2019 Mazda CX-9 Review
2019 Mazda CX-9 Review
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Used CX-9 for sale
|List Price Range:||$24,995 - $33,998|
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Mark Takahashi has worked in the automotive industry since 2001. He has written thousands of car-related articles and tested and reviewed hundreds of vehicles over the course of his career. Mark has also contributed to Motor Trend, Auto Aficionado, Chevy High Performance and several motorcycle magazines in various roles. Mark is also a juror on the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards and can be seen regularly on the Edmunds YouTube channel and sometimes representing the company in media interviews.
- Premium interior, especially the top-level Signature trim
- Sporty handling
- Comfortable and quiet on the highway
- Cargo capacity isn't as generous as in competitors
- Third-row seats aren't especially accommodating
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are newly available
- Retuned suspension for a smoother ride
- New surround-view parking camera system
- Part of the second CX-9 generation introduced for 2016
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 is one of the highest-rated vehicles on Edmunds. On a rather superficial level, we like it for its styling that makes rival midsize SUVs seem generic by comparison. The same holds true for the interior of the top Signature trim, which rivals the cabins of some luxury-branded vehicles for materials quality.
2019 CX-9 Highlights
- Combined MPG
- 24 MPG
- Cost to Drive
- 7 seats
- front wheel drive
- Engine Type
- 3 years / 36,000 miles
It's not all about looks for the CX-9 either. It drives exceptionally well compared to rivals, with confident and almost sporty handling. Thankfully, this cornering prowess doesn't come at the expense of comfort, as the CX-9 smooths over the rough stuff with ease. We also commend it for its quiet cabin at highway speeds.
The CX-9 does have a few weaknesses, though. If you need a three-row family hauler with exceptional cargo space, this isn't the vehicle for you. The same goes for the amount of room for third-row passengers. Still, it's fair to say that the CX-9 is still big enough to meet the needs of the typical crossover SUV shopper.
In the end, the 2019 Mazda CX-9's positive attributes far outweigh its space issues. It's definitely worth considering against any other midsize three-row SUV such as the Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent and Volkswagen Atlas.
Notably, we picked the 2019 Mazda CX-9 as one of Edmunds' Best Family SUVs, Best Midsize SUVs, and Best Gas Mileage SUVs for this year.
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. Note that the 2019 Mazda CX-9 differs from our long-term 2016 CX-9 in that it offers more standard features and a retuned suspension. It's the same generation, though, so most of our observations still apply.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.9 / 10
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of a Mazda CX-9 Signature (turbo 2.5L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2016, the CX-9 has received some minor revisions. Our findings remain applicable to this year's model, however.
|Overall||7.9 / 10|
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. In our tests, a 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. As a result, the CX-9 is quite controllable in panic-stop tests. Our test vehicle needed 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. It maintains a good sense of connection with the driver, and the steering effort builds nicely as it bends into corners. Excellent among SUVs and better than some sedans.
The CX-9 feels eager and nimble on mountain roads. You might notice a bit of body roll in long corners because of the CX-9's relatively high 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. The 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.
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.
Previous 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-size lumps and bumps.
Noise & vibration9.0
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.)
On hot days our CX-9's automatic climate control struggled to keep the cabin as cool as we would have liked.
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 use9.0
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 sight line, response is quick and the menus are intuitive.
Getting in/getting out8.0
Access to the front and middle-row seats is easy thanks to tall openings and no obstructions. In tight spots, the relatively short doors can open wide so you don't have to squeeze in. Access to the third row does require a short but inelegant crawl.
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 the 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 prevent claustrophobia, but a low cushion and tight headroom make it best suited for kids and smaller adults.
Visibility out the front and sides is generous, 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.
You'll find numerous interior storage cubbies for your personal items. The door pockets are a healthy size and have indents that hold large water bottles.
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, the CX-9 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 aids it offers seem to be well-tuned to prevent false alarms.
Audio & navigation8.0
The Bose stereo (standard on the 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.
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. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a new addition for the 2019 model year, too.
Advanced safety features such as forward collision warning and lane keeping assist are well-tuned to areas with heavy traffic. False alarms are rare, yet the systems function as expected when needed.
Voice recognition is accurate, and the on-screen prompts simplify use. Using voice commands to enter an address is as easy as with any other system.
Which CX-9 does Edmunds recommend?
The Touring trim has been our go-to choice in the past. The addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto this year makes an even stronger case in this trim's favor. Now that you can use your smartphone for navigation, there's less of a reason to spring for the optional Touring package that we used to recommend.
2019 Mazda CX-9 models
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 is a three-row crossover SUV that seats seven passengers. It's available in Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and Signature trim levels. All CX-9s are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 227 horsepower (or 250 hp with premium fuel) and 310 pound-feet of torque. It's 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, LED headlights, tri-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 60/40-split folding second-row seats, 50/50-split folding third-row seats, Bluetooth, Mazda's Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch display, two USB ports and a six-speaker sound system. Also included is blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a low-speed automatic emergency braking system useful in urban and congested traffic.
The Touring trim adds to the Sport's features with automatic headlights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a universal garage door opener, heated front seats, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, an 8-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and two USB ports in the second-row center armrest.
The Touring also adds more safety features, including automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and enhanced automatic emergency braking.
The Grand Touring trim further dresses things up with 20-inch wheels, adaptive headlights, LED foglights, roof rails, a sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view camera system, a head-up display with traffic sign recognition, a digital gauge cluster, driver-seat memory functions, ventilated front seats, retractable sunshades for the middle-row seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, 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, which adds all-wheel drive, exterior LED accent lighting, and premium leather upholstery and interior trim.
Some of the features on higher trims are available on supporting models as options.
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Read what other owners think about the Used 2019 Mazda CX-9.
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
The automotive press loves the CX-9, here’s why…
Tom D, 04/17/2019
2019 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
The CX-9 is smaller than most vehicles in this segment but since I’m the only occupant 98% of the time it meets my needs. It’s arguably the best looking in terms of design and has the most luxurious interior of any other crossover in its class avoiding the excess of cheap plastic so common in other rides. The leather is superb, there’s real aluminum trim on the doors and dash, the … knobs for the infotainment system are beautifully machined aluminum that you’d expect to see in German import costing thousands more. I was reluctant to move from a V6 to a turbo 4 cylinder but Mazda’s tuned this engine to perform and you’ll never notice the difference thanks to bountiful torque. You’d hope for better mileage but my experience in mixed driving so far is about 22-25 mpg. The chassis and suspension deliver exceptional handling and a quiet ride overall. Most autos today in the upper level trim include a suite of safety features which depending on the maker can be intrusive but not the Mazda. Lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise, reactive braking, blind spot monitoring, etc. are engaging and actually help you drive more safely rather than annoy you. The controversial engine start/stop alleged fuel saving feature is NOT found on the CX-9. The head’s up display is outstanding providing speed, speed limit info, safety suite feedback, and turn-by-turn directions from the nav system (unless you’re using Android Auto or Apple Car play for navigation). A 12 speaker Bose stereo is better than any factory system I’ve experienced in years. It’s not all perfect; the front cockpit is a little snug (more like a sports car than a SUV/mini-van), the front seats could have more adjustment and longer cushions for better thigh support (not a problem for me but taller drivers might notice), third row seating is a penalty box for other than small children (I just folded them down and expanded my cargo capacity), and interior cabin storage is very meager. The HVAC seems a little slow to heat/cool the interior but acceptable (the ventilated cooled seats do work very well), and the infotainment/nav is kind of clunky to use, looks dated in appearance (your opinion will depend on what your last car was), and is quite slow to boot up. I’ve never had a 360 degree camera so the Mazda’s is a useful novelty but as others have noted the resolution is poor which is surprising given how far miniature camera tech has advanced the past few years. The piano black trim around the shifter and door window switches is so fragile it will scratch just looking at it. Finally, if you’re into physical media the CX-9 does not offer a CD player available. Overall after a month of ownership I am enjoying my new Mazda and recommend it to those who need a crossover/SUV with more room than the 2-row models, but will rarely if ever need to put passengers in the very back. I researched mid-sized 3-row crossovers for over a year before making this purchase and highly recommend anyone shopping for any new vehicle spend a lot of time studying owner’s forums to get the straight scoop on potential problem areas. The Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring (FWD) beat out the Toyota Highlander Limited Platinum and Honda Pilot Touring in my evaluation. One Year Update: I've owned my CX-9 GT for just over a year now and it's been a trouble free pleasure to own. I've had no difficulties with this SUV and have a little over than 7K miles on it. Rides and handles great and the performance from the 4 cylinder turbo engine is brisk. My only annoyance is the sluggish boot up of the infotainment system; occasionally it won't load all of the Sirius/XM stations. Mileage on mostly rural backroads and highways is 22-24 MPG. 2 YEAR UPDATE: I'm starting on my 3rd year of ownership of the 2019 CX-9 GT with FWD and as I'm retired and with reduced activity in 2020 due to Covid only have 11,000 miles on the odometer. So far it's been a great vehicle, comfortable and sporty to drive for an SUV. Maintenance has thus far been routine oil/filter changes. The only thing I've had an issue with are the automatic folding side mirrors. Sometimes when the car is unlocked and the mirrors are fully deployed when I open the door they will either close completely or start to close then reopen. They never do this when the car is running or I'm driving, just when parked and the engine is off. There is a TSB about the auto folding mirrors which my VIN is covered under but the dealership couldn't reproduce the problem and couldn't find anything wrong. Other than that it's been a good experience. 3 YEAR UPDATE: I'm a little over 15K miles on my CX-9 and it continues to perform just fine. On the last routine service I had the original battery checked and it failed; the dealership replaced it under warranty. I'm still on the OEM tires. Mileage this past winter has varied from 22-25 MPG which is as good as I get. One red flag for potential pre-owned buyers is that on the Mazda 24/7 owners forum I'm following an ongoing thread about issues with this generation CX-9 with the turbo 4-cyl. Some owners are having coolant leaks due to an engine defect which requires a major repair and in some cases an entire new engine. It seems earlier model years or those with higher mileage are involved but I'm monitoring this situation closely. Caveat emptor.
5 out of 5 stars
2019 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Just picked it up after owning a cx5 for a year. Where I felt the cx5 lacked, the cx9 picks up the slack in refinement and luxury. It is truly a joy to drive. Styling inside and out is well thought out and outside of the same old same old in mid sized suv’s. The addition of the ventilated front seats is what I was waiting for. Apple car play is another plus. This car is a head turner. My … only wish is that the driver seat had a couple inches more in width for us big fellas!
5 out of 5 stars
Undercover Luxury SUV
Leroy Johnson, 11/02/2018
2019 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I love my new 2019 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring trim SUV. The interior is on par with luxury brand SUVs. I looked at the Acura RDX and MDX and couldn’t justify paying the extra money for a vehicle with comparable equipment for 10K more. The ride is very quiet with very little if any road noise. My 2016 RDX had much more road noise. The handling is impressive but the ride is a little … stiffer than my Acura. I think that is due to the fact Mazda concentrates on handling first then comfort. The ride is still very comfortable and bumps are absorbed nicely. The heads up display is my favorite feature. You literally never have to take your eyes off the road with all the information displayed on the heads up display. The sign recognition is awesome. The overall styling (which is very subjective) is very classy and compares to more expensive SUV with fit and finish. Power is adequate but nothing to brag about. If speed is important than there are probably better choices. I personally like the overall balance between the ride, handling, quiet Interior, power, and styling (inside and out). The Mazda CX-9 is a great SUV with plenty of room for most and all the bells and whistles most luxury SUVs in higher trim level posses. If you want to spend the money for a luxury brand name go for it. If you want the most value for your money and still get all the bells and whistles, then you can’t beat the CX-9.
5 out of 5 stars
Love at first drive. Long term affair
Mike Knibbs, 06/06/2019
2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I’d owned a grand Cherokee (nice power, ok ride, poor fuel, poor seats) and a Yukon (great utility, good power, blah driving, aweful gas mileage). Test drove Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer). Dismissed Volvo and Audi on cost and reliability. No opinion of Mazda till I drove it. Instant smiles. Now, a year or so in. I still smile. The torque is delightful. Like a diesel without … clatter and smoke. It pulls, it has superb throttle response in traffic and really nice midrange response. It does not like being pushed hard. It gets a little buzzy or rorty. Nothing really objectionable but it’s not throaty like a good V8 or rev you like a good v4 or straight 6. But it’s damn good. Seats are good but not class leading. But I regularly drive from San Francisco to Bandon, Oregon (8 or 9 hours) and get out with no fatigue. That’s a combo of ride, quiet and seat comfort. Would buy again without hesitation.
More about the 2019 Mazda CX-9
Used 2019 Mazda CX-9 Overview
The Used 2019 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), Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A). Pre-owned Mazda CX-9 models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 227 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2019 Mazda CX-9 comes with all wheel drive, and front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2019 Mazda CX-9?
Price comparisons for Used 2019 Mazda CX-9 trim styles:
- The Used 2019 Mazda CX-9 Touring is priced between $24,995 and$31,998 with odometer readings between 13920 and44999 miles.
- The Used 2019 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring is priced between $28,885 and$33,998 with odometer readings between 17002 and44559 miles.
- The Used 2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature is priced between $31,998 and$32,998 with odometer readings between 29651 and50432 miles.
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Which used 2019 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) 2019 Mazda CX-9 for sale near. There are currently 30 used and CPO 2019 CX-9S listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $24,995 and mileage as low as 13920 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 2019 Mazda CX-9.
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Should I lease or buy a 2019 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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