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2008 Mazda CX-9

unixxusunixxus Posts: 97
Comments, questions and reviews on the 2008 CX-9.
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Comments

  • cross posted from 2007 CX9 forum:

    For anyone that is considering buying, please note that overall I love this vehicle, and have said as much in a couple of other forums here. This is more an addendum to those other mini reviews after I have owned the vehicle for several months now.

    So the fact that I am posting some negative issues should not really sway anyone since out of all the models I looked at and considered, the CX9 still won out - i.e. every vehicle has flaws and negatives to go with the good stuff of course (and I would buy it again today if that helps).

    I have the 08 CX9 GT, FWD with all the goodies.

    Interior space:

    Space has not yet been an issue, and my wife's aunt and brother are visiting our house for more than 2 weeks, so it has been tested multiple times, and vigorously in this dept.

    We have EASILY packed the following into the CX9 (at the same time):
    Mom
    Dad
    Uncle (3rd row)
    Aunt (center 2nd row)
    3 yr old in booster (2nd row)
    6 mos old in carseat (2nd row)
    85lb dog in back
    stroller

    Now granted, there was not much room for anything else, but the entry and exit times for all those beings/things was pretty impressive imo.

    This is exactly why I bought the vehicle, and was pleased to find out that it delivered on that front.

    Now if I had those two extra adults to fit on a daily or even continual basis, I would have bought a minivan, no question, but this was a once a year, maybe once every 2 yrs thing, so no big deal.

    DRIVING:

    Continues to impress. Handling is superb for a vehicle this size. Acceleration is decent. Transmission is butter smooth.

    I have been wavering about the ride though. At first I posted a comment about how I thought people who decried the 20" wheels ride as too rough were being overly sensitive, but I can see the point now after some time.

    Let's just say, in hindsight, if I had had a choice to choose the GT model with 18" wheels instead of 20" I would have done so. Not only because I imagine the cost to replace those things will be insane, but also for ride comfort of passengers. It is very European, in that you definitely feel the road more, which has positives and negatives. You get better feedback when driving, but you also get "feedback" when you hit a pothole. I will say when you do encounter a pothole, it recovers VERY quickly, but there is a pretty big jolt probably due to the low profile of the tires.

    Road noise. Not as quiet as I had hoped on the interstate. More wind noise than anything else, as the cabin itself seems pretty well insulated. But like my Passat wagon, when you hit cruising speeds on the interstate, the wind hitting (side view mirror is what it sounds like) obstructions can really start to whistle. But again, this IS a Mazda, and not a Lexus, so there ya go (though they are pricing this model like it was a Lexus!) Not really a big issue or a dealbreaker at all, just a note.

    FIT/FINISH:

    The floor mats are the worst I have ever seen in any car I have bought. Just awful. I would probably go ahead and plan to buy some 3rd party (like Weathertech) or even Mazda's own all weather mats, even if you don't live in a climate that needs that, because the default ones are sooooo cheap looking - they are so lightweight and cheap that mine are already starting to pull off the floor at some of the corners. Real shoddy, Mazda, does not at all go with high quality material used in the rest of the cabin.

    OPTIONS:

    Sound:
    I have barked about this already, but I am even more down on the sound system than I was previously. The Bose system they have with the "premium" audio package (I got the RSE) is pure crap, no other way to put it. Not sure if it's the head unit or the speakers, (I think the unit), but normal CD's (even after I have spent MUCH time tweaking audio settings) sounds just terrible. Overly boomy bass, NO mid range, ack. I can't say enough about how disappointed I am considering the extra cost.

    OTOH, the sound of the DVD system is phenomenol. Surround is incredible and believable, so I tried some CD's in the DVD player and it seems to be somewhat better (because I have more options I think, to tweak). Still testing this.

    Video on DVD is mediocre at best.

    Have not tested headphones that come with it yet.

    Locking/opening:

    This still baffles me. Not sure why, but after many months, I still can't seem to get "the system" (and yes I have read the ENTIRE manual). The memory seats only work if you click the LOCK button on the remote entry key. If you use the button on the door, this does NOT work, so it kinda defeats the purpose of a keycard (not having to pull out the card when you want to open or start car).

    I just think the whole system could be better, or better integrated at least.

    Maybe I will try having the dealer reprogram to do the auto locking and unlocking thing. that would probably help out (it's off by default).

    Mileage:

    Wow, it's horrible! I mean, maybe not relatively, but for us, coming from 2 VW's (4 cylinder Passat and even a V6 GTI) we have to fill up the tank ALL the time. Not so much concerned about that as I wish they would have used a larger tank...just a pain to have to constantly stop for gas.

    Climate control works great.

    Bluetooth works great

    Nav system itself is awful RELATIVE to personal units you can buy like Garmin, but will get you where you want to go (if you have a specific address). I would consider the NAV as just the MOST basic GPS you could find on the market - i.e it does the bare minimum (which is really all I need, so not really that much of a complaint from me)

    It is not friendly to use, the interface is plain bad, the graphics are worse (though if you are just listening this should not be a problem). They should completely overhaul the NAV for 09 imo.

    Love the adjustable headlights.

    Love the quality of the leather.

    Love the overall look, except for the chrome, which is completely cheesy imo (which is why I got a platinum one which contrasts with the chrome the least, so much less noticeable than say on the blue). That is completely subjective though, some probably like chrome everything.

    Rearview camera - I use it a LOT more than I thought I would. Glad to have it.

    Power liftgate: I thought I would use this a LOT more...but I find myself almost never using it. Maybe the wife does, not sure.

    I guess if you have a hand free to be able to click on the keycard to close it remotely, or even able to reach up and push the button on the gate itself, you are probably able to just close it with your hand! Not sure why I thought this would be such a great feature, but again, my 5ft tall wife may beg to differ on that point.

    Oh, I also had to take it in to dealer because it was pulling to left pretty severely on the interstate.

    Overall impression after several months (1-10 scale): 8.5
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    I am in the process of ordering a CX-9, however I would like to have further information in 3 points:

    (1)- Is it the AWD in the CX-9 an option or I have to pay for it?
    (2)- Can I order a CX-9 Grand Touring with tyres 245/60R18 instead of 245/50R20? I do not think it will cause any problem with the electronic of the car (e.g. speedo, ABS, stability control, etc). The problem is that the only way to have the car with HID lights and mirrors with integrated LED turn signal is the Grand Touring model. This car however is sold with 20 inches wheels.

    (3)- Will the dealer reimburse me the difference in price of these two tyres and wheels. A 20 inches wheel cost more than a 18 inches tyres/wheels.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    1)- Is it the AWD in the CX-9 an option or I have to pay for it?

    You can either order an AWD or FWD CX-9. I believe the price difference is around $1,200.

    (2)- Can I order a CX-9 Grand Touring with tyres 245/60R18 instead of 245/50R20? I do not think it will cause any problem with the electronic of the car (e.g. speedo, ABS, stability control, etc). The problem is that the only way to have the car with HID lights and mirrors with integrated LED turn signal is the Grand Touring model. This car however is sold with 20 inches wheels.

    The GT only comes with 20" wheels You would have to buy the 18"'s seperately.

    (3)- Will the dealer reimburse me the difference in price of these two tyres and wheels. A 20 inches wheel cost more than a 18 inches tyres/wheels.

    Most likely no. It is not the dealer making you purchase the GT. You choose to, therefore you will also have to choose to pay for the 18"'s on your own. They are mega bucks, I do not suppose a dealer would loose such money just to make a customer.
  • I'm buying a 2008 GT FWD, and my dealer has agreed to swap my 20" tires with the 18" tires from a Sport or Touring model at no charge. I realize I'm trading more expensive rims for less expensive ones, but from everything I've heard (and from my test drives), I'm happy that the dealer is doing it.
  • Thinking about purchasing the 2008 GT w/ rear seat ent pkg. I've never had a dvd player in my car before, when playing movies will we still be able to listen to the radio? Or does the dvd take over all the speakers? Thanks!
  • With the RSES system, you will still be able to listen to the radio or CDs as long as the rear seat passengers use the headphones to listen to the movie soundtracks. We do this all the time so our daughter can watch and listen to her movies while my wife and I listen to the radio or CDs. However, if for some reason you want to listen to the DVD soundtrack, you can switch to RSES mode on the option screen. Also, the DVD player can play music CDs, so if the rear seat passengers want to listen to music instead of watching a movie, they can do that too via the headphones.
  • Thank you for the info, very helpful! Not sure if our 2 yr old will actually wear the headphones to watch a movie but I think we'll still get the RSES.
  • BSMS just showing up in CX-9 models, only $200.
    Know tha Volvo also has this but need the opinion of someone driving now a CX-9 with it.
    Does it work properly? many false alarma whe a vehicle is close?

    Also questiona bout the NAV, screen has to flip for every music CD entry or removal now how long it will take for this to break or get stuck, anybody having problems with Navi and frequent Music CD use?
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    The active split all-wheel drive is an option in the CX-9 brochure. Does the price MSRP $34,655 include this option or the dealer will ask me to pay another $1,000, for example to have this option on?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    $34,655 is the MSRP of the Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD, less any additional options, less $635 destination, and less any local, state, or dealer charges.
  • c_bagc_bag Posts: 3
    I purchased a 08 CX-9 GT AWD the day before Thanksgiving, and have been driving the vehicle and noting the performance of the BSMS, and I would have to say that it's dead on, there are instances where the system can be a little cautious, but I'd rather it be proactive than not at all. The system hasn't thrown out any false alerts, additionally the BSMS is an option that can be deactivated via the button below the steering wheel to the left. I don't have the Nav option maybe someone else can answer that question for u. I will say one note about the integreted NAV system. The factory install Nav systems are predominately used for more than just NAV, many of these system are imbedded into the cars functionality ie, audio/visual controls, vehicle monitoring of convenience and critical functions, and many other functions. The problem with this is if that Nav display or the unit itself gets damaged then it places you at an expensive disadvantage, and you will be flying blind not having access to those functions controlled by the navigation system.
  • does anyone know currently the reliability and resale issue of the Mazda CX-9?
    I love the drive of the car and wish to purchase it but am concerned about consumer reports note about reliability and poor resale.
    Did Mazda fix the sound system issue, Navi issue & long stopping distance on the 2008? and what is the resale of these cars?

    is there a new model coming out in 2009 also, and if so, will this be much different and when will it come out?

    love the car but don't want to buy something with a big headache. have a 2001 MB ML430 right now and have had nightmare repair issues. can't afford time nor money of another dud car.

    please advise, hoping to decide by 1/2/08 for the 0% interest rate
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    When it comes to braking distances, I'd rather look at magazines that do comparisons, since these tend to be on the same day/same conditions. So on Motor Trend, when they compared the 2007 CX-9 to the MDX and the Acadia, here were the numbers: (from 60 to 0 mph):

    MDX: 121 feet
    CX-9: 123 feet
    Acadia: 138 feet

    As far as reliability, truedelta.com is another useful source where owners have reported in on issues. Out of 100 vehicles, the 2007 CX-9 had 54 trips to the shop, the Acadia had 98, and the MDX had 48. So the Acadia was problem-prone in its first year, and the CX-9 was average.

    If you look at the CR reliability data, you'll see that the CX-9 mostly gets full red circles (good), while the Acadia/Outlook get plenty of half circles (average). The CX-9 had only one black circle for Audio Systems, and that seems to drive the low reliability? I believe the issue here is the way CR weighs the black circles.

    In any case, the audio system in the CX-9 is a bit funky. The voice-recognition on the NAV can be spotty, and you need a dealer-installed adapter if you want to run an iPOD on a satellite-radio equipped system (why couldn't they build it into the stereo system?) Apart from that, people seem to like the way the stereo sounds.

    Resale value? Not sure. Mazdas in general tend to do okay in the last few years (the Mazda 3 holds 35% of its resale value after 5 years, which is industry average). The CX-9 did win the Motor Trend award, so that should help.
  • zippydriver, thanks for the info.

    some think that's its not worth $ for navi system. currently have navi system in car (MB ML430) and like it fixed and not have to play around with it. do i have to stop to change destination always except for hospital? and if that is the case, would a cheaper hand held make more sense/be more use? I use it by putting in addresses to work related things usually and use it quite a bit.

    ie do you think it's worth it for the navi system?

    and in regards to reliability, does mazda give you a loaner if car goes in or do i have to wait for some time/halfday/etc at the shop for the repair? does anyone have any comments about how the service is at the local mazda dealers (I am by the Smithtown, NY one)?

    and CR had the drive train as an issue, anyone know what this was for?

    thanks
  • and in regards to reliability, does mazda give you a loaner if car goes in or do i have to wait for some time/halfday/etc at the shop for the repair?

    Mazda provides you with a loaner vehicle if your car is in the shop for warranty related services as well as free road side assistance. I am not aware of any drive train issues relating to the CX-9. As far as resale value, the CX-9 has been on the market for less than a year making it harder to judge its resale value.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    I think CR should apologize to Mazda on the long stopping distance claim.
    Everywhere you check with any automobile magzines, you will find them praise CX-9 for outstanding braking. CR is the only exception. Anyway, I only read CR for their reliability data. I don't know why people bother to read their "testing" or "reviews". If you were the expert in testing automobiles, which magzine would you work for? CR or CarAndDriver, MotorTrend, Automobile or RoadAndTrack?

    On the issue with tranny, from what I read, it was a typical 1st year issue. Tranny fluid comes half filled from factory (I wonder why? Like they over-inflat the tires for transportation?). At the dealerships, they have to fill it up before sales. However, the new Aisin 6-speed uses special fluid than conventional. Some mechnics filled it with WRONG fluid causing the tranny to seize up.

    Ford-Mazda 3.7L DOHC engine is very good. The Aisin 6-speed tranny is top notch. I wouldn't worry about the power-train, if Mazda had chosen Ford's tranny, I would be worried...

    Reliability wise, 2nd year model sould be much better than the 1st. Almost every company have to recall their 1st year vehicle. My Prius has been recalled TWICE and it was a 2nd year vehicle (a 2005, 2004 being the 1st). Note also that the CX-9 is made in Japan (I am stating a fact. Take it for whatever it is worth to you...)

    Resale: Well, I think you can't beat Honda in resale value. I don't know about Mazda.

    I am one of the guys who is comparing Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9. The new Pilot is coming out in May, 2008. Prototype to be shown in Detriot Autoshow in Jan, 2008.
  • Hi

    I am also comparing the Mazda CX-9 to the hopefully new Honda Pilot in 2008. I looked at the Mazda when Honda did not release the new pilot in 2007.

    my current car is not doing well (MB ML430 2001) so I have been looking elsewhere. I am considering possibly waiting for the new Honda Pilot or buying the Mazda CX-9 now. I test drove the Acura MDX (too much electronics and car for $), audi (too expensive) Honda CRV (too small and not enough power), subaru, INfiniti, etc and really really liked the drive of teh Mazda especially for the $.

    thanks for the data on Honda, I spoke to dealer 2 days ago and they did not have release date. will continue to look, but will decide within next 2+/- months or less on what car. just put lots of $ in my current car (breaks, electronics,etc) and considering driving it to get out what I put in .
  • unixxusunixxus Posts: 97
    The CX-9 has won the 2008 North American Truck of the Year, beating out the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid for the award. This will be the second major award after winning the Motor Trend's 2008 sport utility of the year. I'm sure it will displace the 2008 Honda Pilot in this year's Car and Driver 5 best Truck award. Below is the link.

    AP News Link
  • I've had my CX9 for about 2 months now and 3100 miles - unusually low miles for me, as this is my work vehicle and I typically average about 3000 per month. But I thought I would share my 2 cents up to this point.

    Because this is my work vehicle, I opted to get the Sport AWD model for cost savings. There were a few things that the Touring/GT models offered that I wished I had, but nothing I can't live without.

    Wind Noise:
    Because of the comment made above by 'kbedwards', I specifically looked for a model without the Roof Rails. I knew I would never use them, and if they are perhaps the source of some of the wind noise that he refers to, I'd rather not have them. The roof CROSS rails were definitely the source of a LOT of wind noise on my Subaru wagon, so I decided not to take the chance with the CX9 - my roof is bare and the wind noise from this vehicle is not an issue for me. I just can't say whether not having the rails on my car makes it any quieter.

    Sound System:
    At the last minute, I also decided against the Bose / Moonroof package - not only to save myself the extra $1800, but because the standard stereo sounded fine enough for me. And I've never been a fan of Moonroofs, so this was a good economics move for me....but if this was to be my wife's vehicle, I could never convince her NOT to get the Moonroof.....to each his/her own.

    Gas Mileage:
    I rack up most of my mileage on the highway, so my local driving is very limited. Highway mileage has been consistently between 21 and 23 MPG. I do notice a significant drop in mileage when I am 'in-town'. I purchased a Trip Computer for the CX9 which gives me accurate, real-time gas mileage, and I can see how those who spend most of their time on city streets might be less than thrilled with their mileage.

    Fit / Finish:
    I've been very happy overall with the F & F. As 'kbedwards' mentioned, the floor mats are cheap, but I've see worse - my wife's Ford Explorer as an example - now those are REALLY cheap. I don't think I've read any complaints about the interior door handles on the CX9, but having known about the poor job Ford did with the door handles in the '06 Explorer (which is why we got the '07) I do think the front door handles could have been designed better. When the front doors are fully open, it's a long stretch to reach the handles. A recessed (hand-grab) area further back in the arm rest probably would have helped here. The 2nd row doors are Big. I have to be very careful when I'm getting items out of the rear passenger area. I can just imagine what it would be like to have kids back there - swinging open those doors and hitting the cars parked next to them - yikes! Some type of protection for your doors (and for the cars next to you) would seem to be almost a necessity.

    Driving Experience:
    Overall, I'm pleased with how this handles for such a large vehicle. HOWEVER, I'm very disappointed in the ride. 'kbedwards' indicated that he wished he had gotten the 18" wheels over the 20". I have the 18" wheels and I have a feeling there wouldn't be much of a difference with the 20". I even bought new tires, thinking it was the Bridgestone tires that were part of the problem - the new Continentals, which had terrific reviews for quiet/comfortable ride, are really no better. I think the issue, therefore, is the overall suspension of this vehicle and not really related to the wheels/tires. If you want to call it a "Sport" ride, go ahead.... I will just call it simply UNCOMFORTABLE when hitting bumps, potholes, expansion joints, etc. The jolts come right through. When cruising on a highway with good road conditions, it rides great. But then you hit a bump and it reminds you how stiff the ride can be. ***I do carry about 150 pounds of equipment in the cargo area......whether that contributes to the overall ride, I don't know. (I would think the extra weight in the rear would help dampen the bumps..?) I don't remember the test drives being so 'bumpy'. Had I known this was the way it would ride, I may not have purchased this vehicle.
    I find the seats to be very supportive and comfortable. I've been on a few long drives (3~4 hours, one-way) and feel good throughout the ride....it's a nice "Cruiser".

    Acceleration is okay, but you can hear the engine when you put your foot down and I'd rather have a quiet car all the time. Since I can visually see how accelerating affects the gas mileage, I now accelerate only moderately to acheive the desired speed. No issues with the transmission, it shifts smoothly. I wish the turning radius was a little tighter - it's pretty good, it's just not as tight as my wife's Explorer. Coming from 3 VW Passats and a Subaru, I was worried about parking this 'monster', but it hasn't been too bad. I do find myself being more choosey about my parking spots - looking for the wider ones.

    Miscellaneous:
    Other than the pulling to left, which was corrected, I have had no issues so far. I just brought it in for it's first Oil Change. I brought my own Mobil-1 0W20 full synthetic oil to be used. I don't know if that will have any affect on the gas mileage, but I'll find out. I asked them to re-program the door locks; so that they all lock after putting the vehicle in Drive, but they said it was not available......what??? I think I have read where others have had this done, so I may end up taking it to another dealer. I also asked them to have all the doors Unlock when I put the car in Park/or removed the key - again, they said this was not something they could program. If anyone knows for sure, I'd appreciate knowing.
    I'm still getting used to the controls - on the dash and on the steering wheel. It will likely take my some time before I'm real comfortable (used to) with the layout. Not that it's bad, it's just very different than my previous cars.

    The interior color choices are crappy (IMHO). Especially if you get the Sport model, your cloth color choices are; Black - with no other 'accent' color so it will show absolutely everything that sticks to it - unless it's also black, or, this odd shade of Gray/Taupe(?), that is so light, I'm afraid of what my seats will look like a year from now. In leather, these colors look much better....but they're not a good choice for fabric colors....and I prefer cloth interior.

    With the light interior, they did a good thing by making the top of the dashboard Black, to minimize reflections, however, they should have carried the black color further down in the dash area. As I look out at my side mirror, I can always see the reflection of my interior side vent in the mirror. If this area was black, I probably wouldn't even notice it in the mirror. (The reflection is actually off the window) - minor, but annoying.

    I really like the vehicle, but the ride on rough roads is really spoiling it for me.
    As time goes by, I hope I get m
  • mdhuttonmdhutton Posts: 195
    What an insightful post! Let's see...

    Wind noise: I just can't say whether not having the rails on my car makes it any quieter.

    You really told us a lot there.

    Sound system: I also decided against the Bose / Moonroof package

    Most CX-9 owners will opt for this package, so some information would be helpful.

    Gas mileage: I do notice a significant drop in mileage when I am 'in-town'.

    Yup...most cars do that.

    Fit / Finish: I don't think I've read any complaints about the interior door handles on the CX9, but having known about the poor job Ford did with the door handles in the '06 Explorer (which is why we got the '07) I do think the front door handles could have been designed better.

    Let's see...no real complaints, but Ford made a bad one at one time, so you found it necessary to offer a fix to a problem that doesn't exist.

    I can just imagine what it would be like to have kids back there - swinging open those doors and hitting the cars parked next to them - yikes! Some type of protection for your doors (and for the cars next to you) would seem to be almost a necessity.

    Or you could teach your passengers to be aware of their surroundings and be careful.

    Driving Experience: I think the issue, therefore, is the overall suspension of this vehicle and not really related to the wheels/tires. If you want to call it a "Sport" ride, go ahead.... I will just call it simply UNCOMFORTABLE when hitting bumps, potholes, expansion joints, etc. The jolts come right through.

    It IS a "sport" model, just doing what it's supposed to do.

    I don't remember the test drives being so 'bumpy'.

    Should have done a better test drive.

    Acceleration is okay, but you can hear the engine when you put your foot down and I'd rather have a quiet car all the time.

    Most cars get noiser when they rev higher. Been going on for years.

    Miscellaneous: I brought my own Mobil-1 0W20 full synthetic oil to be used.

    Wow! You paid for an oil change AND brought the oil. With the help you're giving the dealer's profit margin, seems they should have tried harder on your programming issues.

    Keep doing this and you'll erase the $1800 you saved on the Bose/Moonroof package.

    As I look out at my side mirror, I can always see the reflection of my interior side vent in the mirror. If this area was black, I probably wouldn't even notice it in the mirror. (The reflection is actually off the window) - minor, but annoying.

    Again, a better test drive would have identified this.
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