Used 2013 Mazda CX-9 SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Mazda CX-9 SUV Review

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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2013 Mazda CX-9 SUV

  • B 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.

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 16 reviews) Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good car minus the navigation

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

I have owned this car for two years now. I got it when I had two kids I now have 3. Overall we have run out of room. My 6'5 husband puts either the driver or passenger seat all the way back causing cramping in the 2nd and third row. It creates constant fights with my kids as they then both adjust their seats trying to get more room. You can't fit 3 car seats across the 2nd row. I can barely do a Costco run with 1/2 a third row up. The navigation is horrific and always freezes leaving me to pull over and enter my destination in my cell. My husband hates my navigation and refuses to use it. When it does work, the directions are not great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not as good as my 2009 cx 9

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

I came from a 2009 Mazda CX 9 Sport AWD which I absolutely loved. Not a single problem with the 09. I knew that the '13 was almost identical to the previous model year 9's but with more technological safety features. I had to have a rear view back up camera. The Blind Side Monitoring system is wonderful. Although the New Grand Touring (GT) came with 20 inch wheels, I didn't really feel a big difference in ride quality. The wheels are stylish but not chrome. As another reviewer stated, the sheetmetal is not as it was in previous years and easily prone to dings. The newer model's glove box has no locking mechanism and the coin storage drawer is gone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

My 2nd cx-9

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

I previously had a 2009 model I put 92,000 miles on and was happy. This new model (2013) not so much. The sheet metal seems thinner as the car easily picks up dings and dents. The front brakes are pulsating and I do not drive the car hard. The transmission constantly downshifts as soon as I tap the brakes and this is irritating. The car sometimes clunks into gear when shifting from park to drive. Finally, the central locking system is not intuitive. I park in the garage and leave the keys in the vehicle. On several occasions the car has mysteriously locked itself. Thankfully I have a spare key in the house. Still a decent car but would not buy again.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Excellent 7 seat suv

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

After a lot of research we decided to get the 2014 CX-9 Touring AWD with the Tech Package to replace our aging minivan. Some of the other vehicles we test drove were the Dodge Durango and Honda Pilot. The CX-9 had the best combination of interior space, looks, features, car-like driving experience and value for money. After a month of driving around we have been really satisfied with the vehicle. The vehicle is easy to drive and park which is unusual considering its large size. The Touring w/tech package offers a lot of near luxury features(Navigation, Moonroof, heated seats, leather, Bose speaker) but still keeps the sticker price reasonable for a large SUV.

8 of 34 people found this review helpful

Good but could be much better

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

This car is fun to ride and very comfortable. Fuel consumption a little high. Worst by far are the Navigation System, voice recognition and the electronic interfaces, such as the Sirius radio and Bluetooth. Those do not seem to have even been Beta Tested, such a poor design that makes you wonder about the rest of the car. Sad part is that it it is just poor software, which needs an urgent upgrade.

36 of 58 people found this review helpful

So glad i test drove this car

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

My previous car was an '06 BMW 530xi. Needed to go to an SUV to haul grand kids and golf gear. 3 seats were a must, and I wanted a quiet and enjoyable driving experience, up to date technology and now that I am retired, a reasonable price. The Audi was too $$, BMW was too small and $$, Kia and Hyundai looked & felt cheap, Nissan had poor service record and Honda Pilot was ugly. That left the Toyota Highlander LTD and the CX-9. I took long test drives in both cars in various driving and weather conditions and the Mazda CX-9 was a no brainer. Quieter, more responsive, stylish in and out with a cleaner looking dash and instruments. Technology is more advanced and much easier to use.

Talk About The 2013 CX-9

2013 Mazda CX-9 Discussions See all Started By

We bought a 2013 Mazda, CX-9, around July 2014. It's now Jan. 2015 and the vehicle has about 29,000 miles on it. Bad transfer case, will be replaced under warranty....

Tell us about shopping for your new CX-9!...

Does anyone have any insider information regarding the 2013 CX-9? I've got a bad case of "car fever" and really like the CX-9, but I am one of those that would be miserable for the next 6-8...

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Mazda CX-9 Suv in VA is:

$137.00 per month*

Identifix Reliability Ratings

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