My wife and myself have test drove every sub $35,000 SUV/ Crossover, and Van on the market for the last 6 months. I must confess the CX-9 was the best riding, best fit and finish I found for the money.
Absolutely love the car. We've had it for two weeks. I've already used it once for a long trip. Our kids love the 3rd row. We started out wanting to get the GMC Acadia, but the GMC dealer didn't want to work with us at all. We decided to go to the Mazda dealership the next day, and had no problems. I'm really glad we decided to go with the CX9. It has so much space and it is fun to drive.
2010 Mazda CX-9 SUV Grand Touring 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
All in all we enjoy the car. Great acceleration and handling, plenty of passenger room, beautiful styling. I would recommend to friends and family. For a vehicle this size it's astounding we haven't had to change the brakes yet, and we're at 60,000 miles. Two odd issues: The mounting pads for the engine already are worn, which creates a nasty clinking sound when the car is put into gear; and the circuits go bad, meaning I'll turn off the car and the fan will suddenly go full blast - I have to turn the car on and off a couple of times to make that stop. But these are relatively minor fixes (I've been too lazy) because overall the car has been wonderful for us.
Speed, handling, agility, passenger space.
Better engine mount pads and more circuit breakers - very annoying having the fans turn on when I turn OFF the car.
2010 Mazda CX-9 SUV Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
I'm going to sum it up for those considering a purchase. If you want to spend $45-50k on a vehicle for name's sake, the you should purchase a Lexus, Infiniti, MB or Acura. They are great SUV/CUV choices from these brands. If you want the quality, amenities and sportiness of vehicles offered from these brands, but are in the $25-40k range as far as budget is concerned, then the CX-9 tops all others. We came from a Cayenne off lease and can believe how much value is packed into the CX-9. Don't even think about the Honda, Toyota, Chevy or Ford offerings at the same price (drove and priced them all). There is no comparison in regards to dollar for dollar value.
Interior quality, road manors, Grand Touring package goodies (keyless entry, HID lamps, Bose stereo), blind spot monitoring system, power lift gate, bluetooth audio streaming, backup camera, door closing does not sound cheap, interior design is focused of driver cockpit....well thought out.
Automatic locking doors, more storage compartments, power lift gate execution was an afterthought, that's why you cannot get a rear cargo cover for the power lift gate models. Nav system needs a new user interface and better graphics, rear back up camera quality is average.
2010 Mazda CX-9 SUV Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
This is an incredibly good choice for our family. The CX-9 looks great, it's fun to drive and built solidly. My older kids can ride in the 3rd row seat comfortably. Handles like a sporty sedan. Hands down, way more enjoyable to own than a minivan. Very good brakes. Plenty of nice features for being the "base" model.
Interior/Exterior styling. Acceleration and handling. Fun to look at gauges. Intuitive ergonomics and controls.