We prefer racing sports cars through the mountains to lumbering around suburban streets in an SUV, but if we absolutely had to get a vehicle that could hold seven people plus cargo, the Mazda CX-9 would rank high on our list of choices. Although large, the CX-9 drives more like a car. And its unique, modern design looks good. It reads as the quintessential crossover, combining the best of cars and SUVs.
On the down side, in Touring trim, such as the one we reviewed, navigation isn't available, forcing a move up to the Grand Touring trim, plus buying the navigation option on top of that.