2017 Mazda CX-9

2017 Mazda CX-9
2017 Mazda CX-9


  • Sharp modern style inside and out, the CX-9 feels richer than its cost
  • Sporty handling makes it fun to drive
  • Comfortable interior remains quiet on the highway
  • Top-level Signature trim is on par with some luxury-brand competitors


  • Cargo capacity isn't as generous as competitors
  • Third-row seats aren't especially accommodating

Which CX-9 does Edmunds recommend?

We like the Grand Touring so much that we bought one. With 20-inch wheels and aluminum interior trim, it looks great, and it comes with several driver/safety aids such as collision warning and mitigation and lane departure intervention. But we chose the Grand Touring so we could report on multiple different features. We actually think a CX-9 Touring model with the optional Touring Premium package would satisfy most buyers. This configuration adds several of the Grand Touring's features — navigation, premium Bose audio, sunroof — and still costs less.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

Attractive inside and out, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 is more than just a pretty face. Its three rows of seating and loaded feature list will satisfy a growing family's needs, but it's also a genuine pleasure to drive. It's one of the best three-row crossover SUVs out there.

The CX-9 delivers what most SUV owners really want: a high level of comfort and refinement, a lot of room and modern connected conveniences. In its top Signature trim level, the CX-9 even flirts with a look and feel that you'd expect of an Audi or Volvo. It's the most luxurious example in its class. That the CX-9 actually drives pretty well, that it's quick and alert when you bend it into a turn, is icing on the cake.

Taste being subjective, the CX-9 strikes one of the best poses among family SUVs. No safe, middle-of-the-road body design here. This is clean and windswept, with sharp edges and just-right proportions. It won't suit every buyer, but it's a standout look. Inside and around that striking shape is plenty of safety and connected tech (dial-controlled navigation/entertainment system, rearview camera, automatic emergency braking) and an interior highlighted by leather, aluminum and rosewood accents, depending on trim level.

The CX-9 also returns impressive fuel economy for its size, at 25 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models, 23 mpg combined with all-wheel drive. We actually achieved a little better — 24.4 mpg — in our mixed-driving evaluation loop.

The CX-9 makes some compromises, however. At around 72 cubic feet with second- and third-row seats folded, cargo capacity isn't as cavernous as others in the class and its third row isn't especially accommodating either, at least not compared to a competitor like the Honda Pilot. These are the trade-offs for the impeccable style we lauded earlier. But overall, the CX-9 delivers an all-around package that makes it one of the best three-row SUVs around.

2017 Mazda CX-9 configurations

The 2017 Mazda CX-9 is a three-row crossover SUV that seats seven passengers, available in Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and Signature trim levels. The Sport covers the basics and a bit more (Bluetooth, rearview camera, three-zone climate control), while the Touring tacks on leather seating and driver aids such as blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. Grand Touring models add more driver/safety aids, adaptive cruise control and classier touches inside and out. With upgraded leather and rosewood trim, the Signature model borders on luxury status.

Like all CX-9 trims, the Sport comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (250 horsepower, 310 pound-feet of torque) paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Standard features on the Sport include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, tri-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a six-way manually adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding second-row seats, 50/50-split folding third-row seats, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, Mazda's Connect infotainment system with 7-inch display, and a six-speaker sound system.

The Touring adds heated mirrors, a power liftgate with adjustable height stops, keyless ignition and entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, low-speed emergency braking (Smart City Brake Support), heated front seats, leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (four-way front passenger seat), an 8-inch infotainment display and two USB ports in the second-row center armrest.

The Grand Touring trim further dresses things up with 20-inch wheels, adaptive headlights, LED foglights, automatic wipers, roof rails, a sunroof, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, rear parking sensors, upgraded frontal collision warning and mitigation systems, a head-up display, driver-seat memory functions, retractable sunshades for the middle-row seats, aluminum interior trim, additional interior lighting, a navigation system, a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system and satellite radio.

At the top of the range is the Signature trim that adds exterior LED accent lighting, premium leather upholstery and rosewood interior trim. All-wheel drive is standard on the Signature.

Some of the features on higher trims are available on supporting models as options.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of a 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature (turbo 2.5L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | AWD).


The Mazda CX-9 is one of those vehicles that earns the "it drives like a smaller car" description. It feels more athletic than competitors on a winding road and is more maneuverable in trickier confines. The turbocharged engine has enough power to satisfy most drivers.


Plentiful power and sharp response off the line. The CX-9 has no trouble passing slower traffic, and it easily accelerates up to speed when merging onto a highway. Power tapers off as the engine nears redline, so our 0-60 mph run took 7.3 seconds — about average for this class.


The brakes feel firm, dependable and easy to modulate in everyday driving. And the CX-9 proved to be quite controllable in our simulated-panic stop test, during which it needed just 115 feet to stop from 60 mph — an admirably short stop for a three-row crossover SUV.


The CX-9 has good straight-ahead stability on the highway and delivers crisp response when turning. Maintains a good sense of connection with the driver, and steering effort builds nicely as it bends into corners. Excellent among SUVs and better than some sedans.


Feels eager and nimble on mountain roads. You might notice a bit of body roll in long corners because of the CX-9's high-ish SUV driving position, but it builds gradually and the chassis remains secure and settled throughout. The overall feel is one of confidence.


The CX-9 moves out quickly when you press on the accelerator, yet the pedal is smooth and easy to regulate. Smart-shifting transmission executes smooth shifts that are made quickly when they need to be.


Whether you're just commuting or taking a long road trip, the CX-9 delivers an impressive degree of comfort thanks to a smooth ride, quiet cabin and well-sculpted seats. Our test car's air-conditioning was mediocre, but we're not yet certain if this early test sample is representative.

Seat comfort

We found the front seats to be well-shaped and supportive over many hours of touring. The sliding and reclining second-row seats proved just as accommodating. But the third row's low cushion and tight headroom limit its appeal.

Ride comfort

Past Mazda SUVs have generally been tuned for stiff sportiness, but the CX-9 is more focused on comfort and luxury. It smooths out road imperfections exceptionally well, but we did encounter some residual rebounds after rolling over moderate-sized lumps and bumps.

Noise & vibration

This is one quiet highway cruiser. Wind and road noise is silenced to levels we're accustomed to (not) hearing in luxury vehicles. The level of quietness might have made a few minor creaks from the center console seem louder than they were. (Note: Our test car was a preproduction sample.)

Climate control

On hot days our CX-9's automatic climate control struggled to keep the cabin as cool as we liked. The lack of available ventilated seats was a particular problem because the leather didn't seem to breathe as much as we're used to.


Pretty much everything about the CX-9's interior feels right and thoughtfully designed. This is a new benchmark for non-luxury SUVs, and other manufacturers should take notes on how Mazda makes the most of available space and how quality components all contribute to a favorable impression.

Ease of use

Most major controls are logically placed and easy to use. The infotainment system's main control knob is easily one of the best we've encountered. It is placed where your hand normally rests, the screen is right in your sightline, response is quick and the menus are intuitive.

Getting in/getting out

Access to the front and middle-row seats is easy thanks to tall openings and no obstructions. In tight spots, the relatively short doors allow them to open wide so you don't have to squeeze in. Third-row access does require a short but inelegant crawl.

Driving position

Enough space and seat adjustments ensure that just about anyone can find a comfortable driving position. The tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel has enough travel to please taller drivers, and armrests are right where they should be to provide appropriate support.


The CX-9 feels larger inside than its exterior suggests, and its front and middle rows easily accommodate larger passengers. The third row has enough space to avoid causing claustrophobia, but a low cushion and tight headroom make it best suited for kids and smaller adults.


Generous forward and side visibility, but thickish front roof pillars can obstruct the view somewhat through tight turns. The rear view is compromised by broad rear pillars and a small rear window, but it's no worse than in a typical SUV in its class.


The Signature trim makes use of interior materials that are usually reserved for premium luxury vehicles. Every surface has a solid, quality feel, the gaps are uniform and tight, and the paint looks fantastic. This is as nice an SUV as you'll get in the class.


The CX-9 doesn't hold as much cargo as competing SUVs. But thoughtful design makes it easy to live with, and growing families should find adequate space for their stuff. Few people tow with SUVs in this class, so the fact that the CX-9 doesn't lead in this area might not be of concern.

Small-item storage

You'll find numerous interior storage cubbies for your personal items. The door pockets are good-sized and have indents that hold large water bottles.

Cargo space

We found the CX-9's cargo capacity to be sufficient at 14.4 cubic feet behind the third row and 71.2 cubic feet with all the seats folded, but others in the class offer more. On the plus side, it has a flat cargo floor that makes it easy to load bulky items.


Towing capacity maxes out at 3,500 pounds, which is on the low side of average among competing three-row SUVs. The Class II hitch and wiring harness are sold together as an after-purchase accessory.


Mazda took a page from the German luxury playbook by incorporating a dial-based infotainment interface, and it's one of the better systems at any price. Likewise, the active-safety driver aids it offers seem to be well-tuned to avoid an abundance of false alarms.

Audio & navigation

The Bose stereo (standard on Grand Touring trim and above) delivers clear and powerful audio. And the audio and navigation interface is one of the best in the industry thanks to its sharp and well-placed screen, thoughtful menu structure, and a controller that's easy to learn and use.

Smartphone integration

Smartphones are easy to pair and quick to be recognized on startup. There are also plenty of USB ports to keep everyone's devices charged. Unfortunately Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available.

Driver aids

Advanced safety features such as forward collision warning and lane keeping assist are well-tuned to areas with heavy traffic. False alarms are rare, and the systems function as expected when needed.

Voice control

Voice recognition is accurate, and on-screen prompts simplify use. Using voice commands to enter an address is as easy as with any other system.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Mazda CX-9.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

New Car Performs
K M Rich,04/20/2017
I used to have a Volvo XC90 (for 10 years) but when it came time to replace, I needed to expand my horizons due to cost. A friend owns and loves the Mazda CX-9, so I took a test drive. My SO fell in love immediately. It took a little longer for me to come around, but for a turbo engine the car really moves. It has great styling (everyone around my office has complimented me) and the interior is beautifully crafted. The drivers seat is a little smaller than my previous SUV, and the actual cargo room is practically nil (without folding down the third row) but I love that the second row reclines and shifts in 2 pieces, making it very adaptable for my family. Gas mileage to date appears to be in range, although lower than I originally projected/anticipated. Overall I'm pleased with my purchase.
Graceful Mile Muncher
Steve Clark,03/20/2017
I recently got to spend a week driving the new 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature Edition. Initially I didn't have high hopes. You see, I'm a sports car guy. The CX-9 is an SUV and we all know how well SUV's handle, right? However, I decided to approach it with an open mind and hoped some redeeming quality would pique my interest. The exterior was surprisingly attractive - not your typical slab-sided SUV or "look-at-my-cray-cray-design" crossover. Instead, it was an elegantly styled SUV body with very artistic details. Overall, I'd call it "wind-sculpted." Throughout the week, I found myself looking at other SUV drivers with pity, wondering how they could stand driving those bland boxes when something this smart looking was available. And as much as I liked the exterior, the interior was even MORE attractive: black carpeting, auburn red leather seats, piano black panels, chrome bits for accent, and rosewood switch bezels on the doors. It has to be the most beautiful and inviting interior I've ever been in. It's the kind of interior that makes you want to stay just a bit longer. When I was informed that it only had a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, I immediately expected that it was going to be underpowered but Mazda's SkyActiv technology that they keep touting is evidently a real thing and not just a marketing ploy because the CX-9 never really felt underpowered to me. Sure, it wasn't going to win any drag races but it was quick to reach the speed limit and once at speed, it offered plenty of power for passing and overtaking. But what really amazed me and changed my mind about the CX-9 was the handling. After driving around for a few days, getting comfortable with it, I got a little bored and decided to push it a little down some backroads near my house that had a nice mix of curves and hills. Selecting "Sport" mode on the center console, I got kind of aggressive with it and drove it more like a sports car. And the CX-9 never batted an eye. It gracefully glided through the curves like no SUV I've ever driven. The engine and transmission were responsive to my driving style, helping me get the most out of the car, and when I needed to slow down fast, the anti-lock brakes did a superb job of controllably and confidently slowing it down. I've always known Mazda for the Miata, but it appears that even their more pedestrian people movers have that same sporting DNA that people who love to drive look for. On top of that, Mazda loaded the CX-9 with a raft of safety technology to keep you in your lane, warn you of blind spot drivers and cross traffic as you back up in parking lots, and many other things. When the week was up, I was thoroughly impressed with this vehicle and I know that if I ever need an SUV, Mazda will be the first (and probably ONLY) brand I look at. The only thing I could have wanted on the car would be paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. It would have made it even more fun to drive and a little less SUV-ish. Still, overall, it's a winner. Very nicely done, Mazda. Very nicely done.
Excellent machine
Ray B,09/25/2017
I’ve owned 2 Acura MDX’s and most recently a Hyundai Santa Fe and this car has them both beat. It’s packed with great technology. I wanted something with great handling and the CX9 fits the bill. It has great acceleration, steering and braking. It’s a fun driving car, super smooth and frisky.
The stealth machine
If you're after a quiet ride, this is it. As road surfaces continue to deteriorate, a quiet ride is difficult to achieve. With this vehicle Mazda has succeeded in achieving quiet. At 70mph on a lousy highway surface it's possible to have a normal conversation within the vehicle. That's what won me over. Six months later: on occasion the safety feature adaptive cruise control will "see" a hazard in the adjacent lane and go into an auto braking mode, which is totally unnecessary. Everything else is excellent, including achieving 28 MPG on the highway. This vehicle is infinitely superior to the Acura MDX it replaced.
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2017 Mazda CX-9 video

MARK TAKAHASHI: I'm Edmunds editor Mark Takahashi, and here's an expert rundown of the 2017 Mazda CX-9. Right off the bat, we'll say that the 2017 Mazda CX-9 is one of the best mid-sized SUVs you can buy today. On top of all the things you expect in the class, comfort, space, safety, and fuel efficiency, it delivers so much more. The obvious is the styling, which is far more eye catching than its more utilitarian rivals. Then there is the way it drives. With more engagement and a solid feel than anything else in this class. One area where the Mazda CX-9 doesn't lead the class, is in regard to cargo capacity. We still think there's plenty of space, and the flat load floor pays dividends, but many competitors will hold more. The second row seats will easily accommodate larger passengers, but the third row is better suited to kids, which is pretty typical anyway. Like the exterior, of the CX-9's cabin is very attractive. And if you spring for the top signature trim, it'll even flirt with entry level luxury class. This is even more evident with the excellent infotainment system. The 2017 Mazda CX-9 has one of the strongest bottom lines in this class. You get sleek style, an easy and sporty drive, and loads of comfort and refinement. Even with other strong choices like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Kia Sorento, the Mazda CX-9 rises to the top. If you'd like to see more Edmunds expert rundowns, hit subscribe.

2017 Mazda CX-9 Expert Rundown Review

Looking for a midsize SUV with sleek styling, a sporty drive and loads of comfort and refinement? The 2017 Mazda CX-9 might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.

Features & Specs

20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
227 hp @ 5000 rpm
20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
227 hp @ 5000 rpm
20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
227 hp @ 5000 rpm
22 city / 28 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
227 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all 2017 Mazda CX-9 features & specs


Our experts’ favorite CX-9 safety features:

Smart City Brake Support
Automatically applies emergency braking if a low-speed collision seems imminent. Designed for urban commutes, works at speeds below 20 mph.
Smart Brake Support
Automatically applies emergency braking if a collision seems imminent. Similar to Smart City Brake Support but activates at higher speeds.
Lane Keep Assist
Helps prevent unintentional drifting from the lane (due to driver inattention, etc.) by automatically steering car back to center of lane.
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

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More about the 2017 Mazda CX-9

Attractive inside and out, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 is more than just a pretty face — it's a generously sized, feature-laden SUV that actually elevates the typical three-row family shuttle with a quick and sporty driving character. Make no mistake: This is not a "sport" SUV like you might find from Infiniti, BMW or Audi, but instead a large car with Mazda's traditional emphasis on sporty driving baked in.

The 2017 CX-9 is offered in Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and Signature trim levels. The Sport covers the basics and then some, starting with the same robust turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission found on all CX-9 models, plus a 7-inch infotainment display screen, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and a rearview camera. An optional Sport package adds a power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats and heated door mirrors. The Sport is a fine deal if you just want big family transportation with minimal frills.

It's a big price jump up to the Touring model, but you do get more features for the money, including leather upholstery, a power liftgate, an 8-inch infotainment display and several advanced driver safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and low-speed automatic braking. A Touring Premium package adds a navigation system, a premium audio system, and rear parking sensors, among other items.

There's another healthy price jump to the Grand Touring model, which adds the optional Touring equipment along with adaptive ("bending") headlights, a sunroof, roof rails, upgraded interior trim and more driver safety features. If you like the peace of mind from the additional driver safety features or just want a touch more luxury (retractable sunshades for middle row passengers, anyone?), the Grand Touring is the way to go.

But if you want to go all-in on the luxury touches, the Signature is the only choice. It's the priciest of the bunch and rivals some European models for overall look and feel, for many thousands less than even those Euro base models. The Signature is where you'll find premium leather, rosewood interior trim, LED accent lighting inside and out, and standard all-wheel drive. You'll need to sit and test-drive one to decide if it's worth that much more than the Grand Touring, but if you typically like to max out on the details, the Signature is the way to go.

Compared to other three-row SUVs, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 sits in the middle to upper-middle area of the price range, but you do get a lot of bang for your buck and impressive fit and finish that really approaches the level of more expensive SUVs. When you're ready to take a closer look, let Edmunds help guide you to your perfect choice.

2017 Mazda CX-9 Overview

The 2017 Mazda CX-9 is offered in the following submodels: CX-9 SUV. Available styles include Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What do people think of the 2017 Mazda CX-9?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Mazda CX-9 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 CX-9 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 CX-9.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Mazda CX-9 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 CX-9 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

Which 2017 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) 2017 Mazda CX-9 for sale near. There are currently 1 new 2017 CX-9s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $43,210 and mileage as low as 20887 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Mazda CX-9.

Can't find a new 2017 Mazda CX-9s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Mazda CX-9 for sale - 3 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $12,950.

Find a new Mazda for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $19,786.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 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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