2008 Mazda CX-9: The 3.7-Liter Cyclone Finds A Home
September 23, 2008
Our long-term 2008 Mazda CX-9's 3.7-liter V6 also sees duty in the Mazda 6 s and the Lincoln MKS. Sure, sure -- Mazda's "MZI 3.7" isn't identical to Ford's "Duratec 37." The former is assembled in Japan, while the latter hails from the Midwest, and some mild tinkering with the MKS version has made it infinitesimally more powerful. But for all intents and purposes, it's the same engine.
Anyway, what a difference a bodystyle makes. When I sampled the MZI 3.7 in the Mazda 6 s, it sounded a bit too brawny for my tastes, as though it had been borrowed from a truck (which, of course, it had). In the MKS, the Duratec 37 sounded surprisingly grainy at higher rpm, in stark contrast to the numerous silky-smooth powerplants available at that price point (Toyota/Lexus V6, Hyundai V8, BMW inline-6, etc.).
But in the CX-9, the MZI 3.7 sounds just right. The engine note isn't as mellifluous as that of Toyota's 2GR-FE V6, yet it's muscular and refined -- precisely what I'd hope to hear in a sporty crossover SUV. It's another strong point of this arguably best-in-class vehicle.
Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 21,707 miles