Rear Entertainment System ($3,055 -- includes 9-inch monitor and DVD player; Bose audio featuring Centerpoint with 11 speakers; 5.1 audio surround sound; single in-dash CD player; audio-video input; 115-volt outlet; Sirius Satellite Radio with 6-month complimentary subscription); Navigation System ($1,655 -- includes voice-activated DVD navigation system with 7-inch touchscreen with real-time traffic functionality); Power Rear Hatch ($400); Rear Bumper Step Plate ($150).
Decent 0-60 time in this car: under 8 seconds. Leaves the line with zero wheelspin and jams through the first two gears fairly quickly. Ample power for a thing this big. Best run in Drive. Manual shifting control is nice for engine braking but doesn't improve acceleration. Overall, a solid powertrain performance here.
Solid, consistent pedal feel during every stop. Very good for an SUV. Short distance as well.
Mazda's newly adopted non-defeat stability control (it reactivates at 18 mph) strategy is wholly unnecessary in an SUV with such respectable manners. It significantly diminishes both slalom speed and lateral grip on the skid pad, where it can become heavily and unexpectedly intrusive very quickly. Otherwise, steering feel and chassis response are quite good and inspire confidence to actually drive the CX-9 hard.