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2014 Mazda CX-9

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2014 Mazda CX-9 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.9

The 2014 CX-9 is Mazda's largest model, a 3-row, 7-passenger sport-utility vehicle. Despite its SUV status, it remains a Mazda, meaning it's actually fun to drive. Thanks to a powerful V6 engine and dynamic handling, the Mazda CX-9 stands out from competitors such as the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder because it feels more like a nimble sports sedan than a pragmatic people-mover. Even the Mazda's swoopy styling conveys motion and stands in contrast to blockier or bloated designs. That styling does sacrifice some interior room, however, and though Mazda's invigorating powertrain still holds its own, the fresher setups in some of the CX-9's rivals are more fuel efficient.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need a vehicle that can haul up to seven people, yet your heart yearns for a car that's fun to drive, the Mazda CX-9 deserves your attention.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you intend to regularly carry adults in the 3rd-row seats, the larger Chevrolet Traverse offers more room, while better fuel economy can be had in the freshly revamped Nissan Pathfinder. Both can also go beyond the CX-9's 3,500-pound tow limit.

What's New for 2014

The CX-9 mostly carries over for 2014. Slight changes include updated wheels and the addition of rear cross-traffic alert on Touring and Grand Touring models.

Driving the CX-9
Driving Impressions

Most large SUVs are not known for spirited acceleration or the ability to carve corners. The 2014 Mazda CX-9 is a welcome exception. Press that right pedal, and you'll be...

... pleasantly surprised at how quickly the Mazda's 273-horsepower V6 gets this SUV up to speed. That potency inspires confidence when entering freeways or getting around slower traffic. More significantly, the CX-9 doesn't just excel in a straight line. The most surprising aspect about the big Mazda's driving manners is its ability to corner like a smaller vehicle. Most buyers of a family SUV will crave comfort, though, and the CX-9 delivers here, too. In everyday driving, the Mazda is quiet, comfortable and easy to maneuver. Like other 3-row SUVs, visibility to the rear quarters is hampered. Here the standard blind-spot monitoring system on Touring and Grand Touring models helps greatly.

REAR CROSS-TRAFFIC ALERT
This safety system that's new for 2014 alerts drivers to vehicles approaching from behind and perpendicular to the car. This feature is especially helpful when backing out of busy parking lots.


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 third row via a 1-handed release. This all makes for better overall passenger comfort and great cargo flexibility.

2014 Mazda CX-9 Details
Interior

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 has a sleek and highly functional interior. All models can seat up to seven passengers, with generous legroom offered in the first and second rows, and modest room found in the two seats in the third row. Even in premium form with leather-trimmed seats and navigation, the CX-9 retains a straightforward dash setup. Controls are a snap to locate and use, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road rather than hunt for the seat warmer. If swaths of black are not your cup of tea, sand-hued upholstery is available.

Exterior
2014 Mazda CX-9 photo

Sweeping curves rather than blocky sheets of metal continue to make the Mazda CX-9 one of the more stylish SUVs on the road. Though the CX-9 is now in the seventh year of its current generation, last year's design updates help it remain fresh. This is most notable in the trapezoidal front grille and available integrated fog lights that give the CX-9's face the familial feel of recently revamped models in Mazda's lineup such as the 2014 Mazda3 and Mazda6. At the rear are bold red taillights and shiny twin exhaust outlets.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 CX-9 comes in three trims: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Base Sport models come nicely equipped with tri-zone automatic climate control, a 5.8-inch touch-screen 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 blind-spot monitoring, rearview camera, rear cross-traffic alert, leather upholstery and heated, power front seats. Top-line Grand Touring models have a 3-position-memory driver's seat, automatic bi-xenon headlights, power tailgate, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror and 20-inch wheels. Safety features on all models include six airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability and traction controls.

Optional Equipment

All CX-9 models can be had with Mazda’s Torque Split All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system instead of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD). Most other major options are bundled into packages and include a navigation system, power moonroof and 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. A Towing Prep package that's available on FWD models and standard on AWD versions enables the CX-9 to tow up to 3,500 pounds (other models are limited to 2,000 pounds).

Under the Hood

The sole engine on the 2014 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 a smooth-shifting, 6-speed automatic transmission 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.

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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2014 Mazda CX-9 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 271 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

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."

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."

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."

18 people out of 31 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."

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I've ever owned, and I've owned a lot

By on Monday, September 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"After 68.000 miles and five years this vehicle still looks, feels, and sounds like new. And it has NEVER required any work other than routine maintenance. I love the handling. The only negative I have experienced is the gas mileage, which I can live with."

13 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Very happy with this car

By on Wednesday, September 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "see review"

Cons: "see review"

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

"Before my CX 9 I always owned high end luxury cars which is all I can compare this car to. It has all the bells and whistles and handles very well; even in a near miss with a deer. There are only two things about this car that could be improved. The blue-tooth voice was very difficult to program; even the dealer could not figure it out. The seats could use a bit more padding, especially if you drive for long periods of time. A great car for the cost!"

16 people out of 27 found this review helpful

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