2021 Vs. 2019-2020 CX-9

Morning folks. We are currently in the market for a CX-9 and I have narrowed it down to MY 2019-2021 due to some front bumper cracking issues I've read about on the 2018 CX-9's.

After watching a ton of youtube reviews and reading online, we want to get the GT model but I do have a few questions:

1. Is the few updates in the 2021 model worth the extra price tag for a new vehicle verses buying a CPO 2019-2020? I do love that larger 10.5" infotainment screen and also the 360° camera but here in Northern California I can get a 19 GT FWD CPO for around $31-33k and a new 21 GT is around $39k. This is before taxes.

2. AWD verse FWD. I can save a few thousand if we opt for FWD. I already have a 2019 Tahoe 4WD so thinking that will be our main snow trip vehicle and our cx-9 will be our around town kid hauler/non snow trip vehicle.

3. We have 3 kids, ages 3-7 and rear entertainment is a MUST. Personally for us we don't go the whole each kid gets a tablet thing(just not our style/parenting choice) so every vehicle we've owned has had the optional manufacturer rear entertainment installed. I noticed they are a VERY rear here in Northern California, I found maybe 3 total CPO cx-9s with Mazdas rear entertainment package installed. A brand new one I cannot locate.

So I may go a tablet route mounted to the back of a headrest this go around. My question is will the CX9 allow the tablet to tap into the vehicles main speakers to broadcast the audio over the whole vehicle? Not looking to do bluetooth headphones for each kid or anything like that so would be great if the CX9 can play the movie sounds while an external tablet is on.

We have a 2018 Honda Odyssey and while it's been good functionally, this thing is up to 7 or 8 recalls (I lost count). They just don't make Hondas like they use to and I've been a Honda/Acura guy for the longest time. Plus we are over the Van look (big time) and ready to move into a nice looking SUV and for what we want, the CX9 is GORGEOUS.

We've had captains chairs up until now but we are heavily leaning on 2nd row bench with 2 small boosters and 1 convertible carseat all on one row and keeping the 3rd row always folded down as we will need the storage space always having to transport around things.

This will mainly be my wife's ride, I have my 2019 Tahoe but truth be told, the van needs to go lol.

Sorry for the long post, thanks in advance for any help!
 
Sorry forgot to ask, how does Mazda incentives work for new vehicles? Are there certain times of the year that Mazda gives great rebates? Fortunately we are in no rush here so we could even wait it out until 2022 to get a CPO 2021 GT hopefully a stellar price.

Lastly, the next top contender was the Telluride but I REFUSE to pay MSRP or markup on any vehicle and these things are highly marked up here in Northern California. For the features we want the Kia was going to go for upwards of $50k and I just can't see myself paying that much for a Kia. I am sure they are great but we've since moved on and are in love with the CX9.

I would love to hear from a family of 5 experience with carsears in 2nd row and 3rd row folded down tho.

Thank you all!
 

sm1ke

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@JC707 If it were me, I would probably wait until 2022 to see if you could get a CPO 2021 GT with bench seating in FWD. The larger screen is nice and the infotainment system is faster I believe, but there is no touchscreen functionality, so that may be something to consider.

You should be able to pair the CX-9 bluetooth system to a tablet - but I think the system can only be paired to one device at a time, so if you have your cellphone paired and using it for navigation for example, the audio would be disabled for your phone when you switch to your tablet.

Your plans for 2nd row seating should be fine according to the manual, but I suppose it will depend on the carseat you're using. I'd suggest bringing the carseat with you during the test drive so you can also test fit.
 
Been hitting up a few dealers for feelers just to get an idea.

2021 GT FWD we like with an MSRP of $43,500 and a few dealers are offering them for $38,500. I wonder if there is any wiggle room there to go even lower.
 

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Been hitting up a few dealers for feelers just to get an idea.

2021 GT FWD we like with an MSRP of $43,500 and a few dealers are offering them for $38,500. I wonder if there is any wiggle room there to go even lower.

That seems like a decent deal. If a few dealers are offering them for the same price, you could always pit them against each other to see who's willing to earn your business.
 
Thank you! We may not wait until a CPO 2021 is avail in 2022, the more we watch videos and read we love the CX-9.

I am a huge DIYer and saw I can get the Mazda rear entertainment package for $1,000-$1,200. I downloaded instructions and it seems super simple.

Or just go the cheap tablet route and Amazon headrest mounts. Either way we aren't fretting over finding one with rear entertainment installed.

White or Grey is the next biggest decision. 🤔🤔
 
I'm not sure that the bumper cracking issue is as wide spread as you've read.

I've had a 2018 CX9 GT AWD since new (got it in Sept 2018). No issues to report but I'm only at 22K miles.

I'm not sure that I'd consider FWD. The 310/320 lbs of torque comes in low and I imagine there'd be a lot of wheel spin / traction control / torque steer.

Personally, I'd go for the 2021 for the 10.5 inch screen and updated infotainment. My 2018's infotainment feels dated compared to my other cars.
 

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I'm not sure that the bumper cracking issue is as wide spread as you've read.

I've had a 2018 CX9 GT AWD since new (got it in Sept 2018). No issues to report but I'm only at 22K miles.

I'm not sure that I'd consider FWD. The 310/320 lbs of torque comes in low and I imagine there'd be a lot of wheel spin / traction control / torque steer.

Personally, I'd go for the 2021 for the 10.5 inch screen and updated infotainment. My 2018's infotainment feels dated compared to my other cars.

I also own a 2018 since new (Jan 2018), coming up on 32k mi, and my car has been subjected to extreme cold (-50c) and fairly hot (32c) temperatures. It even saw fairly quick temp changes when I was living in Calgary due to the chinooks that would roll in. No bumper cracks to report. That said, the issue has been reported enough for Mazda to issue a TSB, so while it may not be common, the issue does exist for some people.

With that said, depending on the in-service date of the 2018, it may still be covered by the factory 3/36 warranty, which should cover things like cracked bumpers according to this statement in the 2018 Warranty Details (from Canada):

"Mazda provides this Limited Warranty in order to remedy during the warranty period any such defects in materials and workmanship of all parts and components supplied by Mazda subject to the exclusions indicated under “Exceptions” and “What is Not Covered”."

If the car is out of warranty, since a TSB for the issue exists, one should be able to at least negotiate the cost of the replacement (or possibly get the repair goodwilled) with the dealer/Mazda Corporate.
 
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The bumper thing is something I noticed on Facebook. No idea if it is real or not but honestly, forums like these are where people come to complain like something like that. And I don't believe anyone on these forums has ever mentioned it.

edited on 1/29/2021: So there is a thread on 247 for the bumper and a TSB about it. So it is a real issue.
 
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Thanks all!

What is everyones opinion on FWD vs AWD? We live in Nor Cal and maybe go to the snow 2x a year. I can save $2-3000 by going FWD as well as a bit better gas mileage but not sure if I will regret not going AWD. We do have a 2019 tahoe we can use for snow trips but maybe it would be nice to have AWD on the cx9 just in case.
 
Go for a FWD 2020 GT with PP if you can find. Definitely go with bench for second row with 3 kiddos. They took away touch on the larger screen for 2021 and really there are no other improvements aside from the camera res and wireless phone charger. FWD drive train is much less complicated than awd and you also won't lose HP or torque in power transfer through the diff to the wheels by going FWD. Not to mention better gas mileage and less components to break long term.
 

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Thanks all!

What is everyones opinion on FWD vs AWD? We live in Nor Cal and maybe go to the snow 2x a year. I can save $2-3000 by going FWD as well as a bit better gas mileage but not sure if I will regret not going AWD. We do have a 2019 tahoe we can use for snow trips but maybe it would be nice to have AWD on the cx9 just in case.

IMO if you keep both vehicles insured at the same time, get FWD on the CX-9. That way you have one of each, and while an AWD CX-9 is likely easier on gas than your Tahoe, a FWD CX-9 will be even lighter on gas. With that said, if you go on long distance family road trips where both AWD and fuel efficiency would be appreciated, go for the AWD CX-9. So far, it seems that the AWD system has been pretty reliable.

I live in Canada, and AWD is nice to have for at least half of the year. If I lived in Nor Cal, I'd probably use a portion of that $2-3k to get a nice set of all-season or all-weather tires and call it good. Many all-season/all-weather tires can do just fine in a little bit of snow, provided you adjust your driving for the conditions.
 
IMO if you keep both vehicles insured at the same time, get FWD on the CX-9. That way you have one of each, and while an AWD CX-9 is likely easier on gas than your Tahoe, a FWD CX-9 will be even lighter on gas. With that said, if you go on long distance family road trips where both AWD and fuel efficiency would be appreciated, go for the AWD CX-9. So far, it seems that the AWD system has been pretty reliable.

I live in Canada, and AWD is nice to have for at least half of the year. If I lived in Nor Cal, I'd probably use a portion of that $2-3k to get a nice set of all-season or all-weather tires and call it good. Many all-season/all-weather tires can do just fine in a little bit of snow, provided you adjust your driving for the conditions.
Thanks! You actually read my mind here, I was telling my wife we could go FWD on the cx9 and get some all weather tires and call it a day.

Appreciate everyones help here. We are on the hunt, surprisingly my wife wants a pearl black color but being a former professional detailer at a dealership I told her no way lol. Our tahoe is white but man I do love the white color on the cx9. She said her 2nd choice is the gray cx9.
 

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I was thinkimg this as well. Saw some freshly waxed grey cx9s online and looked awesome.

Does the grey have a pearl in it or something? I saw it has a small upcharge for that color.

I found this Mazda Newsroom link describing the colour. The pearl look is aluminum flake, it seems.

"The reflective layer contains extremely thin, high-brightness aluminum flakes and must be applied very precisely to ensure even coating. During the drying process the thickness of this layer shrinks to approximately 2.5 microns, about one quarter the thickness of most reflective layers. This causes the aluminum flakes to lie flat with regular spacing between each flake, just as if the layer had been hand-painted by a skilled craftsman. This high-density finish gives the entire surface a sheen when illuminated, for a realistic metallic look. Jet-black pigment is used in both the reflective and color layers and is visible through the spaces between the aluminum flakes giving areas not illuminated a black hue and heightening the contrast between light and shadow."


This is my freshly waxed CX-9 in machine grey metallic. I think it looks great, but I'm not a pro detailer, and I'm sure a pro could get it to look even better.

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From a different angle, in different lighting:
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I like how dynamic the colour is compared to other "gunmetal grey" cars.
 
Thank you so much for the photos especially in different lighting. That color does look AMAZING and you literally just sold my wife and I on metallic grey color lol. Appreciate the help.
 

sm1ke

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Lol! I have nothing against the Snowflake White Pearl colour, believe me. In fact, it was my second colour choice out of the available options at the time. The pearling effect is subtle with SWP, which I prefer. Can't go wrong with either IMO, but I certainly don't regret MGM at all :)
 
Lol! I have nothing against the Snowflake White Pearl colour, believe me. In fact, it was my second colour choice out of the available options at the time. The pearling effect is subtle with SWP, which I prefer. Can't go wrong with either IMO, but I certainly don't regret MGM at all :)

Our Tahoe is the a white pearl color looks amazing, had to pay extra for it but seeing the cx9 white color looked amazing to me as well.

But this metallic grey really does look awesome and why get another white suv right! Lol

We drove by a mazda dealer yesterday did a drive thru to look at colors and they had a metallic grey but it was rainy and overcast so hard to gauge. Those pics you posted really showcased the color tho, much appreciated!
 
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2021 CX-9 GT
A few months ago I was debating between a 2020 model versus the 2021 model. I opted for the 2021 for the upgrades everyone mentioned. The updated entertainment system is much better than the old one, in particular it’s much quicker in response to inputs better than the old system which I had in my 2018 Mazda 6. But what I wanted most was the paddle shifters. For me, they help keep driving even more interactive and I especially love them for quick downshifts when going down hills or slowing down for a corner.

For the rear seat entertainment system I suggest you look at reviews for local audio installation shops. We had an aftermarket system put into the headrests of our previous Lexus RX and it looked factory. And it was much, much cheaper than going with an OEM system.

I love, LOVE the Machine Gray. It looks amazing when the car is in motion and as you walk around it. The surfaces shift from a deep gray to silver to almost a chrome look. And personally, I like how the darker color blends in better with the plastic cladding around the wheel wells and rocker panel.

We prefer the captains chairs but in your case, it makes sense to go with the bench. The storage seat behind the upright third row really isn’t that big. A dozen plastic grocery bags will fill it up! The CX-9’s interior space is definitely cozier than the competition but the paybacks are in the other attributes like handling and aesthetics.

In regards to incentives, definitely shop various Mazda dealers. I recommend doing a dealer search and sending emails to five or six dealers and negotiating pricing before you even walk into the show room. It saves you the hassle and gives you a better chance of finding a great deal. I literally saved thousands of dollars on our lease because the dealer offers were all over the board.

Good luck! Once you’re in your CX-9, you will love it!
 
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