2011 Mazda CX-9 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Mazda CX-9 SUV

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Mazda CX-9 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 273 hp @ 6250 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Mazda CX-9

  • The 2011 Mazda CX-9 offers everything the typical family-friendly crossover does, plus a dash of spice in the form of driving excitement.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sporty performance; stylish cabin; easy access to spacious third row; solid build quality.

  • Cons

    Long rear doors are an issue in tight parking spaces; 20-inch wheels produce a stiff ride.

  • What's New for 2011

    Other than a slight increase in fuel economy and the addition of speed-sensing automatic door locks, the 2011 Mazda CX-9 is unchanged.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (5 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Love my cx-9

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

We test drove on the same day the following vehicles: Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, Hyundai Veracruz, and the CX-9. For the price, content and fun to drive factor, we couldn't go wrong with the CX-9. It's quick, agile, spacious and well built. Aside from poor fuel economy (still waiting to see if 17city/24hwy for FWD is really true), we have no complaints.



5 of 11 people found this review helpful

Very pleased with the cx-9

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

We purchased our 2011 CX-9 about a month ago and are very pleased with the car. We traded out of a 2006 Honda Odyssey, after looking at the new Odyssey and not wanting more of the same (although it was a great vehicle). But we weren't ready to give up the thirdrow seat just quite yet, either. We wanted something a little more interesting to drive, as well. So, as advertised, the CX-9 is a treat to drive for a large crossover and the interior has a solid and upscale feel. Lots of room in the second row seat for the kids.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Finally settled on the cx-9

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

I switched from a 2008 Camry, a car I only liked for the gas mileage, to the CX-9 Touring. We looked at the GMC Acadia, the Pilot, the Highlander, Volvo XC-90, the Flex and the Explorer. XC-90 - Uncomfortable, cost too much Flex - Comfortable but strange looking Acadia - Didn't seem to have the quality I was looking for Highlander - Built on a Camry chassis and this was what I was trying to get away from Pilot - Seemed clunky and I did not like the dealer. The CX-9 is comfortable, spacious and it drives great. It has a very easy to manage center console, radio, etc. What I don't like is the mileage and how it's tough to be more a la carte while building your car online.



7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Very nice vehicle

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

I've had my 2011 CX-9 for about a month, have taken two long road trips in it, and use it to commute in Atlanta traffic about 40 miles round trip. I traded in my 2001 Toyota Highlander for the Mazda, and so far, I'm very happy with the CX-9. The driving experience is great for this size vehicle. The third-row seating is very accessible, and is roomy enough for my 9-year old (my 15 year-old complains it's too tight, but then again, he complains about everything!). I am disappointed in the gas mileage, even when travelling on the interstate at reasonable speeds. I suppose that is the price one pays for this kind of performance. I really like the Bose sound system.



12 of 12 people found this review helpful

Best 3-row cuv on the

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

After researching the GM cousins, the new Ford Explorer, the new Toyota 4-Runner, and Honda Pilot, we gladly purchased the CX-9. Nothing compares to the Mazda's driving dynamics or what you get for the money. I highly recommend this crossover as the mid-level Touring package comes standard with power everything, leather, and a fold-flat third row. Fuel econ is decent considering the size and power. We upgraded from a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee. There is really no comparison to be made. The CX-9 is smooth and does not feel enormous, but is more than roomy enough. The dealership did a very good deal for us as well. Thumbs up, Mazda.



Full 2011 Mazda CX-9 Review

What's New for 2011

Other than a slight increase in fuel economy and the addition of speed-sensing automatic door locks, the 2011 Mazda CX-9 is unchanged.

Introduction

Fun-to-drive, engaging cars have been hallmarks of the Mazda brand for some time, but can a large SUV deliver this sort of behind-the-wheel entertainment? With the 2011 Mazda CX-9, the answer is resoundingly affirmative. Despite its larger dimensions, the CX-9 drives more like a midsize crossover. In an expanding field of choices that are getting harder to distinguish one from another, the CX-9 stands out thanks to not only its smiling grille, but also the enthusiastic grin it puts on its driver.

The added athleticism doesn't come at the expense of comfort or utility. The Mazda CX-9 provides adult-size seating in all three rows, solid build quality and a respectable 101 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity. Easy access to the rearmost seats is an added bonus, as are a carlike driving position and attractive interior styling. The CX-9's only significant downsides include long rear doors that complicate entry and egress in tight parking spots and a ride quality that's just a little too stiff on Grand Touring models with the 20-inch wheels.

Overall, though, the 2011 Mazda CX-9 certainly presents more positives than negatives. But if an involved driving experience isn't a priority for your next family hauler, there are others to consider. The 2011 Ford Flex is one of our favorites thanks to its high-quality interior, roomy third-row seat and innovative electronic features. The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse (plus its Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia relatives) is also worth considering due to its more compliant suspension and roomier cargo area. But for a large three-row crossover that will provide plenty of grins per mile, it doesn't get any better than the CX-9.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 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, remote keyless entry, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with buttons for audio and cruise control, a trip computer, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

Stepping up to the Touring version adds automatic headlights, heated mirrors, leather upholstery (for front- and second-row seats) and heated power front seats. The Grand Touring adds 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights, foglights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition/entry, driver-seat memory presets, a second-row armrest, interior accents of wood and metal, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a blind-spot warning system.

Available options are dependent on trim level and include a sunroof, a power tailgate, a navigation system with a rearview camera, a stand-alone rearview camera (with a display in the rearview mirror), remote ignition, roof rails and a rear-seat entertainment system. Also available is an upgraded Bose surround-sound audio system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio and an in-dash audio display.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2011 Mazda CX-9 is 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- and all-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the CX-9 can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

In Edmunds 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. With some slight gains this year, fuel economy is on par with other large crossovers at an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg in combined driving for front-wheel-drive models. The all-wheel-drive CX-9 drops to 16/22/19 mpg.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for every 2011 Mazda CX-9 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.

The Mazda CX-9 has not been rated using the government's new, more demanding 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) resulted in 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.

In Edmunds brake testing, an AWD Grand Touring model came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is short for SUVs in this class.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2011 Mazda CX-9 features an elegant interior that is more carlike than other SUVs in this category — especially in regard to its seating position and dash design. Leather and cloth seating surfaces plus wood and chrome trim add distinction to the sporty interior, while two-tone leather treatments and red-and-blue lighting for the instruments deliver visual flair. There are some subpar plastics (particularly on the center stack), and a lack of useful storage bins also detract from an otherwise sharp execution.

Taller, adult-size passengers in the first two seating rows will likely find the accommodations comfortable, but third-row occupants have a bit less headroom. The second-row seat reclines and slides fore and aft to deliver optimal comfort. Access to the third row comes easily thanks to large openings for the rear doors and the fold-and-slide second row; however, 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 2011 Mazda CX-9 provides a comfortable ride for long road trips. Surprisingly, the CX-9 also performs admirably around corners. From behind the steering wheel, it drives like a smaller, more agile vehicle, especially in its precise, communicative steering. While the Mazda's driving dynamics are suited to winding roads, they also translate well to the confines of city travel. The compliant suspension soaks up bumps and potholes to provide a poised, comfortable ride, but we would steer buyers away from the 20-inch tires of the CX-9 Grand Touring, which tend to make the ride somewhat choppy over the rough stuff.

Talk About The 2011 CX-9

Read more about the 2011 Mazda CX-9

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs