2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
After extensive research and test driving, we selected the CX-9. Based upon reviews, and experience with friends' cars, we narrowed it down to the Highlander and the CX-9. Previously we had a Ford Explorer, and opted to not consider Ford due to the problems we had with that vehicle. GM and Honda were eliminated due to the price point (Toyota and Mazda clearly offer more value.)
In the end, the Mazda won out due to its handling, and its interior space. We test drove the CX-9 and Highlander back to back, and the difference in handling curves was remarkable.
We also checked out the Audi Q7. We felt that the Mazda compared favorably to the Audi in all aspects, and is priced $20k less.
Handling and performance. Bluetooth integration. Ease of access to 3rd row. Remaining cargo space with 3rd row up. Exterior and interior styling. Overall interior space. AWD. Bose sound system (sounds great!).
We got the upgraded Moonroof/upgraded Audio package, which includes the 10.1 Bose system, backup camera, and Sirius.
Drives like car, not like a truck.
USB plug-in for full iPhone integration would be nice, although the Bluetooth integration works extremely well.
Nit-picky, but I wish the front license plate holder were positioned lower so it didn't break up the Mazda 'smile' on the lower grill.