2010 Mazda CX-9 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Sporty performance, stylish cabin, easy access to spacious third row, solid build quality, high crash-test scores.
  • Long rear doors can be hard to open in tight parking spaces, stiff ride with 20-inch wheels, a few cheap interior bits, stingy interior storage.
List Price Range
$8,891 - $9,994

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Want a family-friendly crossover that doesn't compromise on driving excitement? Look no further than the 2010 Mazda CX-9.

Vehicle overview

One of the most notable changes to the 2010 Mazda CX-9 is a restyled front end that follows the brand's newest upturned grille aesthetic first established on the new Mazda 3. If the latest CX-9 appears to be smiling, there's good reason -- it's a standout crossover among an increasingly crowded field. This large crossover sets itself apart from the competition with tasteful styling, a roomy interior and athletic driving dynamics.

When the CX-9 debuted three years ago, we were immediately impressed with its nimble handling -- it's certainly one of the best three-row vehicles you'll find in this regard. By comparison, other crossovers in this class can come across as rather soulless to drive. We're also fans of the Mazda's driving position -- it's more carlike than the competition's upright minivan posture. Add in easy access thanks to wide-opening doors, excellent build quality, plenty of features and attractive styling inside, and the 2010 Mazda CX-9 becomes a vehicle you'd enjoy driving even if you don't have a family to haul around.

Few competitors can match the roster of positives the CX-9 has to offer, but there are plenty of other crossovers vying for buyers' attention. The Ford Flex is our other top favorite, thanks to its high-quality interior, excellent third-row seat and funky exterior style. Other possible choices include the smaller but more fuel-efficient Toyota Highlander or the Buick Enclave/Chevy Traverse/GMC Acadia triplets, which are roomier but not as enjoyable to drive. In the end, we're sure that if you pick the 2010 Mazda CX-9, it'll put a smile on your face as big as its own.

2010 Mazda CX-9 models

The 2010 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, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, a trip computer, Bluetooth and a six-speaker CD player with an auxiliary audio jack. Stepping up to the Touring version adds heated mirrors, leather upholstery (for front- and second-row seats) and heated power front seats. The range-topping Grand Touring adds 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, keyless ignition and entry, driver-seat memory presets, a second-row armrest, dark silver and wood grain cabin accents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and special blue cabin illumination.

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

2010 Highlights

For 2010, the Mazda CX-9 undergoes a mild exterior and interior styling refresh to reflect the company's latest design identity. Other changes include a revised multi-information display with a rearview camera, real-time traffic functionality for the navigation system, improved interior materials and updated rear ventilation controls with a readout.

Performance & mpg

All 2010 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- or all-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the CX-9 can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

In 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 slightly below average, though, at an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg in combined driving for front-wheel-drive models. All-wheel-drive CX-9s drop by 1 mpg across the board.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for all 2010 Mazda CX-9s 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. In government crash testing, the CX-9 scored 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.

Driving

Like many large crossovers, the 2010 Mazda CX-9 provides a comfortable ride for long road trips. Surprisingly, the CX-9 also performs admirably on curvy roads. From behind the driver seat, it feels like a much smaller vehicle, aided by a precise and communicative steering feel -- though it is a bit light on-center. While driving dynamics are a hit on winding back roads, those capabilities also translate well to the tight confines of a city. The compliant suspension soaks up bumps and potholes to provide a smooth, comfortable ride, but we would steer buyers away from the Grand Touring's 20-inch wheels, which tend to make the ride somewhat choppy over the rough stuff.

Interior

For 2010, the Mazda CX-9 receives incremental improvements in terms of interior materials and usability. New leather and cloth seating surfaces along with wood and chrome trim pieces add just a bit of distinction to the already sporty styling. A reworked split-lid center console bin improves access, and a redesigned steering wheel facilitates easier Bluetooth, audio and cruise control operation. Returning are the two-tone leather, red and blue instrument lighting and piano black trim that we're partial to, but so are a few things we don't like, such as subpar plastics and a lack of useful storage cubbies.

The CX-9's second- and third-row seats can easily accommodate normal-size adults. The second row's sliding and recline adjustments provide plenty of legroom for 6-footers, though headroom may be the limiting factor. Access to the third row is easy, thanks to large rear-door openings and a fold-and-slide second row, but 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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Mazda CX-9.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

A great SUV.
Justin B,10/11/2015
Grand Touring 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
Purchased new, the CX 9 is a bit pricey and has garnered some criticism for its high MSRP. However, as other reviewers have said, a used CX9 is an absolute bargain. It' resale value isn't awesome, and it is likely influenced by the car's mileage - about 18 city and 20 highway. On the other hand, the positive attributes of the CX 9 cannot be ignored. A very confortable pair of front bucket seats with excellent forward visibility. Decent finishing as per the car's interior. You have to be careful not to scratch the leather seats, but this is true of any leather interior. The climate control and radio are very good, with a powerful a/c. The controls can be a pain to reach if you roll the seat backwards. The vehicle is cavernous, with miles of cargo space. The back seat is split 60/40, so you can drop one seat to accomodate a large rug or lumber from Home Depot. Then there is the motor. Mazda didn't design the motor, it's a Ford V6! It is rated at 265 or 270 HP, and they may have under-reported the output. The car hits 90 in an eyeblink on an interstate and flies up hills like a sports sedan. This notwithstanding that it is a 4,200 pound behemoth. You have to be careful braking, though. The SUV has inertia so when you roll up to a stop sign, you brake in this SUV a good car length sooner than you would in a sedan. The car is too big to slap the brakes on, so you are wise to drive around town casually. Mazda mated the outstanding Ford V6 (later iterations went into the F 150, and a 305 HP monster for the Mustang), to a mediocre drivetrain. The Aisin tranny does not shift smoothly at low speeds, though it is fine on the highway. After reading many reviews, it is my impression that the tranny needs to warm up and just doesn't accelerate/shift well at low speeds. Car and Driver has noted that the CX 9 drives very well for a big vehicle. Steering is excellent, the car tracks well, and the suspension is pretty good but not great. The car is too big to fly over speed bumps or dips in the road -so don't do it. Given the combination of awesome power, a spacious interior, excellent front seats, good steering and a decent suspension, not to mention a pretty good radio and climate control, the car is a screaming "buy."
Great Vehicle!
Kay Renfroe,11/07/2015
Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
2010 Mazda CX-9 is comfortable, great smooth ride, about 19 to 22 mpg. We enjoy the separate temperature controls for each side in the front and separate control for the back seat. Heated seats are nice too! There are no blind spots when changing lanes. I have enjoyed driving this vehicle for the last 3 years.
Crash worthy
veloguru,06/07/2011
I had my 2010 CX-9 for a year and was involved in a very hard front end collision which rolled the other vehicle over. My two young kids and I were totally unscratched, and even though the front end was destroyed, all the doors were still aligned and working perfectly! Impressive. I'm off to my dealer to order a brand new CX-9. ( white, not black this time, too lazy to keep the black clean!)
Great Car if You Were Not Scared Off By The Price
MarkDiaz,01/14/2016
Grand Touring 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
We have owned this car for nearly six years and have 85000 miles on it. Even though it is a heavy vehicle and my wife does not drive with a "light" foot, the brakes are still the originals and the maintenance department at Mazda tells me that they still have about 40% life left on them. The original tires were replaced at 60,000 miles. No maintenance other than the scheduled maintenance has been conducted on this vehicle. It drives like a sports car. It is bullet-proof. It has a generous third row with easy access. It is truly a hidden gem that people overlook. I do not know how long it will last, but when it finally does end its life, I will truly miss this car.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2010 Mazda CX-9 features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2010 Mazda CX-9
More About This Model

Long prized for their outstanding athleticism, Mazda vehicles tend to be the jocks of their respective segments. The 2010 Mazda CX-9 may be the manufacturer's most impressive jock yet, simply because this large SUV's sporty handling and performance fly in the face of its full-size dimensions.

The CX-9 debuted just a couple of years ago; for 2010, the model gets some upgrades designed to keep it in fighting form until the next generation is launched. Its sheet metal benefits from minor tweaks such as a new grille and larger side mirrors, and materials quality takes a step up thanks to new leather and wood accents. Other changes include the addition of real-time traffic functionality to the navigation system, and a revised multi-information display.

These upgrades are appreciated, but let's face it: The CX-9's main draw has always been its handling. This Mazda should be required driving for those who say that full-size SUVs are, by definition, a snooze to pilot -- it whips through corners and hustles down straightaways like a vehicle half its size. Just don't expect this game racehorse to be the most accommodating mule; cargo capacity doesn't quite measure up to that of its rivals.

There's no shortage of capable crossovers in this segment. You'll find more luggage capacity in the Ford Flex and Buick Enclave/Chevy Traverse/GMC Acadia triplets, but these choices are arguably less elegant-looking than the CX-9, and indisputably less engaging on the tarmac. A shining all-star, Mazda's nimble CX-9 is the MVP by a landslide for shoppers seeking the most fun-to-drive large SUV.

Used 2010 Mazda CX-9 Overview

The Used 2010 Mazda CX-9 is offered in the following submodels: CX-9 SUV. Available styles include Grand Touring 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), Touring 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A), Sport 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A), Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), and Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Mazda CX-9?

Price comparisons for Used 2010 Mazda CX-9 trim styles:

  • The Used 2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring is priced between $8,891 and$9,994 with odometer readings between 79661 and127071 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 Mazda CX-9s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Mazda CX-9 for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2010 CX-9s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,891 and mileage as low as 79661 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Mazda CX-9.

Can't find a used 2010 Mazda CX-9s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mazda CX-9 for sale - 6 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $25,092.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda CX-9 for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $19,401.

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 Mazda CX-9?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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