2010 Mazda CX-9 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Mazda CX-9 SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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 2010 Mazda CX-9

  • Want a family-friendly crossover that doesn't compromise on driving excitement? Look no further than the 2010 Mazda CX-9.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sporty performance, stylish cabin, 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 2010

    For 2010, the Mazda CX-9 undergoes a mild exterior and interior styling refresh to reflect the company's latest design identity. Other changes include a revised multi-information display with a rearview camera, real-time traffic functionality for the navigation system, improved interior materials and updated rear ventilation controls with a readout.

Full 2010 Mazda CX-9 Review

What's New for 2010

For 2010, the Mazda CX-9 undergoes a mild exterior and interior styling refresh to reflect the company's latest design identity. Other changes include a revised multi-information display with a rearview camera, real-time traffic functionality for the navigation system, improved interior materials and updated rear ventilation controls with a readout.


One of the most notable changes to the 2010 Mazda CX-9 is a restyled front end that follows the brand's newest upturned grille aesthetic first established on the new Mazda 3. If the latest CX-9 appears to be smiling, there's good reason -- it's a standout crossover among an increasingly crowded field. This large crossover sets itself apart from the competition with tasteful styling, a roomy interior and athletic driving dynamics.

When the CX-9 debuted three years ago, we were immediately impressed with its nimble handling -- it's certainly one of the best three-row vehicles you'll find in this regard. By comparison, other crossovers in this class can come across as rather soulless to drive. We're also fans of the Mazda's driving position -- it's more carlike than the competition's upright minivan posture. Add in easy access thanks to wide-opening doors, excellent build quality, plenty of features and attractive styling inside, and the 2010 Mazda CX-9 becomes a vehicle you'd enjoy driving even if you don't have a family to haul around.

Few competitors can match the roster of positives the CX-9 has to offer, but there are plenty of other crossovers vying for buyers' attention. The Ford Flex is our other top favorite, thanks to its high-quality interior, excellent third-row seat and funky exterior style. Other possible choices include the smaller but more fuel-efficient Toyota Highlander or the Buick Enclave/Chevy Traverse/GMC Acadia triplets, which are roomier but not as enjoyable to drive. In the end, we're sure that if you pick the 2010 Mazda CX-9, it'll put a smile on your face as big as its own.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Mazda CX-9 is a large seven-passenger crossover SUV that's available in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The entry-level Sport model includes 18-inch alloy wheels, three-zone automatic climate control, full power accessories, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, a trip computer, Bluetooth and a six-speaker CD player with an auxiliary audio jack. Stepping up to the Touring version adds heated mirrors, leather upholstery (for front- and second-row seats) and heated power front seats. The range-topping Grand Touring adds 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, keyless ignition and entry, driver-seat memory presets, a second-row armrest, dark silver and wood grain cabin accents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and special blue cabin illumination.

Available options are dependent on trim level and include 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), remote engine start, roof rails and a rear-seat entertainment system with audio and video inputs. Also available is an upgraded Bose surround-sound system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio and an in-dash audio display.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2010 Mazda CX-9s are powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 273 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only transmission available, but buyers can choose between front- or all-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the CX-9 can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

In testing, a front-wheel-drive CX-9 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, while an AWD model required 8.5 seconds. Compared to competing models, these figures are just about average. Fuel economy is slightly below average, though, at an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg in combined driving for front-wheel-drive models. All-wheel-drive CX-9s drop by 1 mpg across the board.


Standard safety equipment for all 2010 Mazda CX-9s includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control with a rollover sensor, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active head restraints. An optional rearview camera is available on Touring and Grand Touring models, while a blind-spot warning system is standard on the Grand Touring. In government crash testing, the CX-9 scored a perfect five out of five stars for frontal and side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also awarded the CX-9 its highest rating of "Good" for both frontal-offset and side-impact crashworthiness.

Interior Design and Special Features

For 2010, the Mazda CX-9 receives incremental improvements in terms of interior materials and usability. New leather and cloth seating surfaces along with wood and chrome trim pieces add just a bit of distinction to the already sporty styling. A reworked split-lid center console bin improves access, and a redesigned steering wheel facilitates easier Bluetooth, audio and cruise control operation. Returning are the two-tone leather, red and blue instrument lighting and piano black trim that we're partial to, but so are a few things we don't like, such as subpar plastics and a lack of useful storage cubbies.

The CX-9's second- and third-row seats can easily accommodate normal-size adults. The second row's sliding and recline adjustments provide plenty of legroom for 6-footers, though headroom may be the limiting factor. Access to the third row is easy, thanks to large rear-door openings and a fold-and-slide second row, but the larger doors can be troublesome in tight parking spaces. With the second and third rows folded flat, the CX-9 offers up 101 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Driving Impressions

Like many large crossovers, the 2010 Mazda CX-9 provides a comfortable ride for long road trips. Surprisingly, the CX-9 also performs admirably on curvy roads. From behind the driver seat, it feels like a much smaller vehicle, aided by a precise and communicative steering feel -- though it is a bit light on-center. While driving dynamics are a hit on winding back roads, those capabilities also translate well to the tight confines of a city. The compliant suspension soaks up bumps and potholes to provide a smooth, comfortable ride, but we would steer buyers away from the Grand Touring's 20-inch wheels, which tend to make the ride somewhat choppy over the rough stuff.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Awesome ride!!!

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

Amazing vehicle!! Bought used w/40,000 miles. Incredible used car deal! Absolutely loaded... Handles like its on rails(for a big car). Avg. 25.6 mpg on a 3 state road trip! Tons of power, and super comfortable!!I'm a major Mazda fan... 03 MPV has 185,000 on it and still gets 26.5 mpg! Mazda zoom zoom thru & thru!! If u need a big family vehicle without needing a minivan...Go buy this car!

Things to consider before purchasing

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

After owning for 16 months, the Cons, especially #1, outweigh the Pros. Cons - Passenger side air bag turns off when anyone <105ish lbs sits there. Taken it to the dealer & they say there's nothing they can do about it. This leaves my light passengers completely unprotected. Should be a recall. - Front defrost is terribly designed - doesn't span the length of the windshield & sits too far away from the base of the window. Wipers freeze over and have to be manually snapped in a snow storm. - Sub par radio reception - Hatchback too low. 6'1" husband hits head A LOT - Highway MPG = 19 at best - Terrible leather quality Pro - Excellent 4 wheel drive - Price - Super roomy

Familyt road-trip rock star!

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

We have 17,000 miles on our 2010 CX9, 5000 of those have come in a 5000+ mile cross-country and back trip in the past five weeks. I have really liked this car since I bought it 15 months ago, now I love it! It really excels on the highway - very fun to drive, great handling, and very comfortable. I really shopped around before buying it, especially giving the Honda Pilot serious consideration, but I am SO glad I went with the Mazda.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Crash worthy

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

I had my 2010 CX-9 for a year and was involved in a very hard front end collision which rolled the other vehicle over. My two young kids and I were totally unscratched, and even though the front end was destroyed, all the doors were still aligned and working perfectly! Impressive. I'm off to my dealer to order a brand new CX-9. ( white, not black this time, too lazy to keep the black clean!)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

11,000 mile review

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

All in all this is a solid family hauler. I chose the Touring for the smaller rim size. Handling is very good for its class, but you will feel the bumps. We moved halfway across the country, so I had my wife two kids & two dogs in the car for 1800 miles / 28 hours of driving- the CX9 proved itself to a great car for the trip. I averaged about 24 MPG on that trip. In what I consider true suburban driving I would get about 18MPG. Now I live in a little town on the Jersey shore now and average about 14MGP in city style driving. Power is more than adequate for all but the true enthusiast and or speed demon.

Great crossover

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

Bought a used 2010 Touring with Bose package/rear view/ power lift around a week back. Like it so far. Drive is very smooth. Transitioning from car, rear view camera helps a lot. Very calm until 60 miles. after that gets little noisy. Did i say drive is smooth. yep.

Talk About The 2010 CX-9

2010 Mazda CX-9 Discussions See all Started By

I have a 2010 cx-9 with 96k. I love the car and I haven't had any problems with it until now. I first started smelling a burnt rubber smell or a burnt animal smell. This later turned into a propane ...

Feds Probe 2010-'11 Mazda CX-9 After Complaints of Brake Booster Failure The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into an estimated 62,319 2010-'11 Mazda CX-9 cro...

Mazda dealer is offering me a discount on 2010 (touring model)...

Read more about the 2010 Mazda CX-9

Gas Mileage


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