Have had the 2017 CX-9 Signature for a year with absolutely zero problems. I usually research a car carefully before I go to a dealer, but had to replace a flood loss on short notice. I drove the CX-9, bought it the same night, and have not looked back. For the combination of clever design, build quality, and price, it is an unbeatable value.
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.
2017 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
So I had two great cars. A 2017 Mazda 3,2.5 manual that was my daily driver, and a 2014 Audi A7 which was my travel car. My wife has a 2016 Audi Q5 so we had a little of everything. We are moving to a new home on a gravel road and I knew I needed something with a little more height than either of my cars. I really have never liked SUV's, I went and drove the Porsche Macan but it did not float my boat for the cost. I looked at the Volvo's as well as the new Chevy Transverse. All were nice but I really did not get excited about any. I actually really liked my wife's Q5, but wanted something just a bit larger, but not a Q7. So I popped into the Mazda dealership and had a look at the CX-9. After a long drive I started to think this might be a good option. I drove a few other brands including the new VW, and finally decided I wanted the Mazda. I have had the vehicle for about 4 months and think I can now give a fair review. OK I am kinda of a car guy I've owned a lot of different brands, but very few Japanese. I just always thought they felt a little cheap. Not horrible but I just preferred German. I have to say the Mazda feels very high quality. The material for the most part are on par with the Q5, the leather is very nice. Doors shut with a very nice sound. Ride and comfort are great, probably a little smoother than the Q5, not a A7, but at about 45% the cost, a darn nice car. I like the looks, and I like the size. It handles very well to be off the ground. I just drove it on a 900 mile trip and just for fun used premium fuel going up and regular coming home. MPG was within 1 mile, 27.5 with premium 26.5 regular. Really no drivers fatigue at all. What I find amazing is it had more safety features and gizmo's than my 2014 A7, and they all worked well. I like the auto dimming headlights and active cruise control. So whats not to like.....In a word the infotainment system. It is really bad, the voice recognition is horrible, much worse than my 2017 3, the navigation is a PIA. Mazda just announced it was adding Apple Car Play and I can tell you it is really needed. I have a 2016 Chevy Work Truck with Car Play and it is hands down much better than what Mazda is using. I only hope I am able to upgrade to this system as Mazda says it will be available. Also the other area that is not so great is the automatic climate control, so far when it is hot, it just blows the air conditioner on high continuously. I'll mention this when I take the car in for it's first service, it may be just a simple adjustment. Would I buy again, short answer yes, long answer only if I was guaranteed I could get Car Play, its really needed that badly IMO.
CX-9 handles as promised with great acceleration and stability. In dry weather, anyway. The tires that come standard are sub-standard for winter conditions and render the all-wheel drive feature almost meaningless. Exterior design is sleek and catches the eye. The interior is comfortable and thoughtfully laid-out. Good sight lines for the driver, but the entertainment system is overcomplicated and the lack of a CD option - even an after-market option - is a negative in my opinion. The biggest design flaw as far as the interior goes is that there almost no place in the front of the cabin to store anything, even change. There are two cup holders and a small, shallow armrest storage compartment. The glovebox would be small in an economy model. This is an SUV, not a car used only for short hops around town. It seems the engineers and design team were trying to hard to make the SUV seem like a sportscar on the inside. Failure.
This car is very nice. Two factors kept me from purchasing.......1) Engine was not very responsive. I'm not 100% satisfied with the performance of the v6 in my 2013 cx-9, the 4cyl turbo is worse. 2) The driver's seat does not have the capability to tilt the lower seat cushion that my 2013 does.