Mazda CX-9 in the snow

rh10023rh10023 Member Posts: 1
Looking for a CUV and the CX-9 are one of my choices. Always concerned about handling in the snow especially deep snow that we sometimes get in Iowa. Couple of years ago had a Ford Explorer, that handled the snow pretty well with four wheel drive on. I am looking to replace my 2000 Nissan Maxima. My Maxima is just all over the place when we get any sizeable accumulation (3 inches and higher). Seems like it floats on top of the snow and does not seem to track. (My wife's VW Passat seems to track pretty close like it is on rails in the snow.) For you CX-9 owners with the Grand Touring AWD drive, how is your CX-9 handling in the snow? Does it track pretty well after a sizeable amount of snow fall?


  • redgintonredginton Member Posts: 9
    Just bought a 08 GT AWD CX9 and live in Northern New York. Like another guy here, very disappointed with stock performance of the 20s and AW tires. Just dropped $1200 to get 18" Blizak snow tire package with ebayed Mazda rims. Traded a Jeep liberty, and dealer led me to believe it would actually do better than the jeep due to weight and wheel base. Yeah I knew better but having had a couple of Subarus, I thought it might be possible. He was very, very wrong, car IMO was unsafe with stock tires. My first drive with the wife in a snow storm was not a secure one. She has lost confidence in the vehicle as we were along for the ride during a slide through an intersections, etc. Not my first rodeo in snow or AWD. I believe I will be satisfied when proper snow tires are mounted. Too much $$ not to use proper tires. I was hoping OEM package would cut it but no way. Just as well don't want to trash 20" rims in salt either! A little pissed at my treatment at dealer but thats another story and a vent.
  • onepeopleonepeople Member Posts: 11
    I own a 2008 CX-9 AWD Touring with 18" wheels. We are in MA and with all the snow we've had, I like the performance in the snow. I'm sure glad we have AWD. I don't notice much of a difference between the CX-9 and my Toyota 4-Runner with 4WD.
    Bad weather performance is important and we're pretty happy so far.
  • imamgimamg Member Posts: 136
    Did you change your tires... or are you still using the original ones that came with the car?
  • onepeopleonepeople Member Posts: 11
    Nope. Still using the Bridgestones that came with the car. Traction might be better with a different tire, but it seems Ok now.
  • sliver93sliver93 Member Posts: 10
    I got my 08 GT two days before a 6' storm. I immediately went for a joy-ride and found myself satisfied, but not impressed. I warned my wife to be careful as the weight causes the vehicle to slip when stopping much more than our Jeep GC did. The vehicle moved and tracked well for me, no doubt due to the weight of the car.
    I would rate it a 7.5 out of 10.
  • redgintonredginton Member Posts: 9
    As mentioned in a previous post, both the wife and I were very disappointed in the AWD snow capabilities primarily because previous car was a Jeep liberty that was very commanding in the snow. Live in upstate NY and get hammered with lake effect snows and needed to rectify the problem. It got pricey but it is done and will certainly meet our needs to safely operate this wonderful car for years to come with proper tires for both seasons;
    4 P235/65QR-18 Bridgestone Blizzak DM-Z3s Tire Rack 600.02
    4 18x8 Mazda RX7 ebay rims with TPS 451.00 + 100. shipping
    Local tire shop mount and balance new tires and rims 92.00
    Total cost of confidence: less than $1250.00 with wheel sensors.

    More than I wanted to spend but where I live it was very necessary. My 08 GT AWD came with 20's that will not see road salt nor have to be broken down every season to mount very expensive 20 inch snows.

    Having been down this tire road before, there is no doubt snow/ice will not be an issue, I'll get a softer ride too with a tad more noise 3 months out of the year.
  • pgoddenpgodden Member Posts: 3
    have had my 2008 CX9 for about a year now, and have had two accidents, serious ones both requiring claims to the insurance company. I really think that this car has serious issues in winter conditions. Both accidents were sliding on ice and not being able to control the car.

    The first back in February, I was pulling from a stop sign turning right onto a icey road, the backend swung all the way to the left and the wheels locked, I slid 30ft into a parked car. No, I wasn't going too fast but at the time I thought that I musta messed up some how and the feelings of danger I feel when driving the car,is the result of going from a Chrysler 300 to a crossover.

    This winter, I have always felt that the car slips and slides a lot. Its random based on uncleared snow on the roads, icey conditions etc.

    This morning I was driving over a bridge going 80km per hour, roads had a little snow on them but nothing in the wheel tracks, all of the sudden out of the blue it felt like I had no traction, there wasn't major slippage but the car felt very unstable. Luckily I kept the steering wheel perfectly straight and the road was smooth so I slowed down, pulled into the inside lane to feel more stable. Every other car around was driving the same speed, it was only me having problems.

    So tonight, I was leaving the office traveling at about 30km, on a road that was packed uncleared snow/ice and bumpy with a slight decline, first the back end swung slightly to the left (20 degree) and after about 20ft I corrected it by not panicking and not hitting the brake, then, the car hit another bump and swung violently to the right (90 degrees), i was sliding down the street praying not to hit parked trucks, after about 40ft I was able to correct the 9 and get it straight only to run head on into a cement marker pylon. there was nothing I could do.

    I truly believe that the stock 20in tires with the shape, weight and center of gravity of this truck is a problem on icey roads. I wish i could return the car but that is unreasonable. I am 48 years old and have driven from 30years with no accidents but after driving this car in the snow and ice I have had 2 in less than a year.

    I guess i will have to get it fixed, as I am in Canada I am unsure of "The Tire Rack" in this subject. Does anyone have any idea of what or where to buy 18in tires etc in Calgary or somewhere cloe at least?

    thanks for listening, lucky to be alive but totally unhappy with the winter performance of the vehicle.

  • jcpharmjcpharm Member Posts: 92
    1) do you have AWD or FWD?
    2) OEM tires (bridgestone duellers) are notorious for being bad on ice/snow (read reviews on thus it may be more of a function of the tire rather than the car.
    3) you live in Calgary? you should be investing in some snow tires during the winter. even folks here in the northeast US use snow tires and i'm sure they don't get half as much as snow as you do.
  • jeff_dealjeff_deal Member Posts: 2
    I sure wish I would have known this before I purchased my 09 CX-9 in October. I replaced my Honda CR-V (son now has who is in college in Montana we are in Washington) so I wanted this rig to go back and forth to visit and have a little more room. All reviews were pretty solid so I bought the grand touring (knowing the 20 inch rims were a bit rougher on none smooth roads).

    Well just go back from a New Years snowy trip down the Colombia River Gorge in 4-6 wet snow and then mixing with was I sweating it the whole way and I am a solid driver in bad was like floating half the time knowing that if I made a mistake the vehicle was gone. Thought conditions must be really bad (many cars were off the road) but there were several front wheel drive vehicles passing me which was I know.

    Ok...I read a couple of the other entries and I would like to know if I really need to go to the 18" option (spendy), need to get 20inch snow tires (never have done this on my other AWD vehicles) or just grin and bear it through this winter and then before next get rid of these crappy tires and buy a better all purpose tire??? My wife's FWD Lexus had problems with OEM Bridgestones as well but the Michelin all weather seemed to correct the problem. The Bridgestones on my CR-V were OK but the Toyo's I replaced them with are much better as well.

    Shame on Mazda for putting out this AWD SUV product with such crappy tires for snowy conditions....I hope they read this thread and my local dealer will be getting an earful.

  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    It is the tire.
    I just put on Yoko Parada Spec-X and came back from a skii trip.
    It performed flawlessly.
    Get rid of the tires anyway you can unless you drive it mostly in dry-wet conditions only. On snow and ice, the OE tires are lousy.
    See for reviews for users with millions of miles on them. :(

    BTW, Bridgestone Deuler H/L 400 can be found on several vehicles of various brands, not just Mazda. They are expensive (way so) if you continue to buy the same ones as replacement....
  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599
    Just spent 2 weeks in VT with plenty of snow and ice. I recently put Blizzaks on the my AWD GT and no problems whatsoever. This is not a Jeep and it's not a truck with unstoppable 4WD. But with the right tires and conservative driving I was very happy with the snow/ice performance. This included some unpaved steep hills.
  • sedmundsedmund Member Posts: 93
    The Yoko Parada's are good in snow - this is my second snow/winter season on those and they have performed quite alright so far. But I find the steering response has become much worse with the Parada's in general compared to the Duelers, the steering has also become quite vague in the center. Do you find the same?
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    "vague in the center"

    I agree. But, it is not that bad. It comes with the tread pattern.

    Tires with many/big center water channels (like the OE tire) will have better center feel, but it also tends to follow "seams" on highway (which I absolutely dislike!!!).
    (1 for Spec-X, 4 for Dueler)

    Tire design is all about trading off many factors.
  • christopher_wchristopher_w Member Posts: 1
    My wife and I recently purchased a used 2007 CX-9 GT which appears to have the original Bridgestone 20" tires. We had our first snow here in Winnipeg Canada and I have the same complaints as many on this topic regarding the performance in the snow (e.g. poor stopping power, 'loose' feel on corners, and slow starting even with AWD). I plan to immediately purchase one of the snow tire setups from Tire Rack as recommend by others on this forum.

    My question is for those who have AWD CX-9s and drive in the snow frequently. I was surprised at the handling over slippery conditions when taking corners. My perception was that the AWD CX-9 was handling allot like a rear wheel drive vehicle. If I give it a little gas around the corner I have no difficulty swinging the back end around. While I have experience driving rear wheel drive vehicles in these conditions, and find these abilities to be fun on occasion, my wife does not, and after a few spinouts with near misses, will no longer set foot in our new vehicle. Will new winter tires solve this “problem”? Should I spend some time with my Wife getting her comfortable driving with the RWD feel, or is this something I should look into further? Have others had the same experience? My expectation prior to purchasing this vehicle was that with AWD and traction control would make the vehicle somewhat dummy proof when driving in adverse conditions. This does not seem to be the case.

    Note: The AWD and TCS are working in all other situations; I get good acceleration in icy conditions, the slippery road light comes on when TCS engages, both front and rear wheels appear to be powered when it is need.
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    Good = AWD with All-Season Tires...Ultimate = AWD with snow tires on all 4 corners.

    Check tire rack for snow and ice rating for your model tire.

    Also, keep about 32 lbs of air max in the snow. More air = more slippery.

  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    2007 AWD CX9s have higher percentage of transfer case failure reported.
    Problem seemed to have been solved with 2008+.
    If replacing with snow tires does not help, check with the dealer to see if it is not working properly as expected.

    Or, have a bystander outside to check if the rear wheels spin proactively when you accelerate on snow.
  • zoomcx9zoomcx9 Member Posts: 2
    I am driving a 2010 CX9 GT for a year now, and i am residing here at Northern Maine, the mountainouos woodland where snow averages 160-180 inches from last week of October to first week of May. Driving the CX9 using its OEM tires is not recommended, remember the tires are the part of any vehicle in contact with the ground...not the traction control or 4WD-system.

    Our first trip during winter happened last Feb 2010, and we are caught in the middle of worst snow storm recorded in Mid-Atlantic area, as we spent our vacation in Atlantic City down to Washington DC. Before the trip, I replaced the tires with Blizzak( bought $860 @ Sears ), as I cant afford the Nokian snow tires size 20" (worth $1500) which i prefer & brand I trusted most & use in non-traction control car.

    The trip went well, we can travel in a 6-10 inches of snow smoothly, and the day after the storm we can run at I-95 within speed limit 65-75MPH. On our way, we saw different vehicles stranded, swerved, & crashed to another vehicle but the CX9 with Blizzak snow tires stand above the rest. From DC to New York, Boston to Northerneastern part of Maine...we return home safely in midst of snow storm & blizzard.

    We already drove with CX 9 from Maine to Niagara falls & its stability is at its best over other SUV at its category. Now this is the second winter we have this reliable car..just use a reliable snow tire ( I don't use studded tires ) so you can enjoy ZOOM...ZOOOM...ZOOOOM !!!
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    Check your tire model on and look at survey of your tires that came stock. I just checked the 20" tires on my brand new 2010 CX-9 GT and they are abysmal for snow/ice traction (55/57 of tires rated overall). B/S Dueler H/L 400...same junk tires on the 2008 CR-V we purchased. 23K and out for a set of Kuhmo's.

    I'm so glad they will need replacement at ~ 20K miles (260 tread wear UTOG rating) so I can get proper all-weather tires.

    Mazda, you should be ashamed!!! Honda, you too!!

This discussion has been closed.