2010 Mazda CX-9 Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- 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.
Want a family-friendly crossover that doesn't compromise on driving excitement? Look no further than the 2010 Mazda CX-9.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
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). Pre-owned Mazda CX-9 models are available with a 3.7 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 273 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2010 Mazda CX-9 comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2010 Mazda CX-9 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
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 Grand Touring is priced between $10,999 and$10,999 with odometer readings between 127174 and127174 miles.
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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 1 used and CPO 2010 CX-9s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,999 and mileage as low as 127174 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.
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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.