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2007 Mazda CX-9



  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Oh good - so I can just deflate the new tire a bunch and not have to shave it!


    I actually swept my drive last summer with a magnet bar and have sworn off flats for the duration. :shades:
  • So, do they make these magnet bars for front-bumper installations? It'd be great to have a sort of "cow-catcher" for nails! :P
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Someone would install it on a Kia & it would be halted by metal drain grids. :D
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    lol, not a bad idea maybe. My old 10-speed had little tire scrapers that were supposed to brush the glass and thorns away before they would cause a flat.

    We'll be tossing out more patent invention ideas at the Mazda chat in an hour. The link's on the left.
  • Hi all - I test drove a FWD GT CX-9 at Doug's Lynnwood Mazda just north of Seattle today.

    I'm looking at moving out of my 2000 Dodge Durango, and really want a CX-7, but with small kids, need a bit more space. I'm looking for something between the Durango and the CX-7, and the CX-9 is a prime candidate.

    Immediate observatons - the CX-9 is a big vehicle - I'd looked at the CX-7/CX-9 side by side photos, and anticipated that the CX-9 would be 'one size' larger. It's really more like 'two sizes' larger. It looks good, but not nearly as aggressive as the 7 - smoother overall, less muscular.

    Interior space seemed good in the back, though I seriously question the capacity to have tall people in all three rows - if the front seat is in the back half of its tracks, the second row needs to be all the way back for decent leg room, and that leaves the folks in back with next to nothing.

    Rear seats are pretty good, though, and the leather is much nicer than the 7.

    I found the 'cockpit' deeply dissapointing, mostly because there's a HUGE console running from front to back, but the console bin is quite small, the cupholders are OK, but nothing special, and there's only one smaller bin under the dash for a cellphone. That would be OK in many vehicles, but with this HUGE and intrusive (to me) center console, it seems like there's a missed opportunity to make better use of the space. Seats are comfortable, gauges clear and easy to read, etc. Basic controls are all good.

    Driving experience - drives well for its size, but not much sense of zoom zoom in acceleration, even with only driver and passenger on board. Enough power to chirp the tires, and it's reasonably fast off the mark, but none of the 'snap your head back' you get in the CX-7. Speed and power are fine - better than a Nissan Murano, but well under the CX-7 experience. I seriously wonder about performance with five or six people and/or a significant load aboard - hard to imagine that it wouldn't begin to feel sluggish, though you never really know 'till you try it.

    Cornering - it's a beauty in the corners. Very composed, minimal body lean (for an SUV), and very sure. Probably the best-cornering SUV/CUV I've driven (I haven't tried the Cayenne).

    Ride - overall good, but a bit harsh - I think the 20 rims and low profile tires (Bridgestones on my tester) are the real culprits here - the suspension handled larger bumps with aplomb, but smaller bumps, like tar strips, or manhole covers, came through loud and clear. Given the choice, I'd go for smaller rims, and deeper sidewalls on the tires, for sure.

    Overall - A good car, but not the 'big CX-7' I'd been hoping for. It's a very nice large CUV, and overall a very good vehicle, but I really notice the lower power/weight ratio and the total weight. While it's theoretically got the same ft-lbs as my 5.9 Durango, in a much lighter package, it's not particularly snappy off the line, and lacks the very exciting response of the CX-7.

    That's not entirely unexpected, given the engine and specs, but I guess I'd held out hope that Madza had somehow found a way to make it more aggressive-feeling.

    Bottom Line - it's a solid competitor in the mid-sized SUV/CUV sector, but not the obvious 'winner' in the category that the CX-7 is for someone looking at that size vehicle. The trade-off is that the CX-7 is awfully small, compared to it's CUV/SUV cousins, and the only thing keeping me from buying one is my need for at least Murano-sized space. If the CX-9 felt like an upsized CX-7, one would be in my garage this week.

    But it doesn't, and that puts me back on the hunt.
  • Great review Deanster. I'm hoping that Mazda will come out with the same added features as the CX-9 in the 2008 CX-7. I don't need all the added space and bulk the CX-9 provides. If there was a CX-7 with the same features as the loaded GT CX-9 it would be a winner in my book.
  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    Good review, thanks!
  • Nice review, deanster. I think you've missed your calling- you should write reviews for an automotive magazine. By the way, have you looked at the GM Lambdas (Acadia, Outlook)?
  • Hi all,

    I test drove the CX-9 GT last weekend and wanted to help y'all out. Vastly different experiences at two different dealers.


    I think the vehicle is gorgeous. We are Expedition drivers currently and the styling is SO much better. I'm 6'4" and fit into all seats except I ran out of headroom in the third row. Leg room was adequate back there, but I think anyone over 6' would struggle in row 3. I JUST fit in the front seats with a moonroof. Note that the pass. seat does not adjust up and down (6-way, not 8-way). Legroom was fine, but my skull was close to the headliner.

    I felt the CX-9 was very quick off the line. It handled very well in the city. Braking was quite good. It is a quiet vehicle. I was expecting a semi-rough ride with the 20" tires, but thought the ride was fine.

    I should mention that I am eligible for Mazda S-plan pricing. S plan is near dealer cost and the paperwork is reviewed by Mazda to ensure you're not getting hosed. This is where it got interesting at the dealerships I visited. I lease priced a GT FWD at two dealers.

    Dealer A had a stripped GT with a MSRP of $33,350. They quoted me a money factor of .00237 for a 39 month lease at 15,000 miles per year. The CX-9 looks like a good vehicle to lease; the residual in this scenario is a whopping 50 or 52% after 39 months. With a downpayment of $1,000, I was quoted a $549 payment. This quote seemed good, but I had a feeling they were fleecing me a bit.

    Dealer B was a very straight shooter. No sales guy leaving you alone at a table while he goes into the closers' office. This dealer priced me out the loaded GT I'm looking for (bose/rear seat ent, navigation, sat. radio, mats, net). MSRP was apx. $38,500 and my net sale price was $35,200. He quoted me a lower money factor of .00137 (this frosted me-dealer A was building in extra profit). This deal was again for 39 months, but 12K miles per year. Residual value was 52% at the end of the lease. $1,000 down netted a payment of $521!

    Bottom line: The 27 month and 48 month lease rates are not that attractive. The 39 month looks like the way to go. Make sure you are getting the best money factor possible.

    Now all I have to do is hope my wife likes the CX9 over the 2007 Expedition. She's used to the space. The vehicles are priced about the same, but the EXP has a higher payment due to its lower residual. I hope this helps everyone. We'll hopefully end up ordering one. The dealers say orders will take about 3 months...
  • fromsffromsf Posts: 19
    CX-9 was hyped too much before the launch which has created very high expectations for the price.

    As you said, its a good vehicle but not the best. Also there isn't any another vehicle that stands out clearly. Even the redesigned Highlander looks awful and resembles Santa Fe.

    Hope Veracruz stands out....
  • srangersranger Posts: 106
    Good review,

    It sounds like you want a CX-7... I agree. If it had any real towing capacity I would buy one. Maybe they will stuff the 3.5LV6 in one for 2008... Talk about zoom zoom...
  • It's not that they were fleecing you... they were doing what's allowed to them. Mazda American Credit allows a dealer to mark-up the money factor on their Special MAC Leases by up to .00104.

    They only marked the buy-rate of .00137 up by a point. This allows a financial reserve of profit since these vehicles don't have large margins to begin with(especially when it comes to S-Plan).

    Also keep in mind that a Mazda dealer honoring S-Plan is at their discretion. If you found a dealer that was willing to honor S-Plan on a CX-9 right out of the gate you might want to seize the opportunity. That's awesome!!!

    Zoom Zoom
  • balooobalooo Posts: 24
    I test drove a CX-9 at Duval Mazda in Gainesville Fl yesterday after a much anticipated wait.
    It does handle very well the fit and finish is average. Frankly I was very disappointed with interior space in the rear.
    The driver and passenger cockpit area works well however space in the third row is not suffient in a real world scenario except for kids contrary to what is being said.
    I am six feet tall and there is no way I could ride in the third row for more then a quick ride to a restaurant etc.
    That being said forget about more than five people stowing enough gear behind the third row seat for a weekend trip it is simply not happening; there is not enough room with the third row up period.
    Now I am not a car geek so you are not going to hear a lot of techno jargon about the CX-9 specs here just an honest observation from someone shopping for a new hauler to accomodate a family of four...
    My current vehical is a 2004 Toyota Sienna LE and overall I am happy with it however this is for me and my wife an emotional buy... we prefer not to drive a "Mom Mobile" anymore so we are shopping and was excited about what we had seen and read about the CX-9 in the press leading up it's arrival at the dealerships.
    We test drove a CX-7 in December and very excited about purchasing a larger version the CX-7.
    After driving the CX-9 the "emotional aspect" of this process became apparent because the CX-9 cannot hold a candle to my Sienna for overall practicality,real room for seven,ride,storage and ease of access.
    The CX-9 is hyped way out of proportion in comparison to what it actually delivers for the average person with a family,there is nothing here I have not seen before, again I was disappointed mainly with it's rear passenger and storage dimensions the ride is nothing to get excited about either. The 20 inch wheels is everything you are reading about a choppy ride is not worth the very slight cosmetic affect.
    I would suggest to anyone that has a few kids and looking for something to move your family in comfort consider test driving a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna and dare I say it... a Hyundai Entourage. They may not be cool or sexy but they get the job done in a way the new cross overs cannot even come close to.
    You may find a "mom mobile" is what you where really looking for all along from a practical prospective.

    I have no doubts Mazda will sell a lot of CX-9's the buzz created is awesome, kudos to the Mazda marketing team you did an outstanding job the campaign got us into the dealership but we are going to keep looking.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    Good review on "real world" space. I keep hearing that the 20 in wheels give a choppy ride, wondering if this is also due to the quality of the tire itself, not the size of the rims.

    I'm not sure any of these crossovers will be better than a minivan -- even the larger Acadia/Outlook has a third row that is only good for short trips (if adults were to sit back there). For me, however, a crossover is ideal: I have 2 young kids, so they would sit in the 2nd row and the 3rd row would only be used occasionally (i.e. most of the time it would be folded down).
  • The cx-9 is a CUV not a minivan. Compare its space and utility to the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Outlook or Hyundai Veracruz. Third row seats in any CUV are not designed to accommodate 6 footers in comfort for any length of time. During your test drive did you adjust the second row seat legroom? It slides back forth to give the third row more or less legroom. I have got three kids ages seven, three and one and I believe the CX-9 or the Veracruz will suite us well.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Good point. The CX-9 is not meant to compete with the Sienna or the Odyssey. It is compared to the Highlander, Pilot, Veracruz, Acadia etc. In comparison to the 7 passenger CUV's, the CX-9 does have more 2nd row leg room, and 3rd row leg room.

    To be honest, it is impossible to have a 7 passenger CUV drive like a sports car. However, Mazda did come as close as you can.
  • balooobalooo Posts: 24
    I am not stating the CX-9 is a minivan simply the marketing is suggesting it has the attributes of a minivan but in a more "appealing" package.(one can argue that's not true but the marketing connected with me and I took a highly anticipated look)
    More appealing yes from a sheetmetal perspective but not the same attributes of a minivan in a true sense or more practical.
    My guess is there are a lot of people willing to live with the shortcomings of the CX-9 and the other vehicals you mentioned with regard to interior space rather then be caught dead in a minivan.
    If a Highlander or CX-9 for you great! Buy one.
    The CX-9 is too small for my family and the post is intended for individuals such as myself who currently own a minivan seeking change but wants a comfortable ride, good fuel economy,space,utility and a little style thrown in.
    We use our third row often(friends and relatives) and take frequent long trips.
    I am fully aware of the fact the CX-9 is a different class of vehical from a minivan, however when mention of seating for seven is thrown into to the mix a certain expectation of available space can reasonably be assumed...
    If I could change the name of my post it would be.
    "There ain't a heck of a lot out there"

    Wish me luck in my search.
  • sssfegysssfegy Posts: 132
    Most Minivans are 6 seaters, and don't get good gas mileage(including the Entourage), plus they have sloppy handling, poor emergency handling, poor braking,turning radius, styling..advantages: room..same as 15+ passanger vans on a smaller scale.
    If room is highest priority stick w/ the vans, Cuv's are comprimised on space(which you still have), plus a great improvement on all the downsides. Against the other CUV's offered it stands out for what it is.
    "There ain't a heck of a lot out there": refering to space? No offense, but good luck finding a van less than $90K that will give all of the above, the Benz is the only one.
  • balooobalooo Posts: 24
    Based on you comments about sloppy handling,poor braking etc it is obvious you have not driven any of the minivans I mentioned (especially the Odyssey or Sienna).
    I suggest someone such as myself may want to consider a minivan for space, again my post states when pracitically and lots of rear seating trumps all else.
    all the minivans I mentioned are seven 7-8 passenger vehicals. Name a minivan in production that seats only six?
    As for gas milage that comment is not worth addressing as all mentioned get equal to or better milage than the CX-9.
    Again I an not a car techno guy and braking and cornering stats etc. mean very little to me I don't intend to drive anything I own around orange cones as fast as I can...
    When a vehical it is right for me I know it this is not a fit for me is all I'm saying; if someone identifies with and has similar need as I this post is for that person.

    Thanks for your input.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Name a minivan in production that seats only six?


    My Quest only seats 5 but that's because I threw away the middle bench seat. :shades:
  • Cute post Steve.
    But the Mazda5 is not really a minivan it is more of a mini-minivan.It is in a class by itself and will not likely suit the needs of anyone interested in this post chain.

    I too am interested in a real alternative to a minivan and hard pressed to find a happy medium.
    This is a real conundrum for many and I am open to suggestion, all the crossovers I looked at are not very roomy.
    I understand what is being conveyed by Balooo I'm in the same boat. Tried of the minivan image but all the crossovers we looked at are a step backward for space needs.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I thought you'd like that. ;)

    Edmunds does list is (and 4 others) under the Minivan category. We also call it, ahem, a compact minivan. It looks like a tall wagon with sliders a bit to me (but that's a good thing, imho - I always liked the Axxess).

    You may want to cruise this discussion if you haven't spotted it already:

    Compare the CX-9, Veracruz, Pilot, Acadia, Outlook, Enclave and Freestyle
  • Interested in the GT but they aren't in our area yet.

    First a thanks for previous reviews. They were helpful.

    A few points I'll add.

    +center console
    I disagree with earlier poster who disliked the center console. I agree it was big/high but I found it very comfortable as an arm rest for my right arm. I felt it more of a plus then a minus.

    I like the fact that the radio display info was up high on the console instead of down with the buttons. I'm a channel changer especially with steering wheel controls and I'm frequently looking down at the radio to recall what station I'm on. Having it up high made it easy to see without taking eyes off the road.

    +driver position
    The drive was higher then the Cx-7 (I drove a couple weeks ago) but it was lower then the Rav4. I felt it was a good compromise the CX-7 was too much like a sedan and the Rav4 felt a little too much like a bus. I think the Cx-9 was a good middle ground.

    +DVD screen
    Agree with observation made previously that the DVD entertainment option is well placed. It does not obstruct the rear view mirror.

    It didn't look as big as I thought it would. Also, the interior wasn't as large as I thought it would be. There's a lot of discussion on these boards about size and 3rd row seat comfort. I think conclusion here is that CX-9 is a compromise. It's a much more attractive vehicle then a Odessy/sienna but there's less roominess inside. Perhaps I need to seek counseling but for me Odessy/sienna=minivan and that's a mental block. Also, I have just one wife, one kid and one dog and CX-9 would be a large step up in size from our current family car (Mini Cooper) so I can be satisfied with the space.

    Ride seemed fine to me. I'm not an expert on this topic. I currently drive a Miata so this type of vehicle is totally different. It didn't jump up and go from a stop but it did seem to have enough power at speed. Also, turning radius was better then I expected.

    -Tracks in second row
    The tracks for sliding the seats appeared on the floor in front of the second row. This made the second row seem less appealing/comfortable. I suppose the reason they go so far is that you can slide the seats up all the way to touch the seats in front. I wonder how it looks with the rubber floor mats.

    ~Folding down the 2nd/3rd row seats
    The sliding second row also introduced some quicks with the seat folding. For example, with the second row all the way back, the 3rd row won't go down. So, while folding all the seats flat may be one-pull easy if they are in the right position, it's a bit of a dance if you need to move the seats forward first since you then need to walk around to the side door and adjust the position of the 2nd seat then go back to the rear to drop the 3rd row. I did like that the 3rd row folded completely flat and the floor was continous/falt for that row. I also like 60/40 seat split. Most likely that's where I would leave the 3rd row down most of the time. I'd use them as a convenient option to occasionally tote around a neighborhood kid/relative, not full time seating.

    ~huge doors
    I found the doors to be big, particularly the second door. I guess in some ways that's an advantage since it's spacious. Also, as the Mazda lit says the door opens suprisingly far (70 degrees I think). Again, that's convenience but it will require care in opening the doors when parked in crowded lots.

    -blind spot visibility
    Visibility to blind spot, expecially if you were trying to spot a short cars is pretty poor. This seems to be the case for all cars in this class. As a Miata driver, I'm always careful when in traffic with SUV's.

    At this point I'm a likely buyer, although I need to finalize the options. I anticipate I will order a GT. I'd like to wait for power hatch I think. Does anyone know if they are taking order on those yet?
  • fromsffromsf Posts: 19
    Nice Review.

    Here are my thoughts:
    1. Center Cosole:
    I was disappointed because there was less storage space with such a big center console. Also if three adults sit the in second row, then there are no cup holders for the second row seats. They could have added a pop-out cup holers in the rear of the center console for the second seat occupants.

    2. Size:
    CX-9 is almost 10 inches longer than Pilot and about 15 inches longer than '07 Highlander and 8 inches longer than Veracruz. But it offers only very little extra legroom in 2nd and 3rd row against the competition. I wouldn't compare CX-9 to a Van. All I can say is Mazda engineers didn't use extra length efficiently and wasted it on sporty windsheild.

    Rest I concur with your opinion.

    I was about a buy a Sienna around Dec '06 and put if off just for CX-9. Now, I am 50-50 on CX-9 and not able to decide and thinking of checking Veracruz before making the decision.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929

    I benefited from your review ... thanks. A comment on your comment:

    "Visibility to blind spot, expecially if you were trying to spot a short cars is pretty poor. This seems to be the case for all cars in this class. As a Miata driver, I'm always careful when in traffic with SUV's."

    Blind spots are created by improper, but popular, outside mirror-aiming method. Namely, we tend to aim them to see the quarter panels (rear fenders). Wrong! This results in our seeing essentially the same thing in all three mirrors. No value in that.

    I don't view my quarter panels as a threat, and I usually know exactly where they're at. Aim the left mirror outboard so you can see just see the edge of the quarter panel when you have your head against the driver's door glass. Do the right side in a similar fashion, but by leaning over the console. Goodbye blind spot.
  • Hey Balooo, I also drove a black CX-9 at Duval Mazda in Gainesville on Friday. I was very well impressed. Good ride, great handling and features out the yazoo. It sounds like you really would be better suited with a mini-van or maybe a class C motorhome. :) . The third row in the CX-9 is very nice and roomy as far as other CUVs are concerned. We probably won't ever use it. But, alas, it doesn't compare to a boxy, "unsexy" mini-van. I thought the interior was very well appointed with nice fit and finish. I loved the center console with the aux audio input and power source inside. The tilt & telescope wheel was nice also. I was very comfortable and the heated memory seats worked flawlessly. Even power recline and lumbar. I found the drive-train to be quite spirited and the turning radius very tight. The brakes were awesome. I liked all the little touches like lighted vanity visors, auto on/off headlights, rain sensing wipers and, of course the advanced keyless entry and start system. I was totally impressed!

    You're right, it doesn't quite have the interior space of a mini-van, but it's a cross over. If you get the GT you don't have to order the "technology" package as on the CX-7. I don't want a sunroof or the Bose system as I'm going to upgrade to a Pioneer AVIC-Z2 NAV/Audio system. I'm going to order a Galaxy Gray GT with Sand Leather today. Good luck in your search, but you just may have to stay in Daddy-minivan land. ;) Ace
  • balooobalooo Posts: 24
    Sounds like you test drove the same Black CX-9 I did Friday and you also sound like the salesman who attempted to sell me the vehical...
    I often wonder about these boards especially when people get personal in their response.
    Let's be clear about the minivan thing and many indivuals in the markets expectations...
    The CX-9 is Mazda's replacement for the MPV minivan they make no bones about that and the growing popularity of this segment is growing so fast because of consumers that currently own minivans and want what a minivan has to offer in a more stylish package this is the target market.
    If the CUV marketing effort is successful in capturing the intended market it is going after,people that require seating for seven; you'll be driving the next "Daddy/Mom-minivan" consider that wise guy.

    Back to my point...
    So the simple question begs to be asked how well does a vehical that claims to accomodate seven, accomodate seven and their gear?
    Does the CX-9 handle well I stated in my original post yes it does but the shortcomings for me outweigh all the gizmo you mention by the way all of which are in my Sienna except audio plug in and rain sensor wipers big woop.
    I find it funny to keep reading you cannot compare a CUV to a minivan. Several have done so in recent posts and then go on to say things like "I was considering a Sienna in December and now 50/50 leaning towards a CX-9 but will wait until the Veracruz arrives"
    There is a big disconnect here. If that is not comparing what is?
    No CUV can tow anything worth a darn,not intended to go off road,they are all based on non truck or sedan frames,all have 6 cylinder engines with less then 275 HP (except the Acura) and many claim to seat seven... Gee did I say CUV at the beginning of this sentence or minivan whats the difference except packaging and what you are willing to give up for that "cool" packaging.
    So please stop telling me you cannot compare a CUV and a minivan they are closer in intended function then many of you "cool in your mind" individuals want to believe.
    I am not concerned about image when traveling with my family my need is function. the CX-9 is a good looking vehical but a lot is being sacrificed for looks.

    BTW,my other vehical is a BMW 530i and my wife's everyday driver is a S80 Volvo. We are searching for a family/gear hauler replacement and do not tow anything or go off road so we don't want or need an SUV (another big disconnect with regard to those who buy one and the need).
    Good luck with the GT you are ordering.

    Proud to be identified as a Daddy.
  • Balooo,
    You speak nothing but the truth!

    Sounds like you guys live in the same town. You should look balooo up and get some tips on what women really find sexy :)
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    You might want to check out the new Chrysler minivans (Town&Country?) The 2nd row seats actually rotate 180 degrees on those, so that you face the 3rd row, and there's a little table you can install so that you can all sit and play cards or something. Now that's functional!

    It's funny how advertising can be interpreted: I never thought for one second that the CX-9 was intended for minivan buyers; instead, I thought they were going after the Highlander/Pilot by emphasizing more room in the 3rd row, which is almost non-existent in the Pilot/HL.
  • Gee Balooo, what's with the attitude? Did you miss the two smileys in my post? And where did I get personal? I spoke almost entirely about my impressions of the CX-9. For your family needs it sounds like a mini-van would work best for you. I hope you find a "vehicle" that you'll be happy with. For me, the CX-9 hits on all six cylinders! Peace, Brother! :shades:
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