2015 Mazda CX-9 Review

CX-9

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2015 Mazda CX-9 Overview

Capable and roomy, the 2015 Mazda CX-9 midsize crossover offers a low-cost alternative to the hulking body-on-frame sport ute in this era of downsized utility. This popular CUV also boasts seating for up to 7 in 3 rows, with cargo space returning at an impressive 100.7 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded. Unfortunately, the CX-9 continues to go up against some heavy-duty rivals like Honda’s loaded-up Pilot, Chevy’s hefty Traverse, Dodge’s reworked Durango and Ford’s nifty Explorer, each of which matches or beats the CX-9 in nearly all categories except, perhaps, value.

Nevertheless, this sizable Mazda mini-ute remains offered in 3 trims, the base Sport, the midlevel Touring and the top-shelf Grand Touring. All trims are delivered with standard front-wheel drive (FWD), but again, each is eligible for available full-time all-wheel drive (AWD).

No significant changes are evident for the upcoming model year, so look for the peppy 3.7-liter V6 powerplant to return at the heart of the 2015 CX-9 lineup. Mated with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, this tried-and-true 6-cylinder throws down 273 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque while offering 3,500 pounds of towing grunt. Mileage estimates, however, remain a rather tepid 17 mpg city/24 highway in FWD iterations and 16/22 in AWD versions.

As for standard features, depending on the selected trim, the 2015 CX-9 again offers 17- or 20-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and auxiliary transmission fluid cooling. Full power accessories remain standard across the CX-9 spectrum, along with cloth or leather upholstery and reclining second-row seats. Cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering are also once again standard, as are tri-zone auto climate control and Bluetooth hands-free calling. Entertainment, meantime, is offered via a single-CD player with 6 speakers and a USB port.

Higher trims, by the way, add standard goodies like heated power-adjustable front seats, rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, remote garage door opener and reverse-tilt outside mirrors.

Lower trims again remain eligible for many items that come standard in higher trims as optional equipment, while a tow hitch and wiring, remote engine start, roof rails and a pair of Bose Premium audio systems boasting 10 or 11 speakers also remain available to select trims. The Touring Technology Package, meanwhile, is offered to the Touring and Grand Touring trims and features satellite radio, a power moonroof, a power liftgate and hard-drive-based navigation.

Finally, standard safety equipment aboard each 2015 CX-9 variation includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), front side-mounted airbags and head airbags for all three rows. The Grand Touring trim, additionally, comes with standard high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, daytime running lights and turn-signal-integrated mirrors, while a remote antitheft alarm is optional lineup-wide.

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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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