As much as we all would love to have a Miata for our daily driver, adult lives come with adult responsibilities, and the Mazda CX-9 2020 SUV is a great commitment. Its sharp handling and the gutsy turbocharged four-cylinder engine helps you channel the Mazda light sports car while transporting children or taking groceries from the supermarket home. The exterior style wraps an interior that would look at home in a luxury car, and Mazda offers a lot of technological features that SUV shoppers want more. A set of driver assistance features is standard and an infotainment screen that provides access to media, maps and much more. Since the CX-9 has one of the third least spacious rows of seats and a lower than average load capacity. As a result, the CX-9 was recently shot down from the pedestal in which we had placed the Kia Telluride and the Hyundai Palisade.
Mazda has given the CX-9 several updates for 2020, among which is a standard set of driver assistance features called i-Activsense. The package includes automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane maintenance assistance. Also now are the heated front seats with driver power settings, windshield wipers with rain detection, automatic headlights and heated outside mirrors. The Touring, Grand Touring and Signature models now come with a larger 9.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a new keychain design and adjustable second-row seats. A new Touring Premium package adds second-row captain’s chairs to the Touring, a feature that is now standard in Grand Touring and Signature finishes. Grand Touring models also come with heated captain’s chairs and a lift door. The Signature frontline finish comes with a center console between the standard second row captain’s chairs and gets two new upholstery colors, Parchment or Deep Chestnut, both made of nappa leather.
> Sport: $ 34,835
> Touring: $ 36,655
> Grand Touring: $ 42,495
> Signature: $ 47,160
Interior, Comfort and Cargo
The 2020 Mazda CX-9 cabin surprises with luxury materials and detailed style, but compared to other SUVs in the segment, it is short in passenger and cargo space. The interior of the 2020 MAzda CX-9 welcomes passengers with a luxury cabin that would not look out of place in an Audi. Mazda has tastefully arranged soft-touch plastic with beautiful grain, brushed aluminum, and, in our Signature-trim test car, genuine rosewood. The board is beautiful and has very contoured areas with a 7.0 or 8.0 inch touch screen that springs from the top. Smaller measurements of the CX-9 mean real-world limitations. We managed to fit only two of our handbags behind the third row of the Mazda, which a third of what the Ford Explorer could collect. However, the second and third row of seats of the CX-9 fold easily to make rapid changes to the configuration, and the resulting loading floor is flat, which facilitates the loading of bulky items. With second and third row seats down, the CX-9 accommodated 25 of our cargo luggage cases.
Infotainment and connectivity
All CX-9s come with Mazda’s easy-to-use infotainment system. Sport models have a 7.0-inch screen, while Touring, Grand Touring and Signature models receive the 8.0-inch unit. The system can be controlled via the touch screen, a rotary knob or redundant buttons on the center console near the gear lever; It also responds to voice commands. The software is easy to navigate and the graphics are crisp, especially on the larger screen. The Bluetooth phone and audio transmission, HD radio and integrated Internet radio applications for Pandora, Stitcher and Aha are standard.
Engine, Transmission and Performance
In a segment where the power of the V-6 is basic, Mazda took a risk by offering a turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the only powertrain of the CX-9 in the hope of gaining a fuel-saving advantage. It sounds brave and achieved an impressive result in our acceleration tests, where we scooted our Grand Touring test vehicle from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds. The 2020 Mazda CX-9 is clearly the family carrier of the driving enthusiast. Surprisingly light on your feet, it often feels as if you are driving a smaller SUV. The suspension is firm, but still flexible enough on rough sections of road. Although not as communicative as other Mazdas, the CX-9 address still imparts strength that is lacking in other crossovers. Firm suspension and precise steering culminate in superior corner control.
Fuel economy and real-world MPG
Apart from its strong acceleration performance, the CX-9 is, according to the EPA, more fuel efficient than many of its rivals. While the 2020 figures have not been released, the 2019 model won EPA estimates of 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the road with front-wheel drive; Two-wheel drive drops both figures by 2 mpg. In our real-world road fuel saving test, the CX-9 all-wheel drive coincided with its 26 mpg rating.
Safety features and driver assistance
An honor Top Safety Pick + from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is hard to win, but the Mazda scored well in its crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also gave the CX-9 a five-star result. Key security features include:
> Standard automated emergency brake with pedestrian detection.
> Standard lane departure warning with lane maintenance assistance.
> Standard adaptive cruise control.
Warranty and maintenance coverage
Mazda offers an appropriate protection plan for buyers of new CX-9. What it does not offer is something that both GMC Acadia and Toyota Highlander do: Free scheduled maintenance.
> The limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles.
> The powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles.
> There is no free scheduled maintenance.