2008 Mazda CX-9: Plenty fast and agile too
December 11, 2007
There were several cars I could have driven to Laguna Seca to attend California Superbike School recently, but I picked our new CX-9 crossover instead. Why? The prospect of five uninterrupted hours of Howard Stern on its Sirius satellite radio was one big reason, but there were others.
I wanted to try out the new V6 and see if the CX-9 is able to mimic the sporty feel of the CX-7. After 650 miles behind the wheel, I would say it came though on both counts. The new V6 doesn't exactly snap your neck, but for such big vehicle the CX-9 moves pretty quickly. The six-speed transmission certainly helps. That, and keeping my foot flat on the floor 90% of the time.
Actually, the CX-9's handling impressed me more than the engine. I took the winding road you see above back from the track and it was actually fun to fling the big crossover around corners. I don't think I could say the same about our Enclave. Then again, the Enclave wouldn't have crashed so hard over all those cracks in the 5 freeway on the way home, so there are most certainly trade offs.
Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 2,419 miles