If the abstraction of affairs a crossover is an abuse to your driving-enthusiast sensibilities, we’re blessed to address that the 2021 Mazda CX-9 delivers affluence of the brand’s authentication active verve. Its administration is far bluff than any of its rivals’ and it’s powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder that will accommodate abundant pep for best drivers. The Mazda’s berth earns aloof as abundant adulation from our editors as its active dynamics, as it offers a near-luxury atmosphere and aggressive account of accepted and alternative features. A host of driver-assistance appearance are standard, too. Rivals such as the also-excellent Kia Telluride and its accumulated cousin, the Hyundai Palisade, action added commuter and burden space, but the CX-9 charcoal one of our admired SUVs to acclaim to those who amount able-bodied administration and disciplinarian assurance as abundant as we do.
The CX-9’s infotainment receives an check for 2021 and now comes with a 10.3-inch affectation and the adapted interface that debuted on the Mazda 3 auto and hatchback. A wireless smartphone charging pad is now accepted on Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature models. A new Carbon Edition amalgamation is accessible on the Grand Touring, which adds atramentous exoteric trim, a blacked-out grille, atramentous 20-inch wheels, and red covering seats. Grand Touring and Signature models accept new paddle shifters and an bigger exoteric camera system; the top-level Signature allowances from a host of new accepted equipment, including rear automatic emergency braking, a driver-attention ecology system, adapted grille and caster designs, and new checky covering upholstery.
Of the CX-9’s four trim levels, the Touring archetypal represents the best value. It offers affluence of niceties, including a power-operated rear liftgate, covering upholstery, power-adjustable advanced seats, and keyless admission with push-button start. To get the CX-9’s new second-row captain’s chairs—a affection abounding three-row SUV buyers want—opt for the Touring Premium package, which additionally adds two added USB ports in the third row, a Bose audio system, SiriusXM accessory radio, fog lamps, advanced and rear parking sensors, and second-row window sunshades.
In a articulation area V-6 ability is common, Mazda took a accident by alms a turbocharged four-cylinder agent as the CX-9’s sole powertrain in the achievement of a accretion in fuel-economy. It does eke out an advantage over some competitors, but it’s slight. The agent sounds bold and managed a class-competitive aftereffect in our dispatch testing, area it scooted our Grand Touring analysis agent from aught to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds. The 2021 CX-9 is acutely the active enthusiast’s ancestors hauler; decidedly ablaze on its feet, it generally feels as if you’re active a abate SUV. The abeyance is firm, but it’s still adaptable abundant benumbed over asperous stretches of road. The steering,while not as candid as added Mazdas, still imparts ability that’s missing from added crossovers. The close abeyance and authentic council culminate in above cornering control.
Apart from its solid dispatch performance, the CX-9 is, according to the EPA, added ammunition able than abounding of its rivals. While 2021 abstracts accept not been released, the 2020 archetypal becoming EPA estimates of 22 mpg in the burghal and 28 mpg on the artery with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive drops both of those abstracts by 2 mpg. In our real-world artery fuel-economy test, the all-wheel-drive CX-9 akin its 26-mpg rating.
The CX-9’s berth wows with flush abstracts and abundant styling, but compared with added SUVs in the segment, it’s abbreviate on commuter and burden space. Open the aperture and the CX-9’s autogenous welcomes cartage with an flush berth that wouldn’t attending out of abode in an Audi. Mazda has alluringly abiding soft-touch artificial with handsome graining, brushed aluminum, and, in our Signature-trim analysis car, 18-carat rosewood. The CX-9’s abate abstracts beggarly real-world limitations. We managed to fit aloof two of our attache accoutrements abaft the Mazda’s third row, which one-third of what the Ford Explorer could muster. The CX-9’s additional and third rows of seats bend calmly for quick agreement changes, though, and the resultant amount attic is flat, authoritative it accessible to amount beefy items. With second- and third-row seats down, the CX-9 accommodated 25 of our attache cases.
All CX-9s appear with Mazda’s convenient infotainment arrangement and a 10.3-inch display. The software is accessible to cross and the cartoon are crisp, additional the Mazda Connected Services apartment provides alien admission to agent status, telematics, and key operations such as alien alpha and alien locking. Bluetooth buzz and alive audio, HD radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are all accepted features. A wireless smartphone charging pad is new for the 2021 archetypal year but isn’t offered on the abject Sport model.
A Top Assurance Pick account from the Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance (IIHS) is difficult to earn, but the Mazda denticulate able-bodied in its blast tests. The National Artery Traffic Assurance Administration additionally gave the CX-9 a best result. Key assurance appearance include:
Mazda offers an able aegis plan for buyers of new CX-9s. What it doesn’t action is article that both the GMC Acadia and the Toyota Highlander do: Adulatory appointed maintenance.