2009 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
Our search came down to a used 2008 Ford Edge or a new 2009 Mazda CX-9. The Mazda won out because of the favorable lease terms that were being offered. The car is fun to drive and the engine has plenty of zip. The transmission is silky smooth. Drives like a smaller car, even with third row capacity. Ride is on the stiff side. Engine is quiet. Form and fit are good; no rattles. 3rd row offers nice space, but seems to do so at the expense of the 2nd row. The width of the driver's compartment is cramped. Not the easiest car to get in and out of (watch your head vs. frame). Console storage not good considering space it takes up. Gawky radio nobs on dash. Nice car, although I'm not wowed by it.
Dual temperature controls, peppy engine and smooth transmission, great exterior styling, steering wheel controls for radio and cruise control.
So far, the windshield wipers are bad at clearing ice and snow. Gas mileage is not the greatest (17 mpg city/ 20 mpg hwy). Make the drivers cockpit wider. Add auto doorlocks and headlights. Orange instrumentation can be obnoxious at times. Move all seating positions back 4 in. for better access.