Mazda CX-9 Real World MPG



  • vinsuzvinsuz Member Posts: 13
    I am still on my first tank of gas (just bought an '08 GT AWD this past Saturday) and have been watching the needle go down faster than Paris Hilton at a movie premier! I've put about 120 miles on the odometer and am down to a half tank! Then I turned off the Auto Climate Control and after a day (about 30 miles or so), I am still hovering around a half tank. Auto Climate Control appears to keep the A/C compressor running (the A/C light stays lit), and we all know how A/C affects mileage. When I took delivery, my salesman said the A/C stays on in Auto Climate Control mode in order to more effectively defrost the interior windows when necessary, but if it is going to have such a negative impact on my mileage, I'll adjust the controls myself. I really don't like the thought of not being able to use the Auto Climate Control feature since I've had it in my previous three cars and have become quite accustom to it.

    I've seen a wide range of mileage reports in this thread, so I wonder if people would also add whether or not they have and/or use the Auto Climate Control feature.
  • kj123kj123 Member Posts: 11
    My first tank yielded 18.1mpg, second was really close at 17.9mpg. Mostly city driving on regular gas with a FWD Touring. I can't complain about it since regular gas is recommended and it is above average for this type of vehicle.
  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
    I noticed that with the A/C off the windows tend to fog very easily so I leave mine on. You can reduce compressor cycling, however, by turning off the rear unit.
  • redgintonredginton Member Posts: 9
    Just completed a 1,000 trip in a 08 GT AWD and average mileage was 18+ with 90% interstate at 75 mph with some mixed city. HVAC was on entire trip with AC light illuminated (don't think the compressor was needed as it was 30 degrees most of the trip. I don't think I ever saw 21 but it was far better than previous 14-15 in town. I feel much better, as it is no worse than the Jeep liberty that it replaced which got 16 no matter what we did.
  • jchcraigjchcraig Member Posts: 5
    There is a problem with the MPG and it is or could be the TCS, which is being engaged when not needed creating drag. Turn off the TCS and a light comes on saiding it is off however it re-engages as soon as you take off. It should only re-engage if it detects slippage, therefore something is wrong if the light goes off showing that it has re-engaged. I have also noticed that I am getting brake noise reflecting that the system must be using the brakes to create drag causing the bad GPM. Also this is a hazard as I was pulling out of a drive way in the snow and the system has a delayed action which had brought the car to a stop and I was frantically pushing the gas pedal to get out of the on coming traffic. This is a very dangerous car and I have told Mazda this.
  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
    I think you should do a little reading about the TCS before you make such elaborate claims.
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    2008 CX-9 GT AWD
    My first tank MPG was 16.5mpg with 50/50 city/highway. The highway portion is mixed with daily commute congestion (30-40mph for 50% of the highway).
    This is slightly better than my BMW 540iA (V8 4.4L), which did 16mpg on the same route. Of course, this is no where near what my Prius does, 44mpg.
    Same route, same speed, same driving style.

    I am happy with the CX-9. This vehicle really shows what Mazda can do if they really try. Bravo!
  • epicardepicard Member Posts: 15
    Unfortunately I've noticed that my CX-9's fuel guage is very wonky. When I fill up the needle is pegged, and it takes about 30 miles before it drops down to full. Then drops quickly to half-tank. And then I need to refill around 290 - 300 miles. It doesn't measure drop in fuel evenly - not sure what's up with that.
  • msuvetmsuvet Member Posts: 54
    I've been getting 15.5-16 mpg for my tanks (usually not a full tank, as I fill up on the days that they usually raise the price, whether I need it or not).

    My usual driving is about 60/40 highway/city. Generally about 77 mph on the highway.

    Today I had to drive 200 miles total, 95% highway. 19.9 mpg.

    I filled up before leaving, and again when back. Most of the highway driving was between 70-80 mph (not all, because the roads were still bad from our snowstorm for the first part).

    my fuel gauge was between 1/2 and 1/4 tank (closer to the 1/2, didn't see what it was exactly) when I filled back up.

    Also, I've noticed most of my other cars' fuel gauges go down faster on the second "half" of the tank vs the first "half"
  • jchcraigjchcraig Member Posts: 5
    All I know that Mazda should not advertise 17/21 for a AWD and I am getting on 12/15.5 mpg. Also have you ever pulled out in slippery conditions the AWD or TCS kicks in and shut the car down with on coming traffic at you. I wonder how many people will have to die before someone at Mazda takes a look at this. Everyone needs to complain to the Motor Vechile safety board and who ever they think will listen. I have talked with the dealer they have turn in a techinical review request and another dealer told me to contact Mazda but Mazda says contact the dealer and will even listen to find a resolution. I plan on making noise about this.
  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
    All I know that Mazda should not advertise 17/21 for a AWD

    Actually, that's an EPA rating. You might want to write your congressman instead.
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    I think the more realistic 2008 rate is 15/21 for AWD. 17/21 was the 2007 rating. A different rating system was adopted in 2008 for all vehicles. Hybrids drop the most among all.
    I have been consistently getting about 15-16 mpg with mixed metro traffic. For a heavy vehicle like CX-9, if you are lead-footed, the MPG could drop very dramatically.
    Try to time the red light and accelerate mildly. Also check your tire psi.
  • nxs138nxs138 Member Posts: 481
    Also have you ever pulled out in slippery conditions the AWD or TCS kicks in and shut the car down with on coming traffic at you.

    The thing is, if the traction control kicks in it means that you would have gone nowhere anyways since your wheels would just have been spinning.

    The traction control on my Audi does the same thing: it lowers power to the engine if it senses the wheels spinning. It's a weird sensation because I'll be nearly flooring the accelerator but the engine will barely rev. It gets the car going, but slowly. When I disable the traction control, the wheels spin a lot, and the car zig-zags as it tries to get footing. So the traction control is doing something.
  • mdhuttonmdhutton Member Posts: 195
    Maybe your mileage sucks because you're flooring it to get out in front of traffic without yielding the right-of-way if oncoming vehicles are that close.
  • scottinkyscottinky Member Posts: 194
    I may be selling my full size SUV for something along these lines,
    and you guys are in my realm mileage wise, and some of you payment wise.
    damn. I think I will go with a Volvo Wagon instead.
  • nxs138nxs138 Member Posts: 481
    None of these large CUVs are providing great gas mileage. The Acadia, the CX-9, heck even the Honda Pilot will give you low 20s at best. Maybe the new direct injection engines will help, but you still have all that weight.

    We initially looked at the Passat wagon (the 4 cyl version with turbo), which is one of the largest wagons out there with good gas mileage. But then we decided we wanted a third row for occasional use, and none of the wagons have that (although the Volvo might still have that little fold-down seat)
  • zoomornotzoomornot Member Posts: 5
    I have had the Cx-9 AWD GT since Dec 2007. Running on probably the 5th full tank. First full tank gave me 17.5 mpg with 40/60 - highway/city driving followed by 15.4 with 80/20 - city/highway driving.

    Overall, I can say I am averaging around 16 mpg. This is not bad at all considering that my car which is also a Mazda millenia gives me 20 mpg overall. Happy so far except that the bluetooth reset itself once for no reason.

  • jchcraigjchcraig Member Posts: 5
    I do not floor it and take it easy on the road trip on dry roads and the best I got was 16 mpg. Some of you people providing answers seem to work for Mazda. So if a car does not get anywhere close to the EPA rating there is something wrong. I have also noticed that my front brakes have wear cutting into the disc after 5,000 miles. Something is wrong and I will find out. I will not settle for what is right. You have the right to explore and get everything right as possible in the warranty in the first 12,000 miles at no cost. Maybe if enough people complained who get bad gas mileage change would occur.
  • jchcraigjchcraig Member Posts: 5
    I am having the same mileage GT AWD towing package 12/16 mpg. Did they find anything wrong with your?
  • haymistahaymista Member Posts: 12
    I have an 07 FWD and 95% of my driving is short trips in city conditions. I got 16.7 mpg on my last tank, and I was pleased. I did not need to run the a/c or heat much so that probably helped as most tanks have been around 16.0. I have only had 1 highway trip and I got 20 mpg. I have somewhat of a heavy foot, although I don't punch it.
  • vinsuzvinsuz Member Posts: 13
    I am on my fourth tank now and it looks like it will be in the neighborhood of 15 MPG again. I got 16.4 and 15.4 on my last two tanks with about 40% highway. I give a little lenience to the fact that I live in hilly terrain, but I still expected better mileage than this. I gave up a V8 Explorer that was much quicker off the line and got nearly the same mileage as my CX-9. I really love this car, but the mileage could prevent me from getting another one when my lease is up in less than 26 months!
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Member Posts: 214
    " I will not settle for what is right."

    You must be a hard person to deal with.
  • jreddickjreddick Member Posts: 2
    I am really looking at getting a mazda CX9 (or competing vehicle) in another year to 18 months. The familys growing and the utility factor is two appealing. However, obviously gas prices are a concern. I would really like to purchase a nicely loaded vehicle that was safe and reliable and drive it into the ground. However, at 15 or 16 mpg it might put me in the ground instead!

    Anyone know if there are going to be any diesel or hybrid (or, praise be, diesel hybrids) coming down the pike in this or any of the competing vehicles? Maybe Im just being picky, but it doesn't seem that implausble to have these type vehicles average in the low to mid 20's... I could totally justify getting one then.
  • nxs138nxs138 Member Posts: 481
    The CX-9 is rumored to be getting a direct injection engine, which should bump gas mpg by a couple of points. Haven't heard anything about a hybrid.

    As far as competing vehicles, the Highlander has a hybrid, but doesn't really have the same 3rd row space and cargo. The thing will get about 24 mpg city and hwy, though. Also, the upcoming Chevy Traverse is getting a direct injection engine, and might have a hybrid, but probably not for a couple of years.

    Unfortunately, I haven't found anything that gets decent mileage with AWD. I chose the CX-9 because of handling and ride, certainly not for 21 mpg hwy...
  • kenmarckenmarc Member Posts: 16
    Only 1600 miles so far, we are averaging 15.8 to 16.8, 90% city driving. For comparison, our 04 Pilot was always 18-19 in the same conditions, from day one.

    We will be taking some road trips this summer, hoping I see 20+.
  • boobotboobot Member Posts: 4
    Diesels are looking less and less attractive. Granted they get better fuel mileage but the price of diesel is skyrocketing. In Houston, as of 3/13/08 we pay $3.10 for unleaded and diesel is $3.89. As you can see the main advantage (I know there are others) of diesel's fuel economy is shot down by the high prices. There are many reasons why diesel is high and will remain high. It stems from excess demand in Europe, AsiaPac and now even the U.S.

    It is also now more expensive to refine since it is cleaner. Even Katrina has an effect on diesel since many plants were shutdown when they came back on line they focused on producing standard petroleum. Couple low stocks with high demand for diesel and you have the ludicrous prices we see! I wish it wasn't that way because I would go for a diesel CX-9 in a heartbeat!
  • skw0123skw0123 Member Posts: 33
    Well, if you drive 60 or 65 on the highway (tops) you might get it in the CX-9. The one fault in almost everybody's assumption about highway mileage is that you can get 22 (or 21 AWD) if you drive at 75 MPH. This 10-15 MPH difference easily accounts for a 15-20 percent drop in highway mileage vs. the EPA.

    15 percent drop from 22 MPG = 18.7 MPG
    20 percent drop from 22 MPG = 17.6 MPG

    Driving habits probably account for the rest.

    So let's say somebody reports getting 15 MPG mixed mileage for a trip that is 60 highway/40 city. This is on par for city mileage, but it probably means that a heavy foot in town and an average highway speed of 75-80 MPH could easily account for the rest.

    Wet roads make a big difference since the wide tires have so much contact area, and driving in windy conditions or hilly terrain are obviously factors too.
  • c_rexc_rex Member Posts: 14
    curious about this part
    "Wet roads make a big difference since the wide tires have so much contact area, "

    I live in a rainy neck of the woods and am wondering if I should go for 18"s if I buy a CX-9.

  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    On CX-9, 18" and 20" tires have the same width at 245mm = 24.5cm.
    20" wheel/tire combo is heavier than the 18" wheel/tire combo. That will cost you a bit of MPG (but way less than 1mpg)

    EPA testing of mighway mileage varies speeds around 48mph (2007 and before). If one holds constant speed (say using cruise control), one can definite beat EPA highway mileage even at 65mph. I don't know about the new 2008 rating system since it has been updated.
  • c_rexc_rex Member Posts: 14
    right on. thx ceric!
  • dorenescardorenescar Member Posts: 28
    Our new CX 9 FWD; first tank averaged 18.9, mostly city miles. This is above the prediction by EPA, which was 18 combined. For a large SUV, over 5,000 pounds, we're very happy with our first tank results. I love this vehicle in all ways!! :D
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    People with AWD are not that lucky.
    I have been getting 16.5 - 17.5mpg with mixed driving.
    And, I am not lead-footed, just following the flow.
    AWD is 5% heavier (200lb+) and more powertrain loss. -2mpg is expected.

    BTW, CX-9 FWD is only 4350lb (curb weight - meaning all fluid/fuel - no person).
    AWD is about 4550lb + extra accessories.. (hitch-30lb, roofrack-15lb, .....)
  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
    EPA ratings are 16/22 and 15/21 for FWD and AWD, respectively.
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    Yes, I know.
    I have a gut feeling that the difference in MPGs between FWD and AWD is more than 1 mpg. We should do a poll on this. My guess was 2mpg.
  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
    I may find out in a few months...if I get an AWD.

    My current FWD averages about 17mpg with 50/50, but I tend to drive a little fast on the highway making the 22mpg figure unreachable. With any car, I typically average the city rating.
  • jchan66jchan66 Member Posts: 8
    I have a 08 Touring AWD with towing package. I live in Portland, Oregon with a lot of hills. My first 1300 miles got me an average of 15.4 mpg so far with 50/50. The best I got so far was 17.8 mpg with 90% of highway for once.
  • dorenescardorenescar Member Posts: 28
    it appears we are getting higher mileage than some on our FWD CX9; we also have a lexus 400 H, which has trained us, by visual instant calculation, on how best to drive that vehicle. Some posts on another thread talked about getting an aftermarket small mileage indicator for CX9 - I don't know if there are any that calibrate the instant mileage, but if so, it can help hugely. We've gone up 3mpg in the hybrid; the key is minimally and slowly gassing it after a stop, and taking foot off pedal and coasting as much as possible. My husband is even better than me; he can go on and off pedal continuously, and gets 29 mpg on the hybrid. I hope to get 20 mpg on this Mazda vehicle. I used to get a lot of speeding tickets; this type of driving is ticket free!
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    I agree. We have a Prius, and now a CX-9 AWD. I know the "pulse & glide" routine very well. As you said, the trick is a brisk (not too fast, not too slow) acceleration to your target speed, then maintain the constant speed. Timing red lights is also crucial.
  • 18mike18mike Member Posts: 5
    I put on mostly highway miles and drive 65-70 MPH.
    Is it reasonable to assume I will get 20MPG on the highway ?
  • btm2518btm2518 Member Posts: 12
    Two months old with a total of 2,300 miles.

    60% Suburban, 40% Hwy - 17.0 mpg

    95% Hwy (2 lane road), 5% City - 19.7 mpg
  • skc7skc7 Member Posts: 4
    I have 3500+ miles on my 2008 CX-9 GT AWD and I'm getting about 15-16 mpg in all city (stop & go) driving and 20-23 mpg in all highway driving. This is pretty much the EPA estimates and while I would like better city mileage, I cannot really complain. I'll report again later after about 5-10K miles if there is any change.
  • bluerublueru Member Posts: 5
    We have owned our 2008 CX-9 since March 4th and we love it. We bought a base model (FWD Sport?) with the moonroof & power seat option. Within 2 weeks of owning it, we drove it to Hilton Head, SC (900+ miles one way) and were able to average between 23 - 24 MPG going about 72 MPH the entire way! Since then (now have about 4000 miles), we have been averaging about 18 - 19 MPG in mostly city (85%) driving. Several of you have mentioned pulse and glide....that is how we do it in town/city. This car glides forever....I have been able to easily glide more than a 1/4 mile and only lose 5 - 10 MPH The vehicle is great and I would recommend it to friends and family.
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    I also found that CX-9 glides much longer than others. I suspect that the flywheel is quite massive, which hurts the acceleration a bit. (a heavy flywheel smooths out acceleration and deceleration)
    People with AWD is not as lucky in term of MPG. I believe a 2mpg difference is more realistic than EPA's 1mpg. Pulse and Glide works extremely well for hybrids, but the same applies for ICE vehicles as well, only not as much improvement. For ICE vehicles, just try to keep RPM low. Modern vehicles try to maintain same fuel/air mixture (within 5% range). Therefore, RPM is a good indicator of fuel consumption.
    CX-9 has very short 1st gear (1st=4.15). I have tried to start at 2nd gear (with M+/-) and it pulls fine. I can see the 1st gear will be useful on heavy load. The transmission program should allow CX-9 to start at 2nd gear. It has the torque (270ft-lb) and gear ratio (2nd=2.37) to do that. Most BMW auto-tranny automatically starts at 2nd gear when not accelerating hard offline. In contrast, the 1st gear of Honda Pilot 5-spd tranny is 2.422 (FWD), very close to CX-9's 2nd gear.
    While most 6-spd tranny save fuel, but not the one on CX-9 since the extra gear is placed very short to have the "zoom-zoom" feel offline.
    Compare the 6-spd gear ratios and those of Honda Pilot's 5-spd, and you will see what I mean.
  • selooseloo Member Posts: 606
    The MPG for these cars is very disappointing. Most minivans get as good or better MPG than the major crossovers. These crossovers have good platforms, they just need to get 22 City and 30 Hwy MPG.

    Maybe they can rework the gear ratios in future models. Ceric is correct most BMWs (6 cyl) balance performance with fair to good MPG.
  • hot4amyhot4amy Member Posts: 2
    I have had 3 CX-9 during the last 3 months....original AWD GT stuck in repair after 2 weeks; loaner CX-9 (FWD) for 1 month; replacment AWD GT for 6 weeks.
    Have yet to get any better than 14.8 mpg combined(50/50)
    Try to turn off climate control, never go over 65, check tire psi, ..........

    amazing getting same mpg than Suburban.....
    no....not speeding nor lead footed.

    Wish wife had chose the Toyota or Honda or even the Acadia ....since repair had been horrible for a new vehicle.
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    I think Toyota/Honda would probably have given you better MPG, but not the Arcadia. Go read their forums. You will see that Arcadia's 500lb extra weight is something to carry around.
    All I can say is that go gentle on the 1st gear, and your CX-9 MPG will be fine.
    I have been averaging 16+mpg in SF BayArea traffic. Zero problems after 5000 miles.
  • vinsuzvinsuz Member Posts: 13
    What's the terrain where you live? I live in Western Pa with a lot of hills, but now that I've surpassed 2k miles, my '08 GT is getting 16+ consistently (50/50), and I'm sort of a lead foot and drive 70+ mph on the interstates. I don't know the validity of the supposed "break-in period", but I have noticed a slight improvement.
  • ezyeezye Member Posts: 2
    Just over 1000 miles and I've yet to get more than 13 mpg out of this thing. I really like this car but having to fill up once a week is ridiculous. At first, I thought it was my wife's driving habits but I had the car for a week while she was out of town and the best I could do was about 13 mpg and I'm a very conservative driver (no ac, slow starts/stops, etc.). If I knew my mpg was going to be this bad I would've passed on this vehicle. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, I'm very dissappointed.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    Tuesday means Mazda chat night! The chat opens at 8:45 pm ET and runs until 10 pm ET. I hope you're able to join us tonight to meet and greet with your fellow CarSpace members!
    See you there!
  • badselfbadself Member Posts: 39
    When I got mine ('08 GT), the vehicle was California emissions and I was very worried about (1) the vehicle bogging down more than a non-California car, and (2) a hit in fuel efficiency because it's California. I bought in Maryland, but the dealer bordered a green state (PA) so they order all theirs California in order to do dealer trades. I actually drove two non-California cars before buying mine and I could not detect a difference in performance, so I bought this California emission CX-9 and after two tankfuls if 50/50 driving, I'm just breaking 20.0 mpg, so all in all, California or no California, I guess I'm doing better than I expected, and definitely better than some. Didn't set out looking for the particular emission standard, it just happened to be the dealer with the best price (by a good margin). Hard to understand how folks driving conservatively are in the 13's and 14's, not that I don't believe them. Just glad not my experience so far.
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