The CX-9, launched only three years ago, is Mazda's large crossover. It works well as an SUV replacement, given that it has ample cabin room yet drives more like a car.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The front-end of the CX-9 exhibits some of what Mazda calls its Nagare design language, with organically flowing lines around the grille. Down the sides, the CX-9 looks like a jumbo wagon.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
A 3.7-liter V-6 making 273 horsepower is the only engine available for the CX-9, but it provides adequate power to get the vehicle around.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
With its third row seating, the CX-9 can accommodate seven people.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The suspension gives the CX-9 a comfortable ride, not too soft but not at all hard. Stabilizer bars in the front and rear help the car remain composed.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
With the third row seats down, there is ample cargo area, but it gets much greater with the middle row down, too.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Access to the third row involves climbing over the middle row.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The materials and fit of the cabin are very good, with brightwork and glossy black surfaces adding a bit of luxury.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Despite its size, the CX-9 is a very maneuverable car. We found no problem navigating urban streets.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Steering wheel controls handle the stereo and the standard Bluetooth audio system.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The gauges are fairly basic, but more extensive trip information is displayed above the center stack.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The six-speed-automatic transmission shifts quickly in response to accelerator input, downshifting as needed.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Without any options, the CX-9 would have a standard radio display, but the addition of the sunroof/premium audio package also brings in this 4.3-inch LCD.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Bluetooth streaming is one of the stereo's audio sources, but the Bluetooth specification offers minimal control through the car's interface.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The premium Bose audio system uses a 277-watt amp and 10 speakers, producing decent sound.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
We like the hands-free Bluetooth phone system, and the LCD shows entries from the phonebook as well as this dialer.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

What you missed

Join CNET for an exclusive interview with Google Lunar XPrize teams

Five representatives from the finalist Milestone teams told us how they plan to get to the moon and win $30 million next year. Catch up on this exclusive CNET event.

Hot Products