2014 Mazda CX-9 Review


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2014 Mazda CX-9 Overview

Perhaps a little too swoopy for some, the 2014 Mazda CX-9 large crossover nevertheless carries 7 folks comfortably in 3 rows of seating and sports a good number of standard creature comforts, especially in the higher trims. It also boasts available full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) that will amaze and delight with its surprising agility. Add to that some 100.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, and you’ve got a capable, roomy and handsome commuter car, mall-hopper or long-haul tripper that won’t break the bank.

Designed to compete with the Ford Flex, Hyundai’s peppy Santa Fe and Chevy’s Traverse, the curvy CX-9 comes in 3 trims: the base Sport, the midlevel Touring and the flagship Grand Touring. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard, but the optional AWD system allows some fancy cornering moves on dry pavement and remains ready to shift torque automatically from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip on slippery roadways. Changes for this year, meantime, should include a few added exterior color choices, updated wheels and, in the Touring and Grand Touring trims, a standard rear cross-traffic alert.

As mentioned, the adult-compatible third-row seat returns lineup-wide for 2014, while the entry-level Sport trim should additionally offer 18-inch reworked alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and power-adjustable outside mirrors. Also in this starter trim come standard cloth upholstery, reclining second-row seats, cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, full power accessories, front and rear floor mats, tri-zone climate control, and leather, simulated alloy and chrome cabin trim décor. Expect Bluetooth hands-free calling to return for the 2014 CX-9 Sport, as well as a single-CD player with 6 speakers and a USB port.

Move on up to the midlevel Touring trim and look for such standard add-ons as leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, heated outside mirrors, rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera.

The Grand Touring, meantime, tops things off by throwing in standard 20-inch alloy wheels, a power rear liftgate, reverse-tilt outside mirrors, a remote garage door opener, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, simulated wood cabin accents and memory for driver's settings.

All trims are expected to remain eligible for such standalone options as remote engine start, chrome roof rails, satellite radio and Pandora radio connectivity. The Touring trim, furthermore, can be equipped with the optional Touring Technology Package, boasting a power sunroof, 10-speaker Bose premium audio, navigation and front fog/driving lights plus a few added features that come standard in the Grand Touring and are deleted from the similar GT Touring Package. However, unique to the Grand Touring is a rear-seat DVD entertainment system that throws in an upgraded Bose stereo boasting 11 premium Surround Sound speakers.

Coming to the heart of the matter, expect all 2014 CX-9 trims to once again be powered by a variable-valve-timed (VVT) 3.7-liter V6 engine that mates with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission for 273 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Towing, with a dealer-installed hitch and wiring, is maxed out at 2,000 pounds in this crafted crossover, while mileage is estimated once again at 17 mpg city/24 highway in RWD versions and 16/22 in AWD-equipped editions.

Finally, standard safety equipment throughout the lineup is expected to include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, 3-row head airbags and front side-mounted airbags. The Touring and Grand Touring trims should return with standard blind-spot monitoring and the brand new rear cross-traffic alert system, while the Grand Touring will doubtless flaunt once again standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors, high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, LED daytime running lights and a remote antitheft alarm.


Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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