2016 Mazda CX-9 review with video

Base price: $35,300 + taxes
As tested: $50,100 + taxes
Average fuel economy over our week of testing: 9.2 L/100 kms (26 MPG)
Competition: Acura MDX, Dodge Durango, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, etc.

2016 Mazda CX-9The basics:

Seven passenger SUVs aren’t the boring boxes they used to be. There’s a plethora of sporty looking, fun to drive options available to you. And, in our mind, the new Mazda CX-9 is somewhere right at the top of that list. Just look at the lines on it! Mazda has carved some very luscious lines for its vehicles over the last few years. But the new 2016 CX-9 doesn’t just have a bit of lipstick on an otherwise unchanged vehicle. This is the first complete redesign it’s seen since first getting introduced in 2007. No longer is it based on the same platform as the Ford Edge and no longer is it powered by a conventional V6. Now a spry 2.5-litre turbocharged engine is put to the task and while that might not sound like much, this little four banger was more than up for the challenge. This CX-9 was a fuel efficient riot and our top trim Signature edition has Mazda competing with the luxury brands at a very competitive price. We were smitten! Can you tell? Take a look at our video above for a full review then check-out our list of pros and cons below.

2016 Mazda CX-9Pros:

  • Turbo lag in this new engine is minimal, fuel economy was superb and unlike many higher end luxury SUVs, this turbo does not require premium fuel
  • Standard equipment in the base model is solid¬†with features like third row seating, bluetooth connectivity, heated front seats, a power driver seat, a back-up camera, seven inch infotainment system, three zone automatic climate control and LED headlights giving you a huge bang for your buck at a starting price of $35,300
  • Attention to detail on our Signature level trim was top notch¬†with the same luxury feel as you’d find in a Lexus or Acura that costs $20,000 ot $30,000 more

2016 Mazda CX-9Cons:

  • While this turbo was more than capable for daily city or highway driving, the smaller engine results in a weak towing capacity of 3500 lbs. That does not give you nearly as many options for a travel trailer compared to the 5,000 lb+ towing capacity of pretty much every seven passenger SUV on the market right now
  • Just before returning the CX-9, we took it to the same car wash we always go to and the wand wash flaked some of the paint off the hood. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of further paint issues with the CX-9
  • All wheel drive is not a standard feature and costs an extra $2,500 on top of the base price
  • If Mazda wants to flirt with the luxury market, there are some features that are lacking on the higher level trims of the CX-9 when compared to the competition: heated rear seats, ventilated front seats and a large panorama sunroof (our tester’s sunroof was pretty tiny)
  • The infotainment system is not very intuitive and lacks a comprehensive home screen that displays all information in one stop
  • Tall drivers will notice the rear tailgate, even when adjusted to its maximum height, is too low and will require that you constantly duck down to load the trunk
  • Car seat anchor points are hard to access

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 4/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 3/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 4/5 (62 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 4/5
Family Wheels trunk test score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 4/5
Family Wheels value score: 4.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 41/50= 82%

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