2013 Mazda CX-9 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2013 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 2013 Mazda CX-9

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • Easily fulfilling typical family needs, the 2013 Mazda CX-9 also benefits from a healthy dose of driving excitement.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • 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 2013

    For 2013, the Mazda CX-9 receives a styling update on the outside. Inside, there's a new display screen and some new electronic features, including Pandora Internet radio capability. A few previously optional features are now standard.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (19 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Fun to drive, but not

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Mazda CX-9

We have a 2012 CX 9 and have enjoyed it until it was slightly out of warranty. The car has a strong motor and for a third-row vehicle is pretty fun to drive. It also performs well in the snow. The brake booster failed last week at 42,000 miles, nearly causing a traffic accident for my wife. This is a recurrent problem with the 2010-2011 CX 9. My guess is you will have problems with 2013-14 models as they hit 30-50k mileage, since the brake system is unchanged. It is unfortunate Mazda chooses not to address safety concerns in a family vehicle. I would look at the Hyundai Santa Fe in this class.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love love love it!

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Mazda CX-9

We bought this car new in 2012. I waited this long to review to make sure I just wasn't being reactive. This car has it all. As a 'soccer' mom, I'm constantly picking up and dropping of kids, swapping car seats, and running errand. The sliding 2nd row makes it easy getting car seats in and out, and fitting even adults in the 3rd row. The power liftgate is handy. There's plenty of room for fitting our 60lb dog and all our bags back there (though I would recommend buying a liner). This week was the first time really testing it on snow and it did great. Not only is it quick, agile, and fun to drive...It's just plain makes life easy. I recommend this car to everyone!

2012 mazda cx-9 grand touring

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Vehicle: 2012 Mazda CX-9

Pros: Driving feel, features Cons: Reliability. interior rattles, gas mileage The car handles very good for such a big auto. I find the driving experience to be enjoyable. The family (6 pax) just returned from a 1600 mile trip. We used a thule attachment on the roof and found the overall driving experience to be very enjoyable. Right before our trip, the front differential started to leak and had to be replaced. The car only had 10,000 miles on it. A fairly major job that almost derailed our vacation. Fortunately for us, the dealer had the part in stock. A little research online revealed this has been a habitual problem for this model.

49 of 110 people found this review helpful

Pretty good value & great

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Mazda CX-9

We bought the vehicle after exhaustively comparing it to the Toyota Highlander and Acura MDX. In the end, we bought the Mazda because (a) the only area the Highlander was better was fuel economy, and (b) the MDX, while a better car in terms of luxury, features, and style, was considerably more expensive and given a feature-by-feature comparison, the Mazda was a much better value. Overall we are happy with the CX-9 and don't regret the decision. After having it for 2+ years, we are in a position to offer a long-term review of plusses and minuses which we hope the manufacturer reads and makes use of.

Very pleased with my cx-9

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Mazda CX-9

We have owned our cx-9 for 9 months. I just hit 8500 miles.we have taken it on one 12 hour each way road trip and have been very impressed. The seats did great on the road trip, for adults & kiddos. I love the handling of the vehicle, feels like driving a car. I get compliments on how nice the interior looks and I have the sport model. Visibility is great. Only complaint is very rarely the sun hits just right on the chrome where the gear shift is and reflects off making it a Little hard to see, but again this has been rare. I love having the blue tooth & like that mazda stocked this vehicle pretty well for an entry level model. Mine has added power seats,heated seats/mirror.

Great car for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Mazda CX-9

We've owned this car for 13 months and have put 30,000 miles on it with no mechanical problems or breakdowns. We bought this car because it was larger, better equipped, and lower in price than a Ford Edge. Great performance, comfortable, decent MPG. The only annoying thing is the keyless entry/ignition system. The remotes occasionally will not work. The local dealer replaced the remote batteries one time, but says there is no problem. Still have the problem every couple weeks. Love the car, but the dealer service department is condescending and blows off any mentions of a problem. Don't know if that is a Mazda thing or just this dealer.

Gas Mileage


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

Full 2013 Mazda CX-9 Review

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Mazda CX-9 receives a styling update on the outside. Inside, there's a new display screen and some new electronic features, including Pandora Internet radio capability. A few previously optional features are now standard.


We expect a lot from large SUVs nowadays. Besides the obligatory amount of passenger and cargo space, we also have become accustomed to a decent amount of luxury and features aplenty. What we don't expect from these behemoths is decent cornering prowess, but that's exactly what you'll get with the 2013 Mazda CX-9.

Despite everything that physics tells us, the big CX-9 can indeed be enjoyable to drive around corners. Even better, the Mazda largely accomplishes this task without sacrificing ride quality. Of course, schlepping the kids to soccer practice and daily commuting are more typical tasks for a large crossover, and here the CX-9 still excels, with a spacious, adult-sized third row of seats and sharp new styling.

As highly as we regard the 2013 Mazda CX-9, it somehow gets overlooked for more popular alternatives. It is understandable, however, as its competitors are quite good in their own right. We'd still recommend cross-shopping the Mazda against the 2013 Ford Flex, with its similarly spacious accommodations, loads of features and distinctive style. We're also fond of the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe as well as the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Classified as a large, seven-passenger crossover SUV, the 2013 Mazda CX-9 is available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims.

Standard features on the Sport model include 18-inch alloy wheels, a roof spoiler, cruise control, full power accessories, a trip computer, three-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth upholstery, a 5.8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, Pandora radio capability and USB/auxiliary inputs. All-wheel-drive models also are fitted with a towing package (optional on front-drive vehicles). Packaged as an option are heated mirrors, heated front seats and an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat.

Stepping up to the Touring trim gets you all of the above, plus automatic headlights, leather upholstery, a four-way adjustable front passenger seat, a blind-spot monitoring system, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera.

The range-topping Grand Touring model tops it all off with 20-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, foglights, automatic wipers, a power liftgate, keyless ignition/entry, driver-seat memory functions, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power lumbar support for the driver seat and upgraded interior trim.

Most options are bundled into packages. The Touring trim is eligible for the Touring Technology package, which includes foglights, a sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, a navigation system, a premium 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system and satellite radio. The GT Technology package for the Grand Touring trim is identically outfitted, minus any redundant standard features.

Exclusive to the Grand Touring trim is an optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system which also adds an 11-speaker Bose surround system, the navigation system, a 115-volt household-current outlet and satellite radio.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2013 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- 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. Fuel economy is on par with that of 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 16/22/18 mpg.


Standard safety equipment for every 2013 Mazda CX-9 includes antilock disc brakes, stability control with a rollover sensor, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active head restraints. Touring and Grand Touring trims further benefit from a blind-spot monitoring system, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded last year's CX-9 (which is structurally similar to the current model) its highest rating of "Good" for both frontal-offset and side-impact crashworthiness, but a second-lowest score of "Marginal" for roof-strength integrity. In Edmunds brake testing, an AWD Grand Touring model came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is impressive for this class.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2013 Mazda CX-9 features a cabin that's stylish and elegant, with a look that's more high end than that of many others in this segment. A graceful waterfall motif on the dash and doors presents visual flair, and except for some low-rent plastics on the center stack, materials quality is respectable. The center console bin -- with its unique split-opening lid -- is quite capacious, but overall, there aren't a lot of storage opportunities inside the cabin.

Within the first two rows, there's ample room even for taller passengers, but headroom is tighter for those seated in the third row. 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 an impressive 101 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Driving Impressions

Like many large crossovers, the 2013 Mazda CX-9 provides admirable road trip transportation, offering a comfortable ride on long journeys. It separates itself from the pack by driving like a smaller, more agile vehicle thanks to its precise, communicative steering and buttoned-down composure in corners. The compliant suspension soaks up bumps and potholes to provide a poised, comfortable ride, but we wouldn't recommend the 20-inch tires of the Grand Touring trim, which tend to make the ride somewhat choppy over the rough stuff.

Talk About The 2013 CX-9