2016 Mazda CX-9: Monthly Update for July 2017
by Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
In the month of July, our 2016 Mazda CX-9 went on two different road trips that rolled up the odometer to the tune of over 2,500 miles. The first trip was to Death Valley National Park on the California-Nevada border west of Las Vegas, and the second trip involved a drive to Fremont, California, for the unveiling of the Tesla Model 3.
Between those trips, the CX-9 handled the usual commuter duty and weekend errand running, two types of driving that our editors find the CX-9 well suited to thanks to its comfortable and spacious cabin.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We drove the Mazda CX-9 about 2,500 miles in July and averaged 22.7 mpg over nine fill-ups. The lifetime average of 22.1 mpg rose slightly thanks to the number of highway miles on the two road trips.
Average lifetime mpg: 22.1
EPA mpg rating: 23 combined (21 city/26 highway)
Best fill mpg: 26.7
Best range: 461.4 miles
Current odometer: 18,076 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"The CX-9 was an excellent choice for our road trip. We had plenty of space for our luggage and cooler, and the reclining rear seats were a bonus for my passengers. We were especially impressed with how fast the A/C kicked in to cool down the car, which was really important when you're traveling through Death Valley in July. The cabin temperature went from insufferable to manageable within 20 to 30 seconds after starting the car.
"One nitpick on comfort: I found that my left knee would always gravitate toward and grind up against the hard side panel on the driver-side door during long stretches of driving. It would create moments of discomfort that I think could have been prevented with some padding or softer materials." — Aaron Lewis, senior producer
"I like head-up displays in general. They make sense when it comes to reducing driver distraction, something that is sorely needed these days. Our CX-9 has just such a system and it works well in general. It delivers tons of information right in your line of sight, which minimizes the need to glance elsewhere.
"If I had to make one change it would be in the overall size of the display and the way in which you adjust it. The speedometer numbers are on the small side, and moving your head one way or the other by even a small amount is enough to obscure the readout. It's also on the dim side, and there are no physical buttons to adjust it on the fly. You have to dig into the main console menu to brighten it up or move it up or down. Took me a while to figure that one out, but once it's dialed in, the system is well worth the trouble." — Ed Hellwig, senior editor
"Every time I drive our CX-9 I'm impressed by the performance of the four-cylinder engine and the shift quality of the automatic transmission. It's such a refined combination that I don't miss the fact that there's no V6 offered. It delivers strong acceleration at low speeds, and the transmission is quick to grab another gear when you lay into the gas at highway speeds. I have yet to drive it with a full load of passengers and cargo, so I wouldn't say the V6's days are numbered just yet, but in day-to-day driving the CX-9 is plenty capable." — Ed Hellwig