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Mazda CX-9 Pet Peeves

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  • Well, I bought my CX-9, fully loaded just 4 weeks ago. So far, I don't like quite a bit although some of my gripes might be resolved by reading the manual fully, however:

    On cloudy or rainy days when using the headlights in daytime, the nav and dash auto dim to almost nothing. There should be a sensor that it is in fact still light outside so these stay bright.

    Fog lights only operational when headlights are on.

    ENORMOUS center console that has surprisingly little storage. The door of the storage area is also VERY HIGH and uncomfortable on long drives. I can't really relax both of my arms. My right arm seems to always rest on the console door. My knee also bangs into the center console. The size and height of the console makes this large car feel somewhat claustrophobic.

    The "premium" $2,000 stereo isn't so premium. "Is that subwoofer working"? LOL! The Bose stereo in my 5 year old Murano which I think was a $500 option blows this one away.

    Beep...beep....beep....beep. Everything has a beep or multiple beeps. Give me a break with these beeps!

    The side view mirrors are not tied in with the memory seat adjustments!

    Only 1 temp on the heated seats. Should at least be a high and low setting.

    Power rear lift gate only opens if car doors are unlocked? What's up with that? Plus the outside button on the rear door only unlocks the car doors, does not also engage the auto lift gate? Maybe there's a problem with mine only since this doesn't seem right.

    When exiting the car, I cannot lock the doors by hitting the interior lock button on door. You must get out of car, close door and hit the button on door handle or use keyless remote. Kind of annoying.

    Overall low quality interior materials. Hard-Plasticky dash, cheapo handles, flimsy gear shift, roughly stitched steering wheel, poor quality leather (is it really leather).

    Fair amount of road noise above 50 mph.

    Does not automatically display exterior temperature. You must hit a button on dash.

    I really haven't played with the nav much so I have no opinions on that yet.

    In the end, its probably no worse than any other $40,000 car and probably has more options than most. For me though, I'll be giving this to the wife (she likes it) . CX-9 is a good family car but for me, a 48 year old married guy that normally drives alone, this one isn't for me. I'll be going back to a Volvo XC-90 V8 or Mercedes 550 S in the Spring.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    Hi,
    I will skip all your subjective comments on CX9 and answer others as much as I can based on what I know of.

    Q: On cloudy or rainy days when using the headlights in daytime, the nav and dash auto dim to almost nothing. There should be a sensor that it is in fact still light outside so these stay bright.
    A: Both can be set if you don't like the auto-dimming. Yes, you should read the manual at least once.

    Q: Fog lights only operational when headlights are on.
    A: True. That's how it was designed.

    Q: Beep...beep....beep....beep. Everything has a beep or multiple beeps. Give me a break with these beeps!
    A: I assume that you have the Smart Entry and Start system (or SmartKey, for short). When it beeps at you, that means, "you did it wrong". Again. You should read the manual. The CX9 is trying to tell you something.

    Q: The side view mirrors are not tied in with the memory seat adjustments!
    A: Unfortunately, that's how it was designed, part of cost-saving.

    Q: Only 1 temp on the heated seats. Should at least be a high and low setting.
    A: Again, cost-saving. Maybe Mazda does not think that we need two settings.
    Personally, living in CA, I have never used it yet.

    Q: Power rear lift gate only opens if car doors are unlocked? What's up with that? Plus the outside button on the rear door only unlocks the car doors, does not also engage the auto lift gate? Maybe there's a problem with mine only since this doesn't seem right.
    A: Unfortunately, that's how it was designed. Maybe Mazda overlooked it.

    Q: When exiting the car, I cannot lock the doors by hitting the interior lock button on door. You must get out of car, close door and hit the button on door handle or use keyless remote. Kind of annoying.
    A: I think you will get used to it after a while. SmartKey system tries to avoid locking your key inside the CX9. There are many sensors located inside the cabin and in the doors and hatch to locate where the key is at any time. If it works as you wish, there is a chance that you could lock your own keys inside. That is not good, is it? If you really find this annoying, try to have your dealer activate the "autolock" feature. With it, you just walk away from your CX9, and it will lock itself when you are far enough and all doors are closed. Cool?
    Not even Lexus or any German vehicles have it (AFAIK).

    Q: Does not automatically display exterior temperature. You must hit a button on dash.
    A: Some find it annoying to have it always on display. You can't please everyone. I know most German vehicles have it always on the display somewhere, though.

    Q: I really haven't played with the nav much so I have no opinions on that yet.
    A: You better not try it. You will have more complaints..... It is not 1st rated, as bad as most NAVI systems from Lexus (from the same vendor, DENSO, Japan)

    :)
  • Has anybody else noticed the outside temp reading is 7-8 degrees too warm? It seems like the sensor too close to the engine and is picking up heat off of it. My car is reading 38F when it's 30 outside. It's good to know when the roads are freezing. Also it takes forever for the temperature to drop. I'm almost to work which is about a 20 minute drive before the temp gets down to a steady value from the garage temperature. My wife's car drops 20 degrees within a 1/4 of a mile.

    The whole locking and unlocking the doors manually is also ridiculous. I didn't even know there were cars out there that didn't have autolocks, much less $40K cars. Couple this with the "advanced key" it's even worse. When I arrive at my destination and turn the car off the interior lights do not turn on. To turn the interior lights on I have to unlock the doors, but mazda was too cheap to backlight the button. The ridiculous thing is if you have the standard key the interior lights turn on when you pull the key out of the ignition like every other car I have driven. Also if you get in the car and lock the doors the interior lights immediately turn off. Every other car I have driven leaves the interior light on till you start the car. Whoever designed the locking and lighting functions needs to drive something other than a mazda for a while to see how all the other cars work.
  • my3rdrxmy3rdrx Posts: 167
    I just don't buy the "cost-saving" excuse because many of these features have been around for a long time (my 06 Chrysler Pacifica has all these features mentioned, except the SmartKey), all it takes is software programming ~ I just can't believe it's that difficult to make them options on the Electronic Control Module (ECM) that most other high-end models have!

    What irks me most is the fact that there's no retractable cargo cover available with the power rear lift gate because, according to the dealer, "the power mechanism is in the way"! Every SUV I've leased since 1999 with power rear lift gate has a retractable cargo cover available!
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    I am with you on the cargo cover. I wish there is one that I could buy.
    Again, Mazda only sells on average 2000 units of CX9s. They can't afford to have as many accessories as Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander have.

    When I said "cost cutting", I also meant the total cost of planning, marketing, etc. not just the manufacturing. A smaller company that sells fewer vehicles does have a disadvantage.
  • Wait a minute...that can't be right. You're saying Mazda only sells 2,000 CX-9's annually? That can't be. Where are those numbers from?

    Aside from that, it seems that everyday I find something about this car I dislike. Aside from the issues I've listed in detail previously, it just seems cheaply made, primarily the interior, dash, handles, seats, etc. I'm also getting more annoyed daily with the enormous AND high center console. I can't believe something this huge doesn't even have a place for change? Incredible.

    Ever try putting a "real pair" of sunglasses in that holder above? Maybe reading glasses...that's about it. How about those gigantic seams and bumps on that steering wheel along with that shiny black plastic? The dash is a joke...nothing but cheapo hard....and I mean HARD plastic. Is this a HUGO or a $40,000 car?

    I could go on and on....check my other posts. This will be my last Mazda.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    2,000 units monthly, while Pilot/Highlanders are in 6000-7000 units monthly.

    Recently came back from trip.
    I found the 3rd row seat belt buckles disappearing into the back of 3rd seat after they were folded flat and raised up again. It was a struggle to dig them out again for the 3rd row passengers. Bad design. I hope Mazda can improve that.
  • I'm surprised I haven't ranted here yet. I thought I did.

    Biggest peaves with the 2008 GT Nav CX-9 w/ "advanced" key

    Doesn't turn interior lights on when you put car in park and turn off the vehicle. I have to unlock the doors or open the door to get the interior lights to turn on and the door lock button isn't backlit even and with a black interior is hard to see....And if you get in the habit of locking the doors when you get into the car, the interior lights immediately turn off so you can't see to put your belongs in place....My VW turned off the interior lights after about 30 seconds or when you started the ignition.

    Door doesn't unlock when you pull the handle like my VW did...Ridiculous the car doesn't have autolocks. I have driven cheap econobox rentals 10 years ago that had autlocks.

    Button to lock out windows also locks out windows for driver

    Need to unlock all the doors to use the power tailgate

    Had to spend $140 to install an aftermarket ipod system that works with the nav, although it doesn't work very well

    No memory for the mirrors

    No trip computer

    Outside temp is wrong on my car....

    Prop rod to hold up the hood

    My $25K 8 year old passat auto locked the doors, had a trip computer, heated seats with multiple settings, lighted door lock buttons, gas strut for the hood

    It seems like mazda could fix half these complaints with software.....
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    I shared most of your complaints listed.

    However, "autolock" (by definition here - locking all doors when put into drive or above 5mph, etc.) is found to annoy some customers. Some hate it, some love it. One can find some aftermarket kit to install to achieve that. It can be improved if you are willing to DIY.

    Trip computer has been added into 2009.

    German vehicles typically use struts to support hood, and unlock the doors when pulled (once or twice) from inside automatically. Most Japanese vehicles don't do that (not the ones I have owned). I owned a '98 BMW 540iA for 10 years. I know what you meant. CX9 hood is heavy. Mazda should use aluminum instead for it. Then, it probably is easiler/cheaper to use struts to support it, and reduces weight also.
  • Wow, you need a stick to hold open the hood? I have yet to open my hood...I would have added that one to my list. Just yesterday I noticed the imitation wood trim on the dash and doors is starting to get a nice gap...poorly fitted I guess and another cheap interior joy.

    985 miles so far and nothing but one annoyance after another with this car. I'm so upset with it I'm actually thinking about buying myself another car and keeping this as a third car in case of emergency or just leaving all the rear seats down permanently and using it for Costo and Lowes trips.

    $40K.....WAY OUT OF LINE for this.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Fog lights only operational when headlights are on.

    You will have the same issue on a Volvo XC-90 and Mercedes S550.

    The "premium" $2,000 stereo isn't so premium. "Is that subwoofer working"?

    It blows away my mother in laws Maxima by a long shot. No contest.

    Beep...beep....beep....beep. Everything has a beep or multiple beeps. Give me a break with these beeps!

    First, one system that beeps in the BSMS, of which you can turn off (read your owners manual). Second, the car will beep if you leave your car on and exit the car with the Smart Key in hand. Kinda nice, don't you think? Third, buckle your seat belt!!!!!

    Power rear lift gate only opens if car doors are unlocked? What's up with that? Plus the outside button on the rear door only unlocks the car doors, does not also engage the auto lift gate? Maybe there's a problem with mine only since this doesn't seem right.

    That's right. By design. Not all people want the lift gate to open automatically by touching the hidden button. Are you that lazy you cant hit the key on your remote?

    Overall low quality interior materials. Hard-Plasticky dash, cheapo handles, flimsy gear shift, roughly stitched steering wheel, poor quality leather (is it really leather).

    Compared to what? Your 5 yr old Murano? I think not.

    I'll be going back to a Volvo XC-90 V8 or Mercedes 550 S

    Leaving a "blue collar" brand for a luxury one. I hope extra $50,000 for the S550 is worth it.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    $40K.....WAY OUT OF LINE for this.

    I guess Mazda cannot please everyone. Motor Trend (2008 SUV of the Year), Consumer Reports, C & D, R & T, Edmunds.com and the thousands of other owners for the most part all seem to think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    I have a question for you. WHY DID YOU BUY IT?!?!?!?! Was it because you could not afford the $100,000 S550 or didn't feel like going back to the Volvo dealership who are all too familiar with because your XC-90 would have it's own private service / repair bay?
  • Well, at first glance the car seemed okay but after owning it a while a ton of annoyances and cost cutting measures became apparent. Oh and I just opened the hood yesterday...it weighs a ton and yippie...a stick to hold it up! No gas shocks...not a one in sight. Now that's bad.

    Another thing I noticed, I'm 6' 4" (not exactly a center for the Knicks) and with the seat at its lowest, I have haybe 1" of head clearance. If I hit a bump real hard....bang. And this isn't a small car. The Volvo had at least 3" to spare. Gotta take the baseball cap off when getting in this beauty.

    In reality, its probably just not for me.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Most car manufacturers do not utilize hydro shocks for the hood.

    It seems you are really used to higher end cars in which you pay for these things that the CX-9 is lacking. For the price you pay for the CX-9, you get a lot of car. It has been documented to have high quality, especially for the class it is in.

    In reality, its probably just not for me.

    Not every car will appeal to everyone. To each their own.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    One pays top $$$$ for high-end vehicles, which might employ better materials but not necessarily better reliability. I owned a '98 BMW 540iA for 10 years (dumped it for my CX9). My BMW had so many problems that I lost count of them. I got to know every service advisors of my local BMW by their first names..... :)
  • my3rdrxmy3rdrx Posts: 167
    Another pet peeve I have with the CX-9 is the manual shift which is totally counter-intuitive ~ to down-shift you have to push up instead of pull down! Conventional wisdom says that if you want to slow down, you pull instead of push! Oh, well! :confuse:
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    BMW is that way too
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    Actually, (I read it from some reviews) some reviewer claimed that Mazda got it right while others did it wrong.
    You see, people have different opinions on this. There is no way to please everyone.
  • 1. I have owned a BMW automatic for six years. I find the manual shifting (forward for downshift/back for upshift) to be more intuitive if you've ever driven a stick. I'm used to it, and the Mazdas are the only other cars I've driven that match the BMW, so I love that. From the first time I drove this car, it handled like a poor man's X5 (with a real third row seat). The pulling action reminds me of upshifts to 3rd and 5th. I guess it's whatever you're used to.

    2. My Dad always bought cheap Pontiacs and Chevys when I was a kid. My first four cars were two Pontiacs, a Subaru, and a Nissan. All had hinges or gas struts for the hood. If you ask me, a dirty prop rod on a car that starts at $30K is unforgivably cheap. I even pointed it out to the salesman when I test drove the car.

    3. Why don't the fog lights come on the mid-level Touring model? Since when are fog lights a high-end luxury feature?

    4. During my test drives I also noticed the very washed out Nav screen. The saleman said it was just that particular car. I don't even want/need Nav, but you have to get it to get the power tailgate? What's up with that bundling strategy?

    5. I actually like the Bose stereo. It's better than the Bose system in the Murano I test drove, and much better than the Harman Kardan in my BMW.

    6. I agree: you really can't compare quality and standard features between a Mazda and a premium brand. A loaded CX-9 is $43K. A similarly equipped X5 will be better built, and a slightly better driver, but will cost you $60K. An MDX will run close to $50K. And,...there won't be any $8,500 discounts on those cars.

    Overall, this is a great car for the money - especially the out-the-door money - and you can get a low end one that gives you the basic goodness of the chasis and steering for only $31K MSRP if that is what you want. I'm glad Mazda made it.

    RMP
  • Asia3Asia3 Posts: 9
    We bought the low end sport because my kids don't like leather. The only extra on it was the driver electric seat. We have only had it two weeks, but so far we love it.

    For the $22k price we paid I think it is a great car!
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