Mazda CX-9 nimble, roomy
Mazda, the car company that gave the world the nimble, two-seat Miata roadster, makes a commendable seven-seat crossover sport utility vehicle, too.
And like the Miata, the 2014 Mazda CX-9 is a nimble handler that drives as if it's smaller than it is.
The nearly 17-foot-long CX-9 is attractively styled with a raked windshield and well-proportioned shape and has strong V-6 power and comfortable interior room. The five-door CX-9 is rated by Consumer Reports magazine as above average in reliability as well.
Pricing is competitive with better known family SUVs.
Starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, for a 2014 CX-9 with 270-horsepower V-6, six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive is $30,815.
Among the standard features on every CX-9 are three-zone climate control, tilt and telescoping steering wheel with cruise control and audio buttons on the wheel, power windows, door locks and outside mirrors, three 12-volt power outlets and 5.8-inch color display touchscreen.
The test CX-9 — an all-wheel drive model in top, Grand Touring trim — was a stalwart people carrier. Both front and second-row seats moved forward and back on tracks easily, so tall and short passengers always found a way to apportion legroom to make everyone comfortable. Plus, the large and right-height lever on each side of the second-row seats that quickly unlocked them and moved them out of the way for quick entry to the third row was simpler to use than those in some other SUVs.
Even the two seats in the third row of the test CX-9 could accommodate adults if the second-row seats were moved up a ways on their tracks, though third-row seats sat close to the floor.
Driving the CX-9 is a sporty experience. The test CX-9 rode on 20-inch tires and hewed close to the pavement, even though it sat up a good ways.
Via the front MacPherson strut suspension and rear multilink configuration, the driver of the test vehicle felt a constant connection to the road, much as one would in a sporty sedan. This affected the ride by transmitting road bumps to passengers as mostly mild vibrations. But some passengers noticed the noises that the tires conveyed as they traveled over the bumps.
Ann M. Job is an Associated Press contributor.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Delay sought in enforcing regulation to make mortgages easier to understand
- West Coast port slowdown a $100M blow to apple growers
- Overhaul possible for West Mifflin’s Century III Mall
- GMC Sierra is part workhorse, part command center
- Fuel and potential fires for U.S. economy ahead
- How to cover work history gaps
- Vehicle won’t run if sensor is on the fritz
- Female CEOs’ pay outpaces male colleagues
- Trib 30 index of stocks gains 0.7% in May
- Looking to save fuel? Check online
- EPA to release biofuels proposal by June 1