Go

2012 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?

2012 Mazda CX-9 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.1

In a world that regularly tells us we can't have our cake and eat it, too, the 2012 Mazda CX-9 SUV is a welcome exception to the rule. The 7-passenger 2012 Mazda CX-9 combines the attributes of a luxury performance sedan with the functionality and versatility of an SUV. Having won numerous awards year after year, the Mazda CX-9 SUV continues to impress with its styling, features and reliability. Built from the same platform that spawned the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKT, the 2012 Mazda CX-9 is the last of the global platform designs shared between Ford and Mazda. As such, the CX-9 benefits from the best resources and ideas of two automotive giants versus one. In the 2012 Mazda CX-9 SUV, you'll get the safety, comfort and strong resale value every family wants, but in a vehicle that also delights the senses and awakens the driver in all of us.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you crave a family vehicle that doesn't look, drive or bore you as would a minivan or station wagon, the 2012 Mazda CX-9 SUV will bring a smile to your face.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Some may find the 2012 Mazda CX-9's third-row seat too small for full-size folks, and its limited towing ability won't serve those who need to pull trailers exceeding 3,500 pounds.

What's New for 2012

There are no major changes for 2012.

Driving the CX-9

Driving Impressions The 2012 Mazda CX-9 SUV delivers good acceleration and demonstrates impressive handling, so long as the passenger load is not maxed out. With a full crew onboard, the CX-9's suspension...

seems to bog down a bit and its V6 engine has to work hard to achieve the same sporty feeling you get with just four passengers. To be fair, we can say the same about every one of the CX-9's competitors. We will say that despite the 2012 Mazda CX-9's size and weight, it really does get around curves and hug the road like a smaller vehicle with a lower center of gravity. Credit for this handling performance goes to 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 thick stabilizer bars at both ends. On the freeway, the CX-9 rewards its passengers with a comfortable ride, a fairly quiet cabin and a host of appealing features (such as the available rear-seat DVD entertainment system) to keep everyone happy on long trips.

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 (AWD) models, sensors signal control modules to automatically send more torque to the axle with the best traction. Up to half the engine's torque can be sent to the rear through a computer-controlled coupling connected to the rear differential.

2012 Mazda CX-9 Details
Interior

Mazda is renowned for its inviting, user-friendly interiors and the 2012 Mazda CX-9 SUV has about as nice an interior design as you'll find. Bordering on luxury-car plush, the 2012 Mazda CX-9 pampers its occupants and gives full control to its driver via the well-placed switchgear and brightly-lit, information-filled gauge cluster. The center stack is raised from the dash and flanked by two wood trim "spears" that also appear on the door panels. Thankfully, Mazda's annoying miniature navigation and information screen didn't make its way to the CX-9's cabin. When you order the available navigation system, you get a nice big view screen and controls that are easy to understand and use. As is typical in Mazda cars, the seating is superbly supportive without being overly-bolstered and the thick-grip three-spoke steering wheel feels just right. Rear-seat passengers enjoy equally-comfortable accommodations with a 60/40 second-row seat that can recline as well as slide forward for easier third-row access. Speaking of the third row, it's a place best suited to small kids, as the 50/50 seats are a bit thin and upright. When not in use, the CX-9's third-row seat folds flat into the floor, creating a large cargo area.

Exterior

Some look at the 2012 Mazda CX-9 SUV and see what appears to be a stretched version of the sporty CX-7. But, actually, the two have no common components and don't even share the same platform. While it's true the CX-9 is both longer and heavier than the CX-7, it retains the same sleek exterior inspired by the RX-8 sports car. Much of Mazda's previous design language is still in place on the CX-9 and, for those not happy with the new look of Mazda (think Mazda3), this may be a good thing. The grille opening remains minimal, a 5-point design stretched wide across the front bumper, while the large black plastic lower air intake is outfitted with a chrome center bar. The 2012 Mazda CX-9's look is completed with a set of wraparound headlights and, around back, the broad-shouldered tail is fitted with curving tail lights and twin trapezoidal chrome exhaust tips. Long rear doors are designed to create an easier access point for those heading to the third-row seat, although it's still a bit of a squeeze to get back there. The CX-9's long roof is the perfect perch for equipment or a cargo container.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Mazda CX-9 is offered in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The base Sport comes with three-row, 7-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 4-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 SiriusXM Satellite Radio, DVD-based touch-screen navigation, Blind Spot Monitoring System, Surround Sound Bose premium audio with a 6-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 2012 Mazda CX-9 SUV's 3.7-liter V6 is shared with former partner Ford and, as such, benefits from what might be argued is over-engineering. From its aluminum cylinder heads to its performance-oriented 10.3:1 compression ratio, the CX-9's V6 engine is a masterpiece of power and efficiency. The V6 sends power to the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission or to all four wheels with Mazda's available Active Torque-Split all-wheel-drive.

3.7-liter V6
273 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/22 (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?

2012 Mazda CX-9 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 265 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

Luxury for a fair price

By on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Easy to drive, feels like a larger car"

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

"This car is comfortable, with great leather seats. Easy to park, love the pick up and alerts when another vehicle is in a blind spot. Large enough for a large family, or three large dogs! Love this car."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

First time Mazda Owner - Blown away by quality

By on Friday, August 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,500

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: "Body integrity, options, handling, power, comfort"

Cons: "No Daytime Running lights, mpg a bit low"

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

"Traded in a 2013 Highlander SE that had interior rattles Toyota could not seem to resolve. Very disappointing given Toyota's reputation. Started scouting CX-9, finally dumped the Highlander lease in favor of a 2015 CX-9 AWD Touring w/Tech Pckg. Wanted the extra ride comfort of the 18" wheels, so stayed away from the Grand Touring's 20" rims. 5 months into the new lease, I can say this: the quality on all levels blows the Toyota away. It feels solid, heavy, because an SUV should feel that way, unlike the Highlander which felt tinny, lightweight, and under-insulated. Body integrity, inside and out, is tight and well put together. Comfort, handling, power and looks are exactly what the reviews have been saying. Mountain curves and highway cruising is phenomenal. Bottom line? Best car I've ever owned, I'm racking up too many miles than the lease allows, because I always look for excuses to drive it. It's that kind of car. I'll buy it at lease end anyway, so no big deal. If you're looking in this category, BUY. THIS. CAR."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Glad I picked this ride

By on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Style, agility, responsive, comfortable"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

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

"I was shopping for a truck because I haul a lot of stuff around for work. I drove some trucks and they were either too bulky or too stiff and bouncy. I was trading in a Mazda sedan and went to a lot that sold Mazda, Chevy and Kia. The salesman suggested a SUV. I was looking at the CX-9, Traverse and Sorrento. I had also test driven a VW Toureg, Toyota Venza, Subaru Outback, Honda Crosstour and CRV. The CX-9 handled better, had better get up and go, great sight lines form inside the vehicle, nice sized mirrors so I can see, a perfect sized cargo area and a really smooth ride. It was less money than the Chevy, Toyota and Honda Crosstour, was bigger and more suited to my needs than the CRV, Outback and the Toureg but seemed like a higher quality than the Sorrento. My only complaint is the gas mileage. I was hoping for around 24 HWY 16 CITY and get closer to 20-12. Which was what was on the sticker, I just had higher hopes for some reason."

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Top notch vehicle

By on Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Excellent performance and handling."

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

"This has been an excellent vehicle. We never owned a Mazda before and am very happy with this one. I do wish it had backup warning alarms. The locking system can be a small pain. However, it overkills the safety features of that system. Handling and performance is excellent, gas mileage works out to exactly what the factory says. I have owned more than 65 cars in my time and this is certainly one of the best overall."

17 people out of 29 found this review helpful

Incredible smooth ride, tons of room, repair free!

By on Monday, June 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,900

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "roomy, comfortable, easy driving"

Cons: "none"

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

"Bought new and have not had one problem with it in almost 100,000 miles! I have recently replaced the tires for the 2nd time, and 2 batteries! Other than that, just routine scheduled maintenance! Everyone that gets in loves it for it's comfort, it's lush interior, it's easy handling, incredible roominess, and it looks good too! Highly recommend this vehicle!"

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Great car, Does what it's supposed to do.

By on Sunday, May 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great take off speeds, and good riding conditions"

Cons: "Higher speeds can push the front in turns"

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

"Own this car for 4 years now, and haven't had an issue with it. I got used with 58000 miles on it, and now around 74900, and haven't had to anything other than general maintenance. Drives great in Snow and ice. We call it the Mazda-Rati :)"

24 people out of 34 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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?

Advertisement