October 20, 2008
I had the keys to the CX-9 for its last weekend in our LT fleet. So I took it to dinner, a walk on the beach and then we headed back to my place for a nightcap and a tearful farewell. And then I measured its lifetime fuel economy (I'm quite the romantic). Last month, I reported in the Big List of Fuel Economy that the CX-9's recorded lifetime fuel economy was 18.1 mpg. What I didn't mention then was that number was current as of February 2008. Seems we hadn't updated the fuel log in a good many months. When I plugged nearly 8 months of data into the spreadsheet today, I got a slightly different number.
With all the additional data, it was 18.2 mpg. (I did say it was a slight difference.) EPA estimates for the large crossover are 16 city/22 highway/18 combined, so we're pretty much on track.
Only once in all its time with us did anyone manage to squeeze more than 400 miles out of one tank: Dan Edmunds drove 444 miles (strrrrrrrrrrrretch!) on 19.331 gallons of gas and achieved 23 mpg. Karl Brauer pushed the limit of the 21.0 gallon tank with a fill-up of 20.683 gallons (squeak!) after 355 miles and returned fuel economy of 17.2 mpg.
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 23,589 miles
April 08, 2008
No, the above photo does not represent a total systems failure of our 2008 Mazda CX-9. It's merely a snapshot of the 5-second bulb check that happens every time any of us starts our car. Here, near the Mazda CX-9 tach's numeral "2", you'll see a unique warning lamp that isn't common to all cars.
Check engine lights come on for a variety of reasons. But the most common and mundane one is the missing or loose gas cap. Many a person has trudged to the dealer to figure out why the lamp is on, only to find out that their gas cap was loose or had a cut seal. The Mazda CX-9 is one of a few new cars that displays this specific and common trouble code with a dedicated lamp, avoiding unnecessary trips to the dealer.
Speaking of fuel, our 2008 two-wheel drive CX-9 is rated 16 city and 22 highway mpg. On the northern leg to Sacramento, we were in a mild hurry to make a dinner appointment, and we spent a lot of time on the freeway at just above 75 miles per hour. After 369.4 miles, we added 17.0 gallons for a 21.7 mpg average fuel economy.
On the return leg we had more time, so I set the cruise at 70 mph and left it there. After 444.0 miles long miles with a half-dozen potty and food stops, the low fuel warning finally came ablaze. It took 19.3 gallons of unleaded to fill the tank, which works out to an EPA rating-beating run of 23.0 mpg.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 11,789 miles
March 26, 2008
In the last seven days, I've put about 900 miles onto our long-term Mazda CX-9. A lot of this mileage came from last weekend's trip to visit my in-laws, which is about 300 miles each way of mostly freeway driving.
The CX-9 has been a great vehicle to have. For the trip, the Mazda had plenty of room for my wife, eight-month-old daughter and our associated gear and luggage. The driver seat is comfortable and supportive, and I've been able to dial in a perfect driving position. Visibility is pretty decent for large crossover, and road noise is within acceptable limits. If there's a complaint, it might be the ride is a tad bit too firm for lots of highway driving.
Oh, and fuel economy is what I'd describe as mediocre. I averaged 21 mpg for my driving. At least I was able to push past 350 miles between fill ups.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 10,375 miles
February 26, 2008
I took our long-term Mazda CX-9 on a jaunt up the 101 freeway to Ventura County this rainy weekend. While it was a good test of how the crossover performs when the highway is shiny and wet and the traffic is slow and heavy, it didn't allow for much spirited driving of this, the sports car of crossover SUVs. That will have to wait for another day. I will say that on the return trip up the 101's steep Conejo Grade from Camarillo into Thousand Oaks, the CX-9 ate up the incline with nary a hesitation. It was so smooth that we were half way up the hill before I thought to notice how well it was doing.
And now for the first fuel economy update since we introduced the CX-9 last year.
Best tank: 22.4 mpg
Worst tank: 12.1 mpg
Lifetime average: 18.1 mpg
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 8,726 miles