2008 Mazda CX-9 Long-Term Road Test

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2008 Mazda CX-9: Console of Hard Knocks

March 07, 2008

As long as a car drives right, I generally don't mind so much if the interior's covered in hard plastic. And as I discovered on a road trip to Santa Barbara yesterday, our long-term CX-9 certainly drives right -- the steering's a bit light for my taste, but it's quick and accurate, and I didn't think it was possible for such a large vehicle to feel so buttoned-down on serpentine sections of the Pacific Coast Highway. So normally I'd be inclined to forgive the acres of hard plastic that adorn the CX-9's dash and center console.

Unfortunately, I found that the rakish slope of said console causes the lower portion to impinge on driver knee-room, so that when I was cruising on the highway, the bony right side of my (sun-deprived) knee was in constant contact with the console's rock-hard edge.

I had two unappealing choices: live with the discomfort, or hold my leg in an unnaturally upright position for the duration of the trip. Though my dimensions are on the tall side of normal (6'1", 32.5-inch inseam), I can't imagine I'm the only person who's had this problem.

Upright consoles tend to be less problematic because it's typically the fleshy side of your calf muscle that rests against them, not the bony side of your knee. I like the aesthetically pleasing rake of the CX-9's console, though. It just needs some kind of soft-touch material in the circled area for knee-cushioning purposes.

Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 9,146 miles

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