July 11, 2008
It's not any vehicle that can carry four Ford GT wheels and eight Ford GT tires. That adds up to a lot of cubic storage, but the CX-9's cargo area handled it with room to spare. It did require folding the second and third-row seats, and four of the tires had to be placed upright, which meant no rear visibility.
But careful adjustment of the exterior mirrors and careful planning prior to lane changes kept the CX-9 from intruding on other vehicles. The guys as Stokes Tire Pros were kind enough to encase the rolling stock in large mint-green garbage bags to keep interior scuffs to a minimum.
But with those bag colors I'm not sure what other people thought I was hauling. Fertilizer maybe?
Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief @ 18,746 miles
June 02, 2008
I did some spur-of-the-moment furniture shopping this weekend. Luckily, I was driving an SUV with 101 cubic feet of space in the back.
SUVs like the Mazda CX-9 can save you lots of moolah on delivery fees. The three-piece set fit nicely into the back of the CX-9 with the second and third row seats folded.
The third row was already flat and the second row seats were super easy to fold with one hand. No fumbling with latches and levers, just grab the handle on the side and they pull right up. Light and easy.
My 6'1" passenger had to move his seat forward quite a bit for the 2nd row on his side to lie flat. But on my 5'4" driver's side, there was plenty of room.
The back hatch is manually operated but the load height is comfortable, not too high for lifting chairs into the back.
Now if I could just break the habit of bringing home furniture that I don't really need.
May 21, 2008
Stupid plans, at some point near their inception, generally start with a small grain of a good idea. They quickly devolve to a point where you wish you hadn't done anything in the first place. Well, that realization of stupidity was where three of us were this past Friday. It started five months ago when we were losing weight after the holidays. Thinking the exercise trend would continue, doing the Mountain Warfare Challenge 10K race at the beginning of summer would be a nice exercise goal. Work and life meant we lost focus until three weeks to go when we were madly trying to get in shape. Yes, this is the part we realized we were way in over our head.
Friday before the race we piled our stuff into the CX-9's ample cargo room but had to double back to grab the forgotten running shoes of one of the editors. I won't point the finger at whom, but his name starts with a "J" ends with an "n" and has and "oh" in the middle. Due to our extra travel time we were swamped in traffic near Glendale. The CX-9's AC was pumping to keep up with the oven-like heat. Thankfully controls and vents in the back meant the lone back seat passenger wasn't melting away.
April 25, 2008
We've spent some long days at the track this week, and our long-term 2008 Mazda CX-9 has dutifully served as the primary support vehicle. With its third-row seat folded into the floor, it of course offers plenty of room for all manner of testing and camera equipment.
At the Streets of Willow road course in Rosamond, California, where it's definitely not summer yet, the Mazda's emptied cargo bay also provided a suitable refuge from the desert sun and 30-mph winds. Undoubtedly, a couple adults could fit in the back of almost any midsize SUV, but the CX-9's bay seems particularly comfortable. The carpeting is soft with a smidgen of padding underneath and there are no major seams in the floor. The cargo tie-downs are mounted at the bottom of the side panels, so they don't get in the way. Best of all, I could sit back here and still have a good view of everything happening on the track.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ about 13,800 miles
April 06, 2008
This weekend my family made a quick blast up to Sacramento, California, in the 2008 Mazda CX-9. For this trip, my youngest daughter brought a friend along, so we got to try it out with five aboard. Since we're kind people, we didn't make anyone sit on "the hump" for the 1,000-mile round trip. The CX-9's split-fold third row got a real-world tryout...
Since this was to be a three-day, two-night trip, we could get by with condensed luggage. With the biggest suitcases alongside (two carry-on roller bags,) my eldest daughter volunteered to take the back seat. Frankly, I think she liked the idea of a private space to herself and easy access to her stuff.
March 28, 2008
As expected, grocery shopping with our CX-9 is no problem at all. There's plenty of room with the third row folded, and the rear storage compartment serves well as a bag holder. More details and pictures can be found after the jump.
January 10, 2008
I just spent a few days with our Long Term CX-9. One thing that really struck me was its size. It's not too big but no one would call it small either. The CX-9 is one of those few vehicles that seems like the interior and exterior size is like the last bed - just right.
In a perfect world or rather in MY perfect world, the ride would be a little softer - just a tiny bit.
December 19, 2007
As you might already have guessed, the 2008 Mazda CX-9 is the mystery "other choice" for our twice-yearly road trip to Oregon. Like the Buick Enclave, our's is front-wheel drive. Unlike our Enclave, this one has the seat heaters my wife covets.
Both have iPod aux jacks. The Enclave has a navigation system and our CX-9 doesn't. But that's not a factor because, after a dozen years making this drive, I know where I'm going.
The decision comes down to the view above, as we will be well and truly loaded down with luggage and gifts for 10 relations during our 2,000 mile round-trip to Pistol River, Oregon. Santa advises me that some of them are bulky.
The pertinent facts are these: cargo space with all seats in use - 17.2 cubic feet; cargo space with the third row folded - 48.4 cubic feet; cargo space with the second and third rows folded - 100.7 cubic feet. It is the second figure, 48.4 cubic feet, that matters in this case, because I do plan on bringing my young daughters along for this one.
While the Mazda CX-9's cargo capacity numbers are good, and would work well for my crew 51 weeks out of the year, the Buick Enclave is bigger inside at a particular point in time when I need space. Cargo stats: seats up - 18.9 cubes; third row down - 66; second and third rows down - 115.1 cubic feet. The Buick's advantage for this trip, 66 vs 48 cubic feet, is too big to ignore.
On top of that, the Enclave's middle row is a pair of buckets, with space between for longer items to protrude forward. The Mazda's 60/40 seat, as shown above, forms a solid wall.
I think the nod has to go to the Buick Enclave for this particular trip. But a bigger inside means a bigger outside. We'll see how that works out on the sinuous mountain roads we'll be heading into.
And I just know I'm gonna hear about the lack of seat heaters at every stop we make...
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 5,865 miles