Say goodbye to the CX-9 at year-end as the Mazda flagship crossover gets replaced by the larger CX-90 for 2024. We have always been fans of the CX-9 for its tremendous performance, and more than anything, its ability to carry passengers and cargo in comfort.
Under the hood of the 2023 CX-9 is once again a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine putting out 227 horsepower @ 5000 rpm and 310 pounds-feet of torque @ 2000 rpm. The powertrain is equipped with the direct-injection Skyactiv, which uses a torque boost via a high compression ratio to increase fuel economy. Power is routed through the traditional but seamless 6-speed automatic transmission.
Suspension is handled via an independent MacPherson strut in the front and a multilink rear with stabilizer bars at both ends. The electric-power assist steering is direct and precise. And the CX-9 is available in several trims to meet the needs of the diverse buyer. Tow capacity is an impressive 3,500 pounds. The familiar five-point grille decked in titanium gray metal finish is surrounded by LED headlights while the rear also gets LED tail lamps and dual exhaust tips. Nappa leather and splashes of rosewood and aluminum trim lend classiness to the roomy cabin. The quilted/piped, second-row Captain’s chairs, which can slide fore and aft, as well as the 50/50 third-row seat, will be useful if traveling with children. Analog instrument gauges are crystal clear in the 7-inch meter display. Also standard are a tri-zone auto a/c, 8-way heated power driver and 6-way passenger seats, 10.25-inch infotainment screen coupled with the command control, power lift gate, head-up display, tilt/telescopic steering column, second-row window sun shades, push-button start and a 12-speaker Bose sound system.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for all rows, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution, dynamic stability control and traction control, antiskid system with rollover sensor, front seat active-head restraints, three-point front seatbelts with pretensioners, rear backup sensors, blind spot and 360-degree monitors, lane keep assist/departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, front/rear crumple zones and tire pressure monitoring system are standard. Lest we forget, G-Vectoring Control (uses engine timing for more accurate steering inputs) and Smart City Brake Support (designed to reduce rear-end collisions by stopping at low speeds before a frontal impact).
The CX-9 may become history soon, but it was never your run-of-the-mill crossover SUV. It offers generous power, quick acceleration, excellent people- and cargo-hauling capabilities, and in the looks department, it scores a point or two for bold styling. We are confident its substitute, the CX-90, will live up to the reputation. And some more!
CX-9 AWD (SIGNATURE)
Wheelbase: 115.3 inches
Length: 199.4 inches
Weight: 4,409 pounds
Fuel capacity: 19.5 gallons
City: 20 mpg
Highway: 26 mpg
Base price: $48,460
Web site: www.mazdausa.com