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2022 Mazda CX-9 Drops Front-Wheel Drive, Starts Under $37,000

2022 Mazda CX-9 Drops Front-Wheel Drive, Starts Under $37,000

If you don't want all-wheel drive, pick a different SUV

  • Front-wheel drive is no longer available.
  • Certain 2022 CX-9s are less expensive than their 2021 counterparts, while others are pricier.
  • There's a new Touring Plus trim level.

'Tis the season for updated pricing! With the new year just around the corner, automakers have been making 2022 pricing announcements at a fast and furious clip. The most recent is the rakish Mazda CX-9 three-row crossover. Despite its size, Mazda's largest SUV is an engaging drive thanks in part to its powerful, capable turbocharged engine.

Following in the footsteps of the smaller CX-5, Mazda is dropping the front-wheel-drive option for the 2022 CX-9. Obviously, there are some implications for the CX-9's starting price. Let's talk details.

Is the price higher or lower? Yes.

The 2022 Mazda CX-9 is scheduled to start arriving in dealerships this winter, and it will come exclusively in all-wheel drive. Since all-wheel-drive models always cost more than their front-drive counterparts, anyone looking to just get into a 2022 CX-9 will find that the price is higher compared to last year's model. If, however, you were already planning on choosing an AWD model, you might be surprised to know that the entry-level Sport model is actually less expensive than the 2021 version. Prices for the 2022 Sport start at $36,505 (including destination charges). Compare this against the early-production 2021 CX-9 Sport, which carried a $36,960 MSRP, or late-production 2021 models, which cost $37,285.

Mazda's move to make its i-Activ AWD system standard on all 2022 CX-9 models is described as a move to enhance confidence for buyers, and indeed having it and not needing it is the kind of being prepared we can get on board with. However, the CX-9 was already on the pricier side — a byproduct of its high-end cabin design and materials, perhaps — and price-sensitive shoppers might compare it unfavorably against the only other AWD-only vehicle in this class, the Subaru Ascent. For the record, the 2022 Ascent starts at $33,420.

Edmunds logo
Trim Level
2021 CX-9 Price (AWD)
2022 CX-9 Price
Sport $37,285$36,505-$780
Touring $39,075$38,665-$410
Carbon Edition $44,405$44,805+$400
Grand Touring $45,265$45,665+$400
Signature $48,030$48,435+$405

Touring Plus trim level adds features

The above table shows the price difference between 2021 and 2022 Mazda CX-9 models. The only trim you won't see is the new Touring Plus level ($42,885), which takes the equipment from the Touring trim, adds last year's Touring Premium package, and then a few more goodies on top of that.

Notable features added on the Touring Plus trim include ventilated front seats, a memory function for the driver's seat, black-painted 20-inch wheels and a gloss black grille. We think the Touring Plus adds strong value in the core of the CX-9 lineup.

Edmunds says

Can we say the Mazda CX-9 is less expensive for 2022? Kind of, depending on the mental gymnastics you're capable of.