2008 Mazda CX-9 Long-Term Road Test

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2008 Mazda CX-9: Seeing Triple

January 14, 2008

Upon seeing me pull the 2008 Mazda CX-9 into our driveway after work this past Friday, my wife remarked that two of her friends got new cars within the last couple of weeks and, coincidentally, they both independently chose the 2008 Mazda CX-9. I've got to hear more about this.

I caught up with Julie and Mary in the school parking lot to find out what they thought about their CX-9s and how they both came to the same decision. Just so I wouldn't feel out of place, I brought our 2008 Sport CX-9 along for a group shot.

Mary's CX-9 is a Grand Touring model in Black Cherry. She is moving up from a '98 Honda Accord. "I wanted something bigger, but I didn't want a van" she told me, "because the kids have grown out of their car seats."

Mary had been thinking about the CX-9 for awhile. She decided to wait for the 2008 and its bigger engine because "Everyone wants more power, right?" After test driving one and liking it, she and her husband asked for quotes via Edmunds.com. The next day they got a price they liked and closed the deal. The dealership even delivered it to their house.

She told me that the reviews she read online got it about right and there have been no surprises. While she is really happy with the car overall, Mary agrees that fuel economy and an occasional firm ride on the rougher stretches of local freeway are not CX-9 strong suits. Mary attributed the latter to the 20-inch low-profile tires. The reported rear blind spots aren't as hard to deal with as she expected, however.

Julie got a CX-9 Grand Touring as well, and hers is also Black Cherry. A roof rack sets hers apart. Unlike Mary, she's downsizing from a Toyota Sequoia, "a big truck." The Buick Enclave was also on the list but ultimately didn't make the cut becasue it was still too big.

While she and her husband had been looking and researching for awhile, and had settled on the CX-9, she wasn't expecting to get one so soon. It came as a Christmas present, big bow and all. "The dealer delivered it to a neighbor's house" she explained, "They moved it to my driveway at 4am." Strong winds blew the bow off in the night, but she was thrilled nonetheless.

Julie has barely had her CX-9 three weeks, but she likes its smaller size and easy maneuverability. She did nod her head in agreement when Mary was talking about the sometimes-firm ride.

Accolades from the media are all well and good, but sales are the real test. I don't have curent figures handy, but it would seem that Mazda has a hit on its hand.

Sure, it's a small sample. But only two of my wife's friends have purchased new cars recently, and they both chose the CX-9. They both say they've seen and heard of others in the neighborhood. Mazda hasn't managed much traction in the PTA market before - not in my neck-of-the-woods, anyway.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 7,466 miles

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