BY H. THROTTLE
I see more Mazda vehicles on the highways these days. The brand has been around for decades but is starting to reach the top in the auto industry. The Mazda C5 smaller SUV has received a top rating in the latest issue of Motor Trend. They say about the CX5, “The Mazda has no competition in aspect. It easily wins the “Look back over your shoulder and smile” contest. Lexus and Acura designers should take note of what suave elegance looks like.”
This review is about the big brother CX-9, the top-of-the-line big brother of the CX5.
The moment one sits in the spacious comfortable driver’s seat there is something special about this $42,540 seven-passenger SUV.
The design of the exterior is matched with the quality of the dash and interior of this pure Japanese masterpiece.
The 2.5L turbocharged engine delivers 227 horsepower with a sequential transmission that rarely needs to come out of the D mode into the sports mode with power to spare, and the engine delivers an overall 23 mpg for the larger seven seated all-wheel drive.
The CX9 just feels safe, powerful, comfortable and boasts a five-star overall safety rating. The larger vehicle rides on 20” alloy wheels and front and rear independent suspension along with front and rear stabilizer bars.
Many features add to the drive that includes heated front and second-row seats, a heated outside mirror and the steering wheel that was welcome with the recent cold Colorado weather.
The camera parking assist is really appreciated in parking in tight parking spots warning of close encounters. The door locks take a little getting used to and rear doors and trunk lid need special attention with the key fob. The rear trunk won’t open while the engine is engaged, and rear door locks remain locked for safety precautions until released.
The audio system takes effort with controls rather than simple dials to change channels, maybe just a bit cumbersome for driver’s attention. But, because of the many controls the car safety system goes to work to warn of forward objects and to prevent hitting a forward object. Also, lane change alerts if crossing a lane marking.
The new safety features on today’s vehicles are helping to prevent the many front-end accidents that happen from owner smartphone distractions.
This is a smart SUV that is done by Japanese craftsmen in Hiroshima, Japan who make these outstanding vehicles. The CX9 is a quality product that can compete with many higher priced SUVs.
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