2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
I spent the better part of 5 months researching and test driving every 6 cylinder cross over SUV with a third row. I narrowed my search to CX-9, Acadia, Pilot and MDX. Having owned a 2003 Tahoe I really wanted a car-like driving experience without sacrificing too much size. I'm 6'4" so I need the room. The verdict: The Acadia drove like my Tahoe, large and lumbering. It definitely has the size but the driving experience wasn't there. The Pilot drove nicely but it's exterior styling and small 3rd row weren't what I was looking for. The MDX was very nice both to drive and in features but the price for equal features was in BMW/Audi territory. The CX9 hit the mark both inside and out.
Exterior styling. Driving experience. Functional rear seats and 3rd row. Price for feature set ($36k loaded minus rear DVD). If you're looking to downsize from an 8 cylinder fullsize SUV or upsize from a sedan to an SUV that maintains it's car like driving experience, look no further.
Allow for Blind Spot Monitoring to be turned off permanently. Power side mirrors. More room in the dash for Blackberry's, iPhones, etc. Better directions from Nav, sometimes a goose chase.