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2013 Mazda CX-9

Overview
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2013 Mazda CX-9 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

The 2013 Mazda CX-9 bucks that old adage about not having your cake and eating it, too. In the case of Mazda's biggest vehicle, the CX-9 offers the roominess of a large SUV, yet boasts the driving dynamics of a smaller sport sedan. This 3-row, 7-passenger vehicle also bucks the status quo with its exterior styling. Instead of the chunky looks of rivals such as the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot, the Mazda is rounded and sleek with a stance that says, "Let's drive." It doesn't take long of doing just that to realize this big vehicle feels much smaller on the road. The CX-9 won't conquer boulder-strewn trails or tow massive loads, but as far as people movers go, it's hard to find one in its $30,000 price range that's more invigorating to drive.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need a vehicle that can haul a family, but your heart still yearns for a car that's fun to drive, the Mazda CX-9 will give you the best of both worlds.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you regularly need to carry adults in the 3rd-row seats, the larger Chevrolet Traverse offers more room. If you require an SUV that can tow more than 3,500 pounds, check out the Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Chevy Traverse, or Ford Explorer.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the CX-9 receives a freshened exterior with a new design front and rear. Inside, a 5.8-inch color touchscreen is standard, as is a new infotainment system with HD Radio, Pandora Internet radio connectivity, text-to-speech capability, and a new microphone for better speech recognition. Blind-spot monitoring and a rear-view camera now come to the mid-level Touring models.

Driving the CX-9

Driving Impressions Most people don't expect spirited acceleration or much corner-carving ability from a large SUV. Nor should they. These vehicles are designed for hauling people, not necessarily derriere. The CX-9 is...

a welcome exception. Stomp on the right pedal and you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how quickly the Mazda's 273-horsepower V6 gets this big vehicle up to speed on the freeway. And the CX-9 isn't just good in a straight line. True to that "zoom-zoom" marketing slogan, even Mazda's largest vehicle tackles corners with confidence. The CX-9 is also comfortable. Around town or on the highway, the 2013 CX-9 is relatively quiet, comfortable and easy to drive. Like other SUVs – 3-row ones especially – visibility to the rear left and rear right is hampered. Here the standard blind-spot monitoring system on Touring and Grand Touring models really helps. We are also impressed with the plush driver's seat and easy-to-reach controls.

TOUCHSCREEN DISPLAY & INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
New for 2013, all Mazda CX-9 models receive a color touchscreen display in the center dash that adds sophistication and features. In addition to offering navigation functionality, the system relays messages from smartphones and has a built-in HD Radio tuner, which offers high-quality, subscription-free AM/FM broadcasts.

FLEXIBLE 2ND-ROW SEAT
In addition to folding in a 60/40 split, the 2nd-row bench seat in the CX-9 slides, reclines, and offers easy access to the 3rd-row via a 1-handed release. This all makes for better overall passenger comfort and great cargo flexibility.

2013 Mazda CX-9 Details
2013 Mazda CX-9 photo Interior

The 2013 Mazda CX-9 has a sleek, modern interior. In upper-end models, its cabin borders on luxury-car plush. If swaths of black material are not your cup of tea, leather-trimmed sand-hued upholstery is available for this model year in Touring and Grand Touring models (base Sport trims are stuck with black cloth). The new 5.8-inch color touchscreen in the middle of the dash also helps make the CX-9 feel like a more up-level vehicle. The front seats are plush, but the 3rd-row might be a tight squeeze for adults.

Exterior
2013 Mazda CX-9 photo

The CX-9 stands out among larger SUVs with a sleek style that looks more sport wagon than traditional SUV. Updates for 2013 keep Mazda's biggest hauler looking fresh. The grille has been revamped to appear more cohesive. Gone is the 2-tiered look of a narrow honeycomb grille above what some equated to a huge "grin," replaced for 2013 with a more contemporary 1-piece housing with flowing horizontal lines. The headlights are now more sweeping, while the taillights are bolder in red and the twin exhaust outlets appear smaller and round versus the larger, elongated shape of previous models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 CX-9 comes in three trims: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Base Sport models come well-equipped with tri-zone automatic climate control, a 5.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with AM/FM/CD/ HD radio with auxiliary and USB inputs and six speakers, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and 18-inch wheels. Touring models add a blind-spot monitor and rearview camera with rear backup sensors, leather upholstery, and heated, power front seats. Top-line Grand Touring models ladle on even more, including automatic bi-xenon headlights, a power tailgate, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver's memory seat, and 20-inch wheels. Safety features on all 2013 CX-9 models include six airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, and a roll-stability control system.

Optional Equipment

All CX-9 models can be had with Mazda's Torque Split All-Wheel-Drive system instead of the standard front-wheel drive. Most other major options are bundled into packages and include a navigation system, power moonroof, and a 10-speaker Bose premium audio system. Grand Touring models can be had with a rear-seat entertainment system that includes a DVD player and 9-inch screen.

Under the Hood

The sole engine on the 2013 Mazda CX-9 is a sophisticated 3.7-liter V6 that puts out 273 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, ample muscle to move this vehicle. All CX-9 models use an automatic transmission, in this case a smooth-shifting 6-speed version with manual-shift mode. CX-9s come standard with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available and is a smart option if you regularly drive in inclement weather, especially snow. While this vehicle does not have class-leading fuel economy, the CX-9 is rated up to 24 mpg and drinks regular unleaded gasoline. Maximum towing capacity is on the lighter end at 3,500 pounds.

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

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2013 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."

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

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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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