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Various questions regarding the Mazda CX-9

kreekree Posts: 10
Hi - I'm in the market for a CUV and seriously considering the CX-9

I have a few questions I'm hoping CX-9 owners can help me with -

1. does Mazda recommend using premium gas for the CX-9?

2. does the glass on the rear gate open independently of the gate itself?

3. Does the car's remote allow you to pop the rear gate open like a remote open trunk feature on some cars?
This is actually an important feature for me as me/wife are often approaching the car with both hands full of groceries, and a remote trunk/gate open is very handy
I know that there is a "powergate" option that allows you to close the gate remotely, but I'm asking about a more simple feature that just allows you to pop open the trunk/gate remotely (not close it remotely, which requires a piston/motor)

4. for the dvd systems, can the dvd player be controlled by the stereo/media controls on the front panel, or can it only be controlled by the dvd remote control?

thxs again!


  • 1. Premium not required, it runs on regular 87 octane.

    2. Glass does not open independently.

    3 and 4. Sorry, I don't know. My CX-9 does not have these options.
  • 3. Yes with the power lift gate option.

    4. Sorry, don't have the DVD
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    On #3:
    With power-lift gate option (together with SmartKey - can't separate the two),
    there is a button on the SmartKey to close and open the lift gate remotely.
    However, you need to unlock the doors/hatch first. For the hatch, that means you need to press unlock button on the fob TWICE (first click unlocks the driver's door, the second click unlocks the rest of doors - including the hatch). Then, you click the power lift-gate button to open it.

    Once hatch is opened, there is a button on the
    lower edge of the lift gate to close to by a single push.
    I hope this is clear.
  • One thing you might want to know about the CX-9 is the terrible fuel economy. I like pretty much everything about the vehicle (a 2008 touring AWD), except the poor mileage. But mileage in the crossover segment isn't great anyways, so it prolly won't matter much. Other than that, good choice.
  • kreekree Posts: 10
    Thanks so much everyone for the great info. - very much appreciate it!
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    4. for the DVD systems, can the dvd player be controlled by the stereo/media controls on the front panel, or can it only be controlled by the dvd remote control?

    You can only control the audio. the remote is needed to control DVD menus and features. Volume cannot be controlled with the remote.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Fuel econemy... Well, it is not great, but I won't call it "terrible" either.
    I have been getting 17mpg in SF Bay Area (morning/evening commute - 15 miles one-way). I get 18mpg in my old '01 Odyssey. Is that terrible?
    I also got 22mpg from Fremont to Sacramento (averaging 75mph). That ain't bad.
    I have GT AWD.
  • I am using a ScanGuage II, which provides the mileage performance metrics that the US version of the CX-9 removed. A trip from Boston to NYC demonstrated about 22.5MPG on highway driving.
  • I have owned a 2008 CX-9 Grand Touring AWD since December 2007. The mileage matches about what all the other owners are posting for AWD (16-18 city and 22-23 highway). I really do not think this is too bad. The past two minivans I have owned (Chrysler Town&Country Limited and Olds Silhouette) both got around the same mileage. Neither of those vehicles were AWD, which does take some additional fuel to operate vs front wheel drive only. This is a large vehicle with lots of weight, so thinking 20+ MPG around town is not really in the cards. I have a 2007 Toyota Camry (4 cylinder automatic) that barely gets 22-23 around town, and that vehicle is much lighter weight, front drive only, and much much smaller.

    Compare the CX-9 to other AWD or 4 wheel drive vehicles and I think it is OK. I have a Isuzu Trooper (4 wheel drive - V6) which only manages 11-12 MPG in town driving. This is in the 2 wheel drive mode only, but shows that you are still turning all the gears of the 4 wheel drive, even though it is not actively engaged. Total weight also plays a big part in MPG.

    To get your best mileage, look for the lightest weight vehicle, smallest engine, no 4WD. For me, I'll take the CX-9. I love the way it drives, looks, comfort, great satellite radio, etc.!
  • Does anybody know why the CX-9 sold in Australia has a towing capacity of 2,000 kg (4,409 lbs), whereas the U.S. model equipped with the towing package is only rated to tow 3,500 lbs? I've checked the CX-9 specs on both the Australian and U.S websites and the only difference seems to be that Australian CX-9's have standard All-Wheel drive. AWD does nothing to increase towing capacity in the U.S., so I don't think that has any bearing. They also specify that the 4,409 lb towing capacity is with a trailer that has its own brakes, otherwise towing capacity is 1,653 lbs. Engine, suspension, transmission ratios...even tire sizes are the same. Are the laws of physics different "down-undah"?

    I have a pop-up tent trailer that is pushing the 3,500 lb limit when loaded, but the fact that the (apparently) exact same car is rated to tow an additional 900 lbs elsewhere in the world gives me a little comfort that I won't be over-working my car.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    3,500 lbs is the stated limit of a Class II receiver. I wouldn't doubt that it's more of a marketing issue than a vehicle limitation.

    I pull my boat (~5,000lbs) on 5 mile stints from storage to the water on a regular basis. The CX-9 has no trouble doing so but I do run the risk of the added liability I assume.
  • howardruhowardru Posts: 155
    Hi Gang,

    I am having a quality problem with the interior door piece on my CX-9 and wanted to find out if anyone else is having the same problem as I am. I have a 2008 CX-9 AWD GT with 8K miles and less than 5 months old.

    A few weeks ago, I went out of town, and let my wife borrow the CX-9 yeah, I gave her plenty of warnings about where to park….far from everyone else). When I returned, I found no dings or damage on the outside of the car, but I did find the interior door handle all scratched up. I am referring to the metallic finish, plastic piece that runs the horizontal interior length of the door and is used for opening and closing the door while seated inside.

    We have no dogs, cats or even kids so this could not be from them. What I determined was that the scratching was caused by her wedding rings or fingernails as she climbed in and out of the car those few days. I saw similar (but not as much) on the passenger side which she is the ONLY person to ever use that door.

    While getting my thoughts together to bring the car in this Friday for a few TSB fixes, I lightly ran my bitten fingernail (i.e. no real nail) across the plastic piece and WHAM! Instant scratch! I was thinking WTF!

    If this is truly a door handle, as designed by Mazda, I would expect that this piece would hold up to many years of opening and closing without much impact. If this was truly a quality piece, I would expect Mazda to design this piece to withstand REAL fingernails on many different types of people. But what I found was that this piece is defective.

    It is my belief now that this piece is defective from Mazda and clearly not designed well, or the production process on the date my handles were manufactured had a defect in the production line. Surely I should not be able to easily scratch this metal, with the slightest rubbing of my fingernail. Right?

    It diesn't look like I can attach the photos here, but you should get the picture.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    It diesn't look like I can attach the photos here, but you should get the picture.

    Pic posting instructions are in the help link below. If you need a place to host the photos, your CarSpace Albums page is a good choice.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Same here. You are not alone.
    I wish someone make real aluminum pieces to replace them.
    I would be first in line to buy them.
  • howardruhowardru Posts: 155
    Just got back from my dealer.

    They are replacing all the metal trim door handle pieces. Not a single question asked.

    They said they had not heard of this before. however, I think if we all go back to our dealers and demand replacement, they'll get the idea that there is a quality problem. I just wrote a letter to the Director of Customer Satisfaction with photos and a short video of how EASY it is to scratch the piece with a finger that has no real fingernail.

    Now, I need to find a clear film to put over the new pieces so the same problem does not happen again.

    I'll keep you posted.
  • tbo01tbo01 Posts: 10
    Happy somebody brought this up. Had found same information regarding Australian built CX9s, having also travelled Europe extensively i have seen smaller vehicles legally towing more. I have 07 AWD with factory tow package as well. Replaced factory 1.25" hitch with 2" (Draw-Tite-Class III 4000lb/400lb capacity) from E-trailer to increase accessorie availability as well as presumed strength of trailer linkage. Just had Hayes Brake Controller installed. Now ready for next step which is purchase of popup camper or preferred Starcraft 18RB Hybrid camper , (2800lbs with all factory options-ac etc-3500lb max weight). The relatively low tow weight (3500lbs) and more so GCVW 8558lbs has been bothering me along with the so called 10% reserve capacity recommended on TVs. Fortunately two small kids and wife to offset my 230lbs so should be at around maximum 8558lbs with vehicle and loaded trailer. Will of course install sway bars and load distributors. Any further feedback on performance from your 3500lb popup setup would be appreciated. So many doubters down here in Texas, Need a Big Truuuuuck is all i here!!!
    FYI, Etrailer aftermarket hitch is designed for non factory tow packages as it fits in under existing rear valence and not flush with factory valence cutout, approx 4 inches lower. I have addressed this with etrailer as non factory tow package vehicles will have limited use for a 4000lbs capacity hitch and this puts hitch a little to low for comfort!!!!

  • I replaced my factory tow hitch with a class III Hidden Hitch from etrailer, and like yours it sits a little below the factory cutout in the bumper. It is a little lower than I would like, but I have not had any issues other than having to twist the chains to avoid dragging them on the ground. A ball mount with a 2" rise allows my 07 Starcraft Centennial 3606 popup to sit so level & with such little sag in the CX9 that the guys at the RV dealership asked if I had airbags installed. I replaced the stock 4-pin wiring harness with a 7-pin to allow for the installation of my Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller.
    My popup has a GVW of 2780lbs with a GVWR of 3750, which should be no problem falling within with the 4000lb hitch rating & the Aussie tow specs. My primary concern is the 389lb trailer tongue weight, which is really pushing the 400lb rating of the hitch. to solve that I'm just going to make sure I pack more weight in the back of the trailer. I do not feel the need to install sway bars or load distributors through my towing experiences so far, which include highway driving at 75mph and curvy backroads in 90+ degree Nevada heat. The CX-9 appears to be up to the task. :shades:
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    You might want to make sure that the Throttle Problem TSB does not apply to your CX9. If so, you might want to get it fixed since you use it for towing. See another thread for the list of TSBs.
  • Thanks for the heads up. I saw that TSB before & my CX9 falls within the affected dates. Luckily I haven't encountered any problems yet, but I need to get off my lazy butt and take it to the dealership before I get stuck on some mountain pass!
  • tbo01tbo01 Posts: 10
    Appreciate the info on towing conditions-performance as well, specifically high-way towing, rear suspension performance, swaybar load leveling etc.
    Out of curiosity, have you weighed combined vehicle-trailer with people, supplies etc at truck stop or similiar?
    I will have to take into account the larger "sail" area of a hybrid, but 60-65mph should be good while maximizing fuel mileage.
    If no feedback from E-trailer on hitch design, I may have a body shop come up with some valence mod (faux skid plate etc) to cover hole and please the wife, though still would prefer hitch to sit higher for clearence reasons.

    I'll provide CX9 performance feedback once camper in hand, and first trip completed. Thanks again
  • No problem on the input. I know how hard it is to find online experiences from others who tow with their CX-9. I have not weighed my vehicle/trailer combo yet, but plan to do so at a truckstop that's about 15 minutes from me. My trailer stays stocked with the basics, so depending on the weight it comes in at I'll just make sure to keep an eye on the extras that I pack (kids, food, clothing).
    I guess my wife doesn't care about the hitch being lower than the notch...she's too happy about not having to sleep on the ground in a tent anymore! My Here's a picture of my set-up. I'm sure it's more aerodynamic than a hard-sided trailer. Sorry about the black & white, my wife changed the setting on the camera behind my back.
    imageFrom junk
  • tbo01tbo01 Posts: 10
    Nice color, same as ours. I installed the mazda roof rack, rubber floor mats and Home Link as it was not installed on our slightly used madza exec driven GT (odd), also questioned the trip computer not being available for 2007, now standard for 2009!!!. Anyway next option for us is a set of 17 or 18" x 8"-8.5" wheels with a mud-snow tire, for upcoming trips to Colorado, West Texas and for camping. Having just gone through the ordeal of locating a Bridegestone 245-50-20 replacement tire this weekened in Houston following the dreaded nail in the side wall of a perfectly good original tire ($211), I am somewhat hesitant to venture off on a long skiing-camping trip with current wheel setup and puny spare. I have been looking at a second set of wheels for above with Yokohama Geolander ATS in a 255-275 / 60-65 series pending actual wheel diameter descision and wheel overall diametr calculations. From this weekends episode, it also look like the puny 165-18 spare tire can be replaced by a reasonable sized 235-255 spare tire of same diameter. It will fit in spare tire area, just depends on how much road clearence you wish to have. In addition of course ride will be greatly improved on rougher rod conditions. FYI, spare tire on steel rim weighs 40-42lbs with original 20" aluminum wheel and tire at 61lbs or so, so replacement wheels should fit in between somewhere
  • tbo01tbo01 Posts: 10

    Just had a local wedlding shop modify aftermarket Draw-Tite 4000lb/400lb class thre hitch. They plasma cut the ears on the hitch, shorten them, welded back together with dioubler plat. 2" hiotch now sits higher and flush with original mazda cut out. I can forward photos if interested. really happy with end result
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Maybe you can post the pics on your CarSpace page. That way if someone shows up in two or three years wanting to know more, they'll be able to easily find your pics. Thanks!
  • In an '08 GT, the last light that is on the ceiling, the one that lights up the cargo area. Does yours turn on when you open the tailgate? The light that is ON the tailgate turns on when I open the tailgate, but that's others. The light in question (as well as the other dome lights) do turn on when I open any door. Thx.
  • my3rdrxmy3rdrx Posts: 167
    Has anyone tried to replace their low-beam HID bulb yet? I could only get the contact off the bulb but not the bulb itself ~ Help :confuse: !!!
  • I have read several posts on the CX-9 forum regarding the uncomfortable ride quality as well as unsafe handling in the snow of the 20" tires. I plan on getting 18" on the GT I buy.

    A basic question - if I make that switch, is there anything else that I would have to ask the dealer to change in the car?

    As you can see, I am not as well versed as many others on this forum. Appreciate your help.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Actually, I like my 20" on the GT. It is as firm as most BMWs, but maybe too firm for people who like Lexus/Toyota. To each one's own.
    The 18" certainly make it feel softer due to higher side wall of the tires.
    As for the on-snow performance, the 18" and 20" has similar Bridgestone Duel H/L tires. They are bad on snow (tho, all-season). I would suggest real snow tires or better all-seasons (such as Yoko Parada Spec-X - check for review) tires.
  • Been a proud owner of an '09 CX-9 for a week, and I have two questions - hopefully I can find an answer here to one or both.

    Power liftgate operation - is there a way to do this from the exterior lock/unlock button to the right of the lift gate handle? Yes, I'm that lazy.

    Auto-lock feature - planning to have this turned on by the dealer today (auto locks all doors when you walk away using Advanced Key). Anyone have this done, and any regrets? Why is this not better than the default?

  • howardruhowardru Posts: 155
    1) No way to auto-life with the button on the car. You can use your smart card to unlock and auto-lift the door. Instructions in the manual.

    2) At first I wanted it, then I found out that car will auto lock anytime you walk away. Well I walk away half the time in my garage. Often times find myelf running down to the car to get something and the car is locked. Very annoying since I park it indoors in the garage where it's secured. If you don't have a garage, then it's probably not so bad.
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