2009 Mazda CX-9 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Mazda CX-9 SUV

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Mazda CX-9 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 273 hp @ 6250 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Mazda CX-9

  • For those who find themselves being dragged kicking and screaming out of their sporty sedan toward a family hauler, there's quite simply no better choice than the 2009 Mazda CX-9.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sporty performance and handling, stylish and roomy cabin, loads of cargo space, easy access to spacious third row, solid build quality, high crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Long rear doors can be hard to open in tight parking spaces, stiff ride with 20-inch wheels, a few cheap interior bits, stingy interior storage.

  • What's New for 2009

    Only minor changes occur for the 2009 Mazda CX-9. A trip computer is now standard on all trim levels, and the base model gets standard Bluetooth phone capability. All-wheel-drive models come standard with a trailer tow prep package, and Grand Touring trims get a standard garage door opener and auto-dimming rearview mirror. In addition, satellite radio now comes with the upgraded audio and rear-seat entertainment packages.

Full 2009 Mazda CX-9 Review

What's New for 2009

Only minor changes occur for the 2009 Mazda CX-9. A trip computer is now standard on all trim levels, and the base model gets standard Bluetooth phone capability. All-wheel-drive models come standard with a trailer tow prep package, and Grand Touring trims get a standard garage door opener and auto-dimming rearview mirror. In addition, satellite radio now comes with the upgraded audio and rear-seat entertainment packages.


Large crossover SUVs started to appear just a few years ago, and already there are many excellent choices available to consumers. Mazda was one of the first automakers out of the gate with its CX-9, and it's been a success for the company ever since.

Aside from an engine upgrade last year, the 2009 Mazda CX-9 isn't much different from when it debuted two model years ago, and that suits us just fine. The CX-9's very spacious interior features a third-row seat suitable for even average-sized adults. It's easy to access, too. The CX-9 also boasts excellent build quality, an attractive dash design and an adequate number of technology and entertainment features. But, as always, the true pleasure of the Mazda CX-9 lies in its superb handling capabilities. No vehicle this size can ever be called nimble, but among large crossovers, Mazda's flagship stands out as being the most enjoyable to drive.

We're quite fond of the CX-9, though a few drawbacks, such as a potentially stiff ride quality, do open the door for you to consider other competitors. The Ford Flex and General Motors' "Lambda" quadruplets (Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook) are all great choices, especially if you're interested in a pure family vehicle with ample cargo space and versatility. But for those who also value performance and driver feedback, the CX-9 won't disappoint.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Mazda CX-9 is a large, seven-passenger crossover SUV that's available in three trim levels. The entry-level Sport comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The mid-line Touring version adds heated mirrors, two-tone leather seating and heated, powered front seats. The top-of-the-line Grand Touring adds 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, keyless ignition/entry, memory driver seat presets, wood cabin accents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and special blue cabin illumination.

Major options, depending on the trim level, include an upgraded surround-sound Bose audio system with a six-CD changer, a sunroof, a power rear liftgate, a navigation system with a rearview camera, a stand-alone rearview camera (with a display in the rearview mirror), satellite radio, remote engine start, video game docking station and a traditional rear-seat entertainment system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 Mazda CX-9 is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 273 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, while all trim levels can be equipped with either front- or all-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive models are equipped standard with a trailer tow prep package, which allows the CX-9 to tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped. A front-wheel-drive CX-9 went from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, while AWD adds a second to that. This is on par for the segment.

EPA-rated fuel economy for a front-drive 2009 CX-9 is 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined. All-wheel-drive CX-9s achieve 1 mpg less. Both ratings are slightly below class leaders.


All 2009 CX-9 models come standard with antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control with a rollover sensor, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A blind-spot warning system is standard on the Grand Touring. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, the CX-9 did very well, scoring five out of five stars in all front and side crash tests. Similarly, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the CX-9 its top rating of "Good" for both frontal-offset and side-impact crashworthiness.

Interior Design and Special Features

With its available two-tone leather, red and blue instrument lighting, metal-look accents and either piano black or tasteful wood trim, the CX-9 has plenty of sporty style to spare. Most controls are ergonomically friendly and easy to use. Materials quality is hit-or-miss, however, and the CX-9 doesn't have many useful storage cubbies.

The two-passenger third-row seat is one of the roomiest you'll find, and is quite suitable for normal-sized adults. Access to the third row is easy thanks to large rear-door openings (which, unfortunately, can be troublesome in tight parking lots) and a fold-and-slide second row. With the third row in place, luggage space totals 17 cubic feet. Folding the second and third rows flat delivers 101 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Driving Impressions

Like most large crossovers, the 2009 Mazda CX-9 is well engineered for long road trips. Driven on curvy roads, however, the CX-9 really excels. A sport-tuned suspension and low-profile tires make the vehicle feel smaller than it is, and the steering is precise and direct, if a bit light on center. This high level of vehicle control is an advantage not only on back roads, but on confined city streets as well. Ride comfort is generally well-damped, though the 20-inch wheels on the Grand Touring make for a somewhat choppy ride on rough roads. For those who commute daily on well-traveled, chewed-up freeways, we say avoid the big rims and stick to something smaller.

Read our Mazda CX-9 Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Fun to drive, very poor

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Vehicle: 2009 Mazda CX-9 Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

I have a 2009 CX9 Sport. It is fun to drive. But Mazda has a very poor quality. after about 30k miles, brake has some issue and costed me about $1000. after another 30k miles, all four tire sensors broke and tires kept leaking. That costs another $1000. The bottom line, if you don't want to get annoyed. Stay away from Mazda.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Practical yet cool suv

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mazda CX-9 Sport 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of SUV's. But I got one since every other car on the road is a truck of some sort and in the event of a crash I want my family to be safe. The CX-9 was the only SUV that received 5 stars for front and side crash and 4 star for rollover in ratings. Reliability has been superb so far with regular maintenance. We drove the Pilot, Highlander, MDX as well and hands down the MDX was the best of the 4 but at $10K more than the CX-9 it was expensive. The gas mileage was lower as well. Pilot was too boxy and the highlander costed as much as the MDX (which is lame). After a couple years and 20K miles it's still as solid as the first day! Recommended!

Water coming into car after

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Vehicle: 2009 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

Not happy with the car or the service. Water comes through the windsheild and Mazda will not cover it because the car was in a minor accident damaging the front fog light. They are unrelated but Mazda claims that they are related. Now I have electrical problems similar to ones I see posted elsewhere and they will not cover that either. A lemon from the beginning with poor service.

Stands out in the crowd

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Vehicle: 2009 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

I have '09 Copper Red GT AWD. Looks way more luxurious than its price. Interior space and comfort is excellent even for the 3rd row. We fit 8 easily. Interior is comparable to Lexus. probably Only crossover SUV having leather-trimmed dashboard with Wood trims (not just plastics). Many High-end features are standard (tri-zone climate control, bluetooth,18" alloys, sunroof/Bose option) for even basic trim levels but High-end Trims missing some basic features like Anti-glare side mirrors, compass, rear-view camera on mirror(i.e w/o Navigation). This is my only complaint. Overall, Great Pickup Great Style.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sweetest suv on the market

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Vehicle: 2009 Mazda CX-9 Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

You have to drive this vehicle to really appreciate how well it handles. With the AWD version, it feels like the car is driving on two rails it holds the road so well. The interior is luxury-car quiet. Very little road noise. The front driver seats seem a little narrow with the huge center console. It's about 10 inches longer than a Pilot or Highlander, but it doesn't look that way due to the excellent exterior design. Very sporty. The std. blue tooth is a nice touch. My wife LOVES this vehicle. So glad we didn't get a Pilot or Highlander. People complain about the gas mileage, but it's an SUV....they all consume too much gas. The CX-9 was very close in MPG to it's competitors.

Excellent crossover - terrible nav

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

Got the CX-9 10 months ago and we are very happy with the car. Performance is great with more than enough power and fantastic handling for a vehicle this size. Incredibly smooth, sporty ride. It drives like a performance sedan. 20" wheels provide an athletic look in a relatively unique vehicle. Build Quality and fit/finish are solid. Interior styling is tasteful, and traditionally modern. AWD worked great in the 2 blizzards in DC this winter. Seats are comfortable on short trips and long hauls. I guess mileage is not great, but not a lot worse than the minivan it replaced - you have to pay for the driving performance somewhere. It's a great CUV. Kids like it too.

Talk About The 2009 CX-9

2009 Mazda CX-9 Discussions See all Started By

I have to replace my tires on my 2009 CX-9 after 70,000KM and discovered that early replacement of this tire is a common problem when I began reading posts from other CX-9 drivers right on the Bridges...

Is there any credible information yet on what is expected to be different in the 2009 model of the CX-9?...

I am seriously considering an '09 CX-9 Sport. My dealer let me take it on an overnight test drive and, from the driver's seat, I love it, but here's the problem....

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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