2017 Mazda CX-9 Review

Pros & Cons

  • 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
List Price Range
$21,997 - $28,675

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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.

Notably, we picked the Mazda CX-9 as one of Edmunds' Best Used SUVs for 2017.

What's it like to live with?

To learn more about the Mazda CX-9 of this generation, read about our editors' experiences from a full year and 20,000 miles of driving a 2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring. We cover everything from seat comfort to real-world fuel economy. We found the CX-9 to be one of the most fun and best-looking SUVs around, but its cargo space might not be enough for some shoppers.

2017 Mazda CX-9 models

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).

Driving

4.5
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.

Acceleration

4.0
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.

Braking

4.5
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.

Steering

5.0
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.

Handling

4.0
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.

Drivability

5.0
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.

Comfort

4.0
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

4.0
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

4.0
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

5.0
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

2.5
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.

Interior

5.0
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

5.0
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

4.0
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

5.0
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.

Roominess

4.0
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.

Visibility

3.5
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.

Quality

5.0
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.

Utility

3.5
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

4.0
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

3.0
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

3.0
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.

Technology

5.0
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

5.0
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

4.0
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

5.0
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

4.0
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.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall4.5 / 5
Driving4.5
Comfort4.0
Interior5.0
Utility3.5
Technology5.0

Consumer reviews

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

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

New Car Performs
K M Rich,04/20/2017
Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
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,03/21/2017
Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
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
Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
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
Len,05/14/2018
Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
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.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2017 Mazda CX-9 features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the CX-9 models:

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
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Mazda CX-9

Used 2017 Mazda CX-9 Overview

The Used 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's a good price on a Used 2017 Mazda CX-9?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Mazda CX-9 trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Mazda CX-9 Touring is priced between $24,488 and$27,486 with odometer readings between 15207 and48990 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring is priced between $25,877 and$28,675 with odometer readings between 27246 and43697 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Mazda CX-9 Sport is priced between $21,997 and$23,400 with odometer readings between 24885 and27811 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature is priced between $25,483 and$25,483 with odometer readings between 61051 and61051 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 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 23 used and CPO 2017 CX-9s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $21,997 and mileage as low as 15207 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2017 Mazda CX-9.

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

Find a used Mazda CX-9 for sale - 9 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $18,679.

Find a used Mazda for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $16,809.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda CX-9 for sale - 1 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $17,027.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda for sale - 9 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $16,030.

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.

Check out Mazda lease specials
Check out Mazda CX-9 lease specials