

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