2013 Mazda CX-9 Review

CX-9

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Trims

Grand Touring
Avg. Price: $30,725
Grand Touring AWD
Avg. Price: $31,741
Sport
Avg. Price: $24,781
Sport AWD
Avg. Price: $26,328
Touring
Avg. Price: $23,924
Touring AWD
Avg. Price: $25,909

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2013 Mazda CX-9 Overview

2013 Mazda CX-9

Mazda's fun version of Ford's Edge enters 2013 looking much more like a Mazda, but filled to the brim with high-tech features more fitting Ford's reputation. Debuting for 2007 technically means the 7-passenger CX-9 is due for a total redesign, but this award-winning combination needs only perfection in its manufacturing consistency, according to drivers. Aside from a couple of apparently defective constructions, CX-9 owners are beyond pleased with their Zoom-Zoom people-hauling crossover.

Receiving high accolades from professional reviewers and owners alike since its debut, the CX-9 won Truck of the Year just after its debut, and Mazda wisely sees no reason to drastically change anything. Instead the CX-9 gets a sexy and distinctly Mazda skin for 2013, along with the company's new infotainment system, featuring a 5.8-inch color touchscreen display, updated Bluetooth connectivity, TomTom-based navigation, HD radio, Pandora and even audio texting. Being a refresh rather than a redesign for 2013, the CX-9 doesn't get a chance at the Mazda5's innovative doors and class-leading ease of third-row access, but even if those are never destined for the CX-9, it will surely still be a favorite for the modern family needing the extra seat not provided by the Mazda5.

Instead of the Mazda5's sliding doors and clear hall through to the rear with mixed captain's chairs and bench seating for 6, the CX-9 offers oversize rear doors and a sliding-and-reclining second-row bench. Those doors can make crowded parking lots a bit of a tricky family destination, but anything you need to fit in the trunk is a breeze with the optionally powered rear liftgate and 17.2 cubic feet available with all seats in place—about 2 feet more than your average sedan. Folding down every passenger seat opens up a cavernous 101 cubic feet, but even that isn't even the CX-9's most attractive feature.

Above all else, drivers love how the CX-9 sticks to its Mazda reputation—and the road. The CX-9 is a true "Zoom-Zoom" despite being built on Ford's Edge platform, thanks to the company's specialized suspension and driving dynamics. Add to that available all-wheel drive (AWD) across the entire line if you need more traction than the default front-wheel drive's (FWD), a 3.7-liter V6 good for 273 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque that's capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds and a 0-60-mph time between 7.4 (FWD) and 8.5 seconds (AWD), and the pudding stands tall with all the proof it needs. The CX-9 is a real crowd pleaser, and with 7 seats to offer, consuming 17 mpg city/24 highway (FWD) or 16/22 (AWD) in the process, that crowd doesn't need to sit at the curb.

Offered in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims with a 6-speed shiftable automatic regardless of drivetrain or trim, the CX-9 affords a relatively rich interior for its price and high-end features like 18-inch alloy wheels, tri-zone automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, CD player, auxiliary jack and the new infotainment system from its baseline. The Touring adds automatic headlights, leather upholstery and heated front seats and mirrors. The top-shelf Grand Touring nets features like bigger wheels, xenon headlights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition, driver's-seat memory, wood interior accents, an auto-dimming rear-view and even a blind-spot warning system. Several of the Grand Touring's features are available separately, and buyers anywhere in the lineup have access to the CX-9's complete and varied array of available cameras, gadgets and powered conveniences.

Updated

Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.

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