The 2019 Mazda CX-9 is one of the most popular vehicles in three-row SUV segment. At a rather shallow level, we like its style that makes rival midsize SUVs look mainstream when compared. The same applies to the Signature model interior, which rivals the cabin of several luxury brand vehicles in terms of material quality.
Furthermore, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 drives very well compared to rivals, with nimble and almost sporty handling. Thankfully, this cornering skill does not sacrifice comfort, since the CX-9 smooths out rough things easily. We also appreciate its quiet cabin at highway speeds.
Still, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 brings a few drawbacks. If you need a three-row family carrier with large cargo space, this is not the right choice. The same thing applies to the amount of space in the third row. However, it’s fair to say that the CX-9 is still big enough to meet the needs of common crossover SUV buyers.
Overall, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 great attributes far outweigh its issues. This is worth considering against any other midsize three-row SUV such as the new Subaru Ascent, Honda Pilot, and Volkswagen Atlas.
Retuned suspension for a smoother ride. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now available. New surround-view parking camera system.
Trim levels and features
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 is a three-row, seven-passenger crossover SUV. It’s available in four trim levels: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and Signature.
Standard equipment for the base Sport includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, tri-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth upholstery, 60/40-split folding second-row seats, 50/50-split folding third-row seats, a 7-inch display with Mazda Connect infotainment system, Bluetooth, two USB ports and a six-speaker sound system. Also standard is a low-speed automatic emergency braking system, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring.
The CX-9 Touring adds keyless ignition and entry, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power liftgate, a universal garage door opener, power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, an 8-inch infotainment display, and two USB ports in the second-row center armrest.
The Touring also receive more safety features, including enhanced automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and lane keeping assist.
The CX-9 Grand Touring adds 20-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, LED foglights, adaptive headlights, a sunroof, roof rails, a surround-view camera system, aluminum interior trim, a heated steering wheel, additional interior lighting, a digital gauge cluster, a head-up display with traffic sign recognition, ventilated front seats, driver-seat memory functions, heated second-row seats, retractable sunshades for the middle-row seats, a navigation system, a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system with satellite radio.
The range-topping Signature trim adds all-wheel drive, exterior LED accent lighting, premium interior trim and leather upholstery.
Some of the features on higher trims are available on lower models as options.
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv-G engine. When using premium fuel, this engine produces 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. With the regular 87-octane, output drops to 227 horsepower. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered and sends power to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available as an option. The Signature trim is only sold as AWD.
Mazda vehicles always have something special that separates them from all rivals, and the 2019 Mazda CX-9 is no exception. Compared to rivals such as the Chevy Traverse and Honda Pilot, the CX-9 rides and corners like it’s attached to the road, with precise steering requiring minimal effort to affect course change.
The retuned suspension retains excellent cornering abilities, but now provides a smoother ride over rough pavements. Helping cornering is the Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control which enhances steering feel by varying torque and optimizing load control. While the CX-9 four-cylinder turbo isn’t really full of horsepower, its impressive torque helps move this large SUV with enthusiasm, even when loaded with passengers and cargo.
In performance testing, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, which is about average for this class. EPA estimated fuel economy at 24 mpg combined (22 city/28 highway) for the front-wheel-drive model and 23 mpg combined (20/26) for the AWD. This is better than average among other three-row SUV. Properly equipped, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Going inside, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 interior exceeds that expected for the class. The overall design is visually pleasing without exaggeration, and all the controls are carefully placed. Mazda’s Connect infotainment system is very intuitive and the screen is perfectly placed in the driver’s sight line. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a new addition for this year, too. The Signature trim cabin further enhances the sense of luxury thanks to aluminum and wood trim and red leather upholstery.
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 front seats provide plenty of support and comfort for long-distance travel, although leather fabrics can be sultry in warm weather. The second row seats are also comfortable and offer a generous range of recline and sliding adjustments. Like most SUVs in this class, the third line is intended for occasional use or smaller passengers. The kids will be fine there, but the low seat cushions and the lack of headroom mean that adults will find it suitable only for short trips.
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 offers 14.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row along with a shallow underfloor bin. With the third row folded, the cargo capacity expands to 38.2 cubic feet, and with both rows folded, there is 71.2 cubic feet. It’s smaller than the average for a three-row SUV, but the CX-9 flat load floor make loading bigger items easier.
Release Date and Price
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting from $33,275 (all prices include the $995 destination fee) for the base Sport model. The Touring trim is the best value for most consumers and starts at $36,325. The Grand Touring trim begins at $41,835. Adding AWD is an extra $1,800. The top-line Signature trim starts at $46,360.