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."
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.
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! Excellent experiences at multiple dealerships for routine services. Over time, car became noisier but may be due to tired and/or age. Tailgate lift bar recently broke but according to my research, this is common among many SUVs due to the way they are constructed.
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.