2007 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
We got a CX-9 GT AWD a week ago, so this is my first impression. Daughter has '05 Mazda3 and I'm as impressed with the CX-9 as the 3. That says a lot! I think the 3 (2.3) is the best value on four wheels. The CX-9 GT interior is superb. I drive a '98 MB E320 and the CX-9 interior equals it w/o the real wood. The materials and controls definitely feel first-rate and the doors have the vault-like sound of Mercedes as well. The ride & shifter are also 'Teutonic' and firm, which I like. More fun to drive than those we compared - Acadia & Caddy SRX 6. As a Mercedes owner, I think the CX-9 is comparable to the R-Class at $15k less! If it's reliable like the 3, Mazda has another winner.
Interior fit and finish, bluetooth, rear camera, power tailgate, Bose stereo, driving position, handling and Xenon headlights are great. AWD tracks like it's on rails in the rain. The real 3rd seat that folds flat with one hand. It's a great value loaded with goodies I might have missed otherwise.
One big thing: power locks should lock automatically when driving. Minor: 2nd row captain's chairs option would be nice as would a bigger moonroof like the Caddy SRX. Bose stereo should incl iPod module w/o petty $150 charge. Yes, better gas mileage would be nice, but it's still a great car.