2008 Mazda CX-9 Long-Term Road Test

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Mazda CX-9 is Well Traveled

September 29, 2008

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After a 480-mile weekend round-trip to the Central Coast, I was hoping to shed some new light on our Mazda CX-9. I discovered, however, my fellow bloggers had already made 40 posts on the well-traveled vehicle. Oldham has illuminated us on the dim bulbs which are indeed poor, MacKinnon logged our collective fuel economy, to which I can now add my 20 mpg average, Riswick documented the fritzy window switches that seem to have fixed themselves, and Riches, among others, posted a warning about the handy-yet-miniscule rear-view camera that I can attest is even harder to see with polarized sunglasses.

Despite my daughter's best efforts to adjust the rear HVAC knobs with her feet from the child's seat, they didn't fall off once, unlike Jacquot's experience. And only after reading Brauer's post about the counterintuitive audio controls did I learn that it wasn't necessary for me to push-push-push the toggling tune button to advance radio stations. (The multi-functioning tuning knob is directly below the button I used--duh.

About the only thing I can add is that Sirius satellite radio is very difficult to use in the absence of a more advanced display. The over taxed dot-matrix display (that also shows time of day, HVAC temp and mode) reads, "Loading" for about 5 seconds when you finally land on a station with a limited ability to display what and where you are on the dial. Happily, we've got a few key stations saved as presets which made jumping ahead a little less problematic.

I performed the initial testing back in January, and it still feels as sporty now as it did then. The CX-9 really does drive smaller than it really is, which is big. I wish I had more to share, but the highly competent CX-9 has seen a ton of use in its 9.5 months with us. At this rate, it'll likely rack up 30,000 miles before it leaves in January.

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 22,736 miles

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