What made you buy a CX-9?

Well I bet we’ve all heard it.
This a 3rd row SUV with not lot of space, outdated infotainment system, no digital display, and I could keep going.
But I’m very curious to know why did you guys chose this vehicle instead of going for a Highlander, Pilot, Telluride, Pallisade or any other SUV with apparently more space and features than this one.

I honestly chose this vehicle because I have a small family, my 2 years old boy and my 3 months old baby, of course including my wife. And I didn’t really need something big, so I heard this car had a bit sportier feeling and handling plus the interior and exterior look so nice compared to the other ones. It was hard to make a decision because a Honda Accord being my old vehicle I wanted to get a Passport or a Pilot but I felt they were too pricy and didn’t really look good, I know Honda is more reliable somehow but I just didn’t like them. Toyota highlanders interior look cheap as hell and boring. So the perfect mix of style and reliability of the Mazda was the way to go for me, and more with the Carbon Edition. I’m in love with this vehicle, I just fits my needs perfectly.
 
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2018 CX-9 SIGNATURE
I chose my 2018 because it handles nice, is quiet inside and was built in Japan. There are only a couple things I don’t like about it: The front A pillars are too big, it doesn’t have a CD player and the infotainment system is not easy to navigate. I wish it got a couple more mpg as well. Overall, it’s a great car.
 
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CX9
When I purchased my 2019 CX-9 GT FWD I cross shopped it with the Highlander Platinum Ltd and the Honda Pilot and at the time I was driving a 2013 Toyota Venza and had a very positive experience with it so was inclined towards the Highlander. Also I wanted a V-6 engine so the CX-9 was at the bottom of my list on paper because of the turbo 4 cylinder. I reside in a rural area and the closest dealerships are 50 miles away and mostly domestic brands so if you want a foreign make it's Honda, VW, Toyota, Mazda, Kia or Hyundai, Subaru is too exotic for this area and you can forget about luxury makers like Mercedes, BMW, etc. they are a 150 miles away from me.

At the time the Highlander in the trim package I wanted was having a glitch with their voice functions for the nav and infotainment system. I use the onboard navigation a lot and the Toyota wouldn't provide audio cues for your trip so you had to stare at the screen. There was an awkward workaround where you had to shut the vehicle off and re-start it and do some other stuff that for a car that cost that much was a non-starter for me. I only knew about it because of their owners forum (like this one) and at first the dealership denied it and when I proved it to them with their cars on the lot they had to concede my point. Toyota corporate was promising a fix but there was no time estimate as to when that would happen (it was done about 7 months after I bought my new car) so that was a deal breaker.

I've owned Hondas in the past and was happy with them, like you I thought the all new Passport was overpriced and it wasn't any larger than my Venza. The Pilot was larger than I really needed and I was ambivalent about the styling and didn't like their goofy transmission shifter. It was boring to drive and the interior even in the top level trim was cheap looking. Again, thanks to the Honda Pilot owner's forum I became aware of a serious problem with their digital instrument cluster and infotainment system. Several owners posted video of the screens just going black while they were driving down the highway, no speedometer, no nav, no radio, nothing. These owners reported the dealers were stumped and had done major disassembly to their Pilots and still had no clue. Pretty alarming situation to be in and of course my local Honda dealer denied there was anything to this and these videos were fake or just a few outliers and there was no problem. I scratched the Honda off the list leaving the Mazda.

Overall I haven't had any cause for regret choosing the CX-9; the mileage could be better but I really don't miss the V6 like I thought I would. The car drives well, I like the interior (except the meager interior storage), and I wish the infotainment system was less buggy and faster. I usually keep vehicles for 6 years then trade them in and buy a new one and I've got three years to go. I'm carefully watching the coolant leak issue that's been well documented here on the forum and hope to dodge that bullet. I'm retired and don't drive a lot so my mileage is low and will probably have 30K on the clock when it's time to get a new vehicle. I definitely would consider another Mazda as long as it doesn't have this engine.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
I have a 2018 Signature. When I was in the market, the wife insisted on a 7-seater. She was pregnant with our first child, so her nesting instinct was in full effect lol. I was originally looking at CPO'd 2015+ 4Runners and the Honda Pilot. Before I had even test driven anything, I drove by a Mazda dealership on the way home from work, and the CX-9 caught my eye. I looked into it a bit more, and test drove it shortly after.

I was pretty sold on the CX-9 already, but I also went to test drive a 2018 4Runner Limited. It felt like a truck as expected, in all the good ways, but also the bad ways. I felt like I had more road presence with it's rugged exterior design and higher vantage. But it felt very sluggish on initial acceleration, it handled like a boat, and I wasn't nearly as impressed with the interior as I was with the CX-9 GT that I test drove. It was truly a night and day difference between the two. I realized that what really attracted me to the 4Runner in the first place was the rugged image it presented, and that I thought I would be associated with that image if I was in the driver's seat.

I did a little more research on both cars, and found that the CX-9 was the more practical choice. Less expensive, too. Ultimately what sold me on the car was the way it handled, and the interior/exterior design. At the time, the Palisade and Telluride didn't exist, but even if they did, I think I still would have gone for the CX-9. Even now I'd still get the CX-9, but I would probably test drive the Subaru Ascent, and maybe a Hyundai Santa Fe as well. We now have two kids, a 4yr old and a 1yr old, and the size is perfect for us. Plenty of room for road trips, staying at a cabin, and hauling some stuff. Just yesterday I stuffed a coffee table and two end tables in the trunk, and I didn't even have to take out the car seats. I just moved the second row forward. For the odd times I'd need more cargo space, I can go to U-Haul and rent a pickup or cube truck for the day. I actually did this once when I bought a large sectional couch, I think the rental cost me less than $30. The rest of the time, I would much rather be in my CX-9.
 
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2021 CX-9 GT
We often have our older parents with us or our oldest son and his fiancée and we needed something that could seat 6 occasionally. The CX-9 is the perfect size for us. The Pilot, Highlander, Explorer, etc. are all too big. We have the roof rails and a basket for long distant trips so if we have more than 4 people (we have captain chairs), cargo room isn’t an issue.

Plus the clean, simple lines look so much better than the others. Hate to admit this but the Ford explorer is probably the second best looking in the group compared to the choppy faced Honda and Toyota.

IMO the others don’t justify their nearly $50,000 price in the highest trim levels. The Mazda feels more like a premium vehicle worth that price tag.

Handling is definitely a notch above the rest as well. It’s still a heavy SUV but the steering, handling, and good combination of firm but comfortable ride characteristics actually make it fairly enjoyable to drive. The Explorer ST was a fun drive. It was fast but the steering and handling felt a little wallowy.
 
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2016 CX-9 GT
I was originally looking at CPO'd 2015+ 4Runners
We actually owned a 2017 4Runner Limited before getting the CX-9 (still own it) and were looking at getting a second 4Runner because we love it so much.

My vehicle had left us stranded one too many times and was too small to transport me, my wife, our two year old, and our at the time, newborn so we started looking for something bigger. The plan was to keep my previous vehicle until the 6th gen 4Runner came out, but it didn’t last that long. We needed a replacement and knew it would be a couple year fill-in vehicle so were looking at 3-5 year old options. All the competition felt like what you’d get if you needed a minivan but didn’t want a minivan. Pilot is bloated. Highlander was a popular livery vehicle around our area. Nissan and Jeep/Dodge were out for reliability. Didn’t want another Ford. In laws have the GMC Acadia. Kia/Hyundai hadn’t hit their stride in the model years we were looking at. Ultimately the two things that sold us were that it was made in Japan and we had a good experience with our other made in Japan vehicle, and it looked sportier than any of the competition. We had narrowed it down to another 4Runner or the CX-9. Sat in both third rows and the CX-9 while not great, I did fit in. The 4Runner I could not get the second row into the upright position while in the third row. We wanted a third row that could be used in a pinch but not something we are relying on daily.
 
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2021 CX-9 GT
We were in the market to replace an old Subaru Outback and we needed something able to carry up to 7 people for occasional family visits. Also needed AWD or 4WD because we do get up into the mountains for snow play semi-frequently in winter. In the minivan market that leaves the Pacifica or the Sienna, both were in short supply and more expensive than the SUV options available, especially last September when shortages were really making it hard to find cars. All the Toyota dealers in the area had minimum $10k "market adjustment" fees tacked on to all their cars, Honda was only $5k :rolleyes:. Kia and Hyundai had zero stock available, . We liked the look/feel of the Ascent, the Atlas, and the CX-9. The test drive was what really sealed the deal for us though. The Subaru Ascent felt very high and tippy, both the wife and I were getting slightly car sick from the subtle side-to-side sway of the car just driving down straight roads. The VW Atlas was great, very familiar interior (our other car is a Golf Sportwagen), we liked it a lot. The only real downside was that it definitely felt like we were driving a big SUV. When we got in and drove the CX-9, it was incredible, it didn't feel like a big SUV at all, it handles and feels like a car a size or two smaller, even when you're really pushing it on curvy roads and such. We already liked the styling and features available, the test drive really pushed us over the edge on the Mazda. When we were shopping we were looking for used ones that were a few years old, 2018-ish. Grew up with the old mantra to never, ever buy a brand new car, but prices being what they were at the time, it was only about $2000 more to buy brand new (no mileage, no unknowns, full warranty, etc.), so we ended up pulling the trigger on a 2021 CX-9 GT, Sand interior and Deep Crystal Blue Mica exterior.
 
We were in the market to replace an old Subaru Outback and we needed something able to carry up to 7 people for occasional family visits. Also needed AWD or 4WD because we do get up into the mountains for snow play semi-frequently in winter. In the minivan market that leaves the Pacifica or the Sienna, both were in short supply and more expensive than the SUV options available, especially last September when shortages were really making it hard to find cars. All the Toyota dealers in the area had minimum $10k "market adjustment" fees tacked on to all their cars, Honda was only $5k :rolleyes:. Kia and Hyundai had zero stock available, . We liked the look/feel of the Ascent, the Atlas, and the CX-9. The test drive was what really sealed the deal for us though. The Subaru Ascent felt very high and tippy, both the wife and I were getting slightly car sick from the subtle side-to-side sway of the car just driving down straight roads. The VW Atlas was great, very familiar interior (our other car is a Golf Sportwagen), we liked it a lot. The only real downside was that it definitely felt like we were driving a big SUV. When we got in and drove the CX-9, it was incredible, it didn't feel like a big SUV at all, it handles and feels like a car a size or two smaller, even when you're really pushing it on curvy roads and such. We already liked the styling and features available, the test drive really pushed us over the edge on the Mazda. When we were shopping we were looking for used ones that were a few years old, 2018-ish. Grew up with the old mantra to never, ever buy a brand new car, but prices being what they were at the time, it was only about $2000 more to buy brand new (no mileage, no unknowns, full warranty, etc.), so we ended up pulling the trigger on a 2021 CX-9 GT, Sand interior and Deep Crystal Blue Mica exterior.
We had a similar experience, and were impressed with the CX9, could get it without a dealer markup and other BS. Sort of fell into becoming Mazda fans, so far at least.
 
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North of Toronto
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2019 CX-9 Sig
We had initially looked at Muranos, but the drive was blah. Have a CRV, wanted something a bit upmarket. Not necessarily a 7 seater, but the CX5 just seemed a bit tighter than I'd like (despite just one kid and one small dog).

We live in the burbs so the size isn't an issue, but had we still been in the city, for sure the CX5 with the turbo would be a great choice. Once we started looking at the CX9, other 7 seatr coopetitors just didn't cut it for me. It's biggest flaw IMO is cargo, but since we were never even looking at 7 seaters, we just thought of it as a big 5 seater. I prefer better driving dynamics (I know, it's an SUV but I still care) so the CX9's pros and cons suited my needs/tastes..

Once we decided on the Signature, TBH we had to give the RDX A Spec a chance. Didn't really want premium at that time, and regardless, the A Spec had a couple missing features, and I only "liked" the interior whereas I loved the CX9 interior. RDX was prob more "right sized". The top line at time would have given us all the features, but we were already stretching the $.

I do think I'd have been happy with the RDX, but I'd still go CX9 if I had to do it again.
 
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2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
Was looking for something, found the 9 on Craigslist. It caught my fancy, did a test drive, had it inspected and took her home. It is more vehicle than I really need, but I'm lucky I did buy it, as a year later I needed lots of room for my now needed medical equipment. They say things happen for a reason. :)
 
1) did not want Stop/Start
2) did not want a transmission with more than 6 gears. Too much hunting & delayed downshifts with 8 & 10 speeds
3) did not want DoD, AFM, or anything similar
4) did not want anything Euro.
5) runs on regular unleaded gas

Franky, I didn’t want a turbo either, but it appears my Goldilocks vehicle does not exist so I had to make a concession. I almost got a Highlander. There‘s a published way to permanently disable the stop/start, so it would have been acceptable. However, after looking at the maintenance schedule, they now have a vacuum pump that needs to be replaced at 100k miles starting with the 2019 model. The only info I could find at the time was that it cost $1200, but I don’t know if it was just that part or if it’s labor too.. The sales guy didn’t know anything about it, and the service guy played dumb, even when I showed him an online copy of the owners manual. That, along with the three impossible to reach spark plugs on the bank that’s against the firewall made it a no go for me. I could have lived with the pita spark plug replacement if it were at 100-120k miles like cars were 20 years ago, but at a 60k interval, I don’t have the energy to remove the top of the motor for access multiple times over the course of ownership, and I’m sure not going to pay the $600 (IIRC) for the dealer to do it.
The CX9 replaced our 2011 Camry with 211k miles as a daily driver, so I have high expectations for it. We still have the Camry and drive it from time to time btw, and the only things other than brakes, fluids and filters I have replaced are the struts and one of the sun visors
 

beefski

Member
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2013 CX-9 GT AWD Pearl White / Sand
Had a 2010 in the dark blue and sand interior that was a beauty, handled well, enough space and regular unleaded gas. My wife was t-Boned in it by another car while packed with our daughters and friends and everyone walked away completely fine. Car was totaled but it kept everyone safe. Now on our second, a 2013 in Pearl White with sand interior and it is a great vehicle.
 
Wife drove a 2017 yrs back and fell in love with it. It was a gt and couldnt acquire it back then. After driving many other suvs and crossovers that didn't tickle her fancy, surprised her with a 22 blue on black gt on her bday cpl wks ago. Only gt in the area, and signature didn't rele justify the extra 3k. She got in it, and didn't wanna get out so pulled the trigger. Im a big suv guy, but gotta say, I'm rele impressed. I told my wife, after getting out of my dad's 22 escalade, outside the seats and sound system, I prefer the cx9.
 

gphin

2020 CX-9 Signature. 2019 BMW X3 plus 30+ others
I spent a lot of time looking at YouTube video reviews and other research, Edmunds, Consumer Reports, etc. Was mainly considering Highlander, Pilot, Atlas, Palisade and Telluride. Telluride was selling $7-8k over list so no go. Palisade and Pilot don't have a gearshift and use a dial or buttons which was a turnoff. Atlas drove too big and has the typical bland German interior. The Highlander was just a little blah and didn't seem to have any driving dynamics. The reviews of the CX9 seemed to be spot on....had good driving dynamics, high quality looking interior, and a solid, quiet ride. I've never owned a Mazda prior and our other vehicle is a BMW. Found a slightly used (1700 miles) never titled 2020 in our desired color combo at a dealer two hours away. Now, after putting over 10K miles on the vehicle over the past year, I'm still very impressed. It's a high quality, well built vehicle and while being a large vehicle, drives a lot smaller.....and no pita stop/start. Have no problem with the seats and entertainment/info system as some others have mentioned. Have had no issues and the dealer maintenance costs have been very reasonable. We have the Signature with split rear seats and friends who have ridden in it are very impressed and are surprised to learn it's a Mazda. Highly recommend and our daughter bought a new CX5 soon after our purchase.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
I spent a lot of time looking at YouTube video reviews and other research, Edmunds, Consumer Reports, etc. Was mainly considering Highlander, Pilot, Atlas, Palisade and Telluride. Telluride was selling $7-8k over list so no go. Palisade and Pilot don't have a gearshift and use a dial or buttons which was a turnoff. Atlas drove too big and has the typical bland German interior. The Highlander was just a little blah and didn't seem to have any driving dynamics. The reviews of the CX9 seemed to be spot on....had good driving dynamics, high quality looking interior, and a solid, quiet ride. I've never owned a Mazda prior and our other vehicle is a BMW. Found a slightly used (1700 miles) never titled 2020 in our desired color combo at a dealer two hours away. Now, after putting over 10K miles on the vehicle over the past year, I'm still very impressed. It's a high quality, well built vehicle and while being a large vehicle, drives a lot smaller.....and no pita stop/start. Have no problem with the seats and entertainment/info system as some others have mentioned. Have had no issues and the dealer maintenance costs have been very reasonable. We have the Signature with split rear seats and friends who have ridden in it are very impressed and are surprised to learn it's a Mazda. Highly recommend and our daughter bought a new CX5 soon after our purchase.

If the Palisade didn't have a mark-up and was a comparable price, do you think you would have gone for it instead? Did you test drive it, or did the price turn you off too much? I'm just curious because if the Telluride/Palisade had been released when I was in the market, I definitely would have considered them at the time.
 
If the Palisade didn't have a mark-up and was a comparable price, do you think you would have gone for it instead? Did you test drive it, or did the price turn you off too much? I'm just curious because if the Telluride/Palisade had been released when I was in the market, I definitely would have considered them at the time.
I know this is a question for gphin, but I know for me, i would've chose the cx9. I havent driven the telluride but driven the palisade a few times. The palis drives similar, but a bit larger, and trucky. For how spacious the interior is, that wouldn't have bothered me. It was the front setup i wasn't fond of. Usually, hyundai is lauded for how tech friendly their ui is, but I beg to differ. The mazdas setup is crazy easy to learn and adapt to. Also the mazda feels a bit more luxurious as well if a bit tighter. My wife was in the Palis calligraphy, looked to me and was like "this is it?"
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
Mostly what I was curious about was the difference in interior and drivetrain. I think at the time, I probably would have still picked the CX-9. These days I'd definitely still pick the CX-9, mostly for the way it drives, but also for the build quality. There have been a LOT of recent recalls for Hyundai products and I think I'd be a bit on edge if I owned one and had to worry. The 2.5T is not without it's issues, but at least the "common" coolant leak issues are slow leaks or do not leak into the oil, and the oil consumption is somewhat manageable even if there is no fix for it yet. Nothing like Honda's 1.5T issues that had people changing oil every 1500 miles.
 

gphin

2020 CX-9 Signature. 2019 BMW X3 plus 30+ others
If the Palisade didn't have a mark-up and was a comparable price, do you think you would have gone for it instead? Did you test drive it, or did the price turn you off too much? I'm just curious because if the Telluride/Palisade had been released when I was in the market, I definitely would have considered them at the time.
Yes, probably would have gone for the Telluride if no markup but no on the Palisade. The lack of gearshift and the front end look was too much of a turn off. I have since ridden in a recently purchased Palisade by my sister and brother in law. It's ok but the seats are not as comfortable.....a fake type leather and it the whole vehicle just seems a little blah. Has more trunk space however and maybe a better choice for soccer mom type use. You just don't get the "connected" feeling like you do driving the CX9. We like the CX9 the more we drive it (including two 1200 mile trips to FL and back) so have no regrets about not getting the Telluride.
ps....also add preferred the Telluride because of the 6 cylinder and 8 speed and had some concerns about the 4 and only a 6 speed in the Mazda.....but soon learned that combo does fine.
 
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Cx9 powertrain is actually alot smoother and quieter in operation than the palis atleast. Interior seems kinda mid as well. The calligraphy does have nice seats, a tad bit more plush than the cx9(my body gets 6hrs in before it gets tired).
 

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