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!
Driving experience is superb! It simply doesn't feel like a truck. The 273 hp engine is plenty enough for a smooth take off and the disk brakes do the stopping job well.
The exterior styling is in the same league as X5 or Q7. It's stance from the side is as stylish as it can be done for a SUV.
Premium cloth is very durable and will hold off minor spills (if cleaned quickly).
Dashboard is straightforward yet classy. The red lighted dash is well designed for ease of use and readings.
Third row seats can be adjusted very easily, they fold flat and are split 50-50 as well.
Per the SUV's reading we have averaged 18.5 mpg at an avg. speed of 29mph (mostly city driving). Fantastic mileage!
Power seats should be standard for your flagship car. Heated seats and mirrors can be optional though.
The seats could have a bit more cushion in them.
Black colored floor mats are almost always a bad idea. Customers should at least have a second choice.
Cargo area mats could be made of a better material or at least make the rubber liner standard.
Few more cup holders wouldn't hurt.
Third row should have it's own a/c vents.