Who is towing with their CX-9?

chuyler1

goes to eleven
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2013 CX-9
Just curious what you are towing, how the SUV handles the load, and whether you have run into issues like uneven tire wear, overheating, etc. Also, post a photo if you have one!
 

helbigtw

T-Rav
:
PA
:
08 CX-9 GT FWD
There are a couple photos of them in the photo section, including mine with a Uhaul trailer attached.
Brakes don't do very well. CX-9 already has underpowered brakes to begin with.
 

chuyler1

goes to eleven
:
2013 CX-9
Couldn't find the photo of the UHaul but did see a few others. I'm guessing the UHaul did not have trailer brakes. Any idea how much it weighed? I understand you are the moderator but saying the CX-9 has underpowered brakes without supplying this info is suspect to interpretation. The vehicle is not going to have brakes to support towing 10,000 lbs, that's a given, but I don't think Mazda would give a 3,500lb rating if it couldn't handle it. If you really want to talk about underpowered brakes you should take my truck (pictured below) for a spin with my camper attached. ;)
 

helbigtw

T-Rav
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PA
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08 CX-9 GT FWD
The one I rented had some kind of assited brake device where the weight of the trailer coming forward would help brake the trailer...some kind of hydraulic device with a piston, but it still wrecked our brakes.

uhaul_zps1bfea6e5.jpg
 

chuyler1

goes to eleven
:
2013 CX-9
Is that the 5x10 (1,250 lb dry weight) or 6x12 (1,920 lb dry weight)?

What you described is called "surge brakes" which are common on rental trailers. The safety and tuning of surge brakes is highly suspect and often debated. They may actually be illegal in some states. They cannot be tested to ensure proper function. Having rented from UHaul in the past on numerous occasions and knowing their track record, I wouldn't be surprised if they were not fully functioning. Hauling over 2,000 lbs without properly functioning brakes on a vehicle like this could certainly put a ton of heat into your rotors. Even when functioning properly they often don't engage enough unless you are in a panic stop.

I think for a 1500lb trailer they are a nice addition since most cars can handle that extra weight for a short trip. Hauling 2,000-3,500lbs, I'm not so sure. For that kind of weight you want the trailer to be stopping itself unless you're driving a full size truck. An electronic brake controller which utilizes a 7-pin connector (not compatible with UHaul trailers) can be tuned to ensure the trailer brakes are stopping the trailer while your vehicle brakes are stopping your vehicle. That's what I use on my truck and it only takes a few stops to dial it in. Too much brake boost and you'll feel the trailer pull back on the vehicle. Not enough and your brakes will feel inadequate.
 

helbigtw

T-Rav
:
PA
:
08 CX-9 GT FWD
Not sure, it was the biggest one they had. The problem is when you have a gradual downslope and you utilize both engine shifting and braking, the brakes are still applied continually for a long period and the 9's rotors are just too small to handle the job. My rotors on my 97' Passat VR6 were bigger than whats on my CX-9, it's a joke how small they are.
 
I have to agree that the brakes are the weak spot on this vehicle. Even without towing they are barely adequate compared to the other vehicles I own. My other vehicles are German as well for what that's worth..
 

chuyler1

goes to eleven
:
2013 CX-9
Really? Car & Driver really liked the brakes and I felt no issues on my test drive, keeping in mind the size and weight of the vehicle. Below are some numbers to compare with zee Germans.

70-0 mph braking distance:
2013 Mazda CX-9: 177ft
2013 Audi Q5: 169ft
2013 BMW X3: 180ft

And a few numbers from full size pickups (which are more often used for towing):
2014 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab: 178ft
2013 Ford F150 Crew Cab: 189ft
2013 Dodge Ram Crew Cab: 197ft

So if you aren't happy with how the CX-9 brakes it is probably more a factor of brake feel (perhaps initial grip of the pads) than it is actual performance. Swap the pads, bleed the brakes and try different fluid and maybe you'll see an improvement. Maybe calling it the weak spot is a bit unfair too. The rest of the car behaves so sporty that you forget the size vehicle you are driving.

References:
http://media.caranddriver.com/files...q5-20t-2013-land-rover-range-rover-evoque.pdf
http://media.caranddriver.com/files...d-driver2013-mazda-cx-9-awd-grand-touring.pdf
http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/final-scoring-performance-data-and-complete-specs-page-5-1
 

jrgmanict

Member
:
Mazda CX9 Grand Touring 2012
Just made the trek from Kansas to North Carolina with my CX9 towing my apartment furnishings and bike.
Total weight is around 2000 to 2500 lbs.
It did really well and this was the second trip like this last one was from Seattle to Wichita last year.
Gas mileage sucks but that is to e expected. Got anywhere from 13 mpg to 16 mpg as it depended upon the terrain, hilly or flat.
Acceleration was excellent as I had no problems passing while going up hills and such
Very impressed with the handling of the vehicle while it is towing.
Brakes worked fine for me but I also did not have to brake hard anytime during the trip and could see where going down hill could be a problem if the load would have been bigger or heavy then what I was carrying.
The Trailer is a Kendon Dual Motorcycle Trailer weighs about 400 lbs.
Motorcycle is a Suzuki Boulevard C109RT weighs about 900 lbs.
On the trailer is two recliners, one dresser and one coffee table.
A Queen Size mattress and box spring on the top of the car.
Inside of car is fully loaded with all my other things.
Here are a few pictures of the load I was carrying for over 1200 miles.

tow3.jpg
tow 2.jpg
Tow 1.jpg
 

chuyler1

goes to eleven
:
2013 CX-9
13-16 mpg with that giant mattress on the top isn't bad at all. I've traveled with bicycles on my roof and that alone cause my typical 25mpg to drop to 18mpg...and that's without a trailer in tow!
 

jrgmanict

Member
:
Mazda CX9 Grand Touring 2012
I'm happy with the mileage as such, since it is something in this case I have very little control over.
The mileage is not much better just pulling the trailer with one or two bikes on it.
I tried to minimize the issue of the mattresses as much as possible. The box spring was on the top and the mattress was on the bottom.
This allowed me to pull them in tighter to the roof and roof rails.
The box spring on the bottom just started to float up as you drove because the curve in the roof rails does not allow the box springs to make good contact with the rails, the mattress is more flexible in this matter.
Would love to find something to make them more aerodynamic and improve the mileage some as this will not be the last time I have the car setup this way.......
I can see me going back across country sometime in the future and setting the car up this way again.

13-16 mpg with that giant mattress on the top isn't bad at all. I've traveled with bicycles on my roof and that alone cause my typical 25mpg to drop to 18mpg...and that's without a trailer in tow!
 

TomB

Member
:
2007 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD
Towing with CX9

2007 Wife's GT AWD tows, accelerates, maintains 60-70+ mph and handles and stops my 2009 3500lb StarCraft Travelstar 18RB travel trailer (W/brakes) perfectly, as well as 10 X 5 ft utility trailer (w/o breaks). Drive a tuned Audi A4 so appreciate vehicle handling and performance. A few photos of each enclosed. Agree with general comment, trailer brakes a must for heavier loads, long trips etc. But that's the norm for all towing.

Of interest, from the internet CX9 AWD is rated for 2mt / 4400lb towing , 350lb tongue and GCVW of some 10400lbs in other countries including Australia so from my own experience vehicle handles these size trailers confidently.


See 4000lbs/400lb 2" aftermarket Hidden hitch modified to fit in factory 1.25" hitch cutout along with full size 245-50-20 on matching 20" Mazda rim, also fits nicely with slight modification covered in another post. Nice to have full size spare when towing!
 

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chuyler1

goes to eleven
:
2013 CX-9
Nice Tom! I was trying to hold out for a white one but I just closed on a Black 2013 AWD Touring, Certified Pre Owned. I'll have photos of it hooked up to my 16' Scamp (~2500 lb) as soon as the season starts. My wife said I was silly to hold out for one that matched the camper...but now seeing yours... Oh well I got a good deal and black will probably hold up a little better to New England winters.
 

TomB

Member
:
2007 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD
Nice Tom! I was trying to hold out for a white one but I just closed on a Black 2013 AWD Touring, Certified Pre Owned. I'll have photos of it hooked up to my 16' Scamp (~2500 lb) as soon as the season starts. My wife said I was silly to hold out for one that matched the camper...but now seeing yours... Oh well I got a good deal and black will probably hold up a little better to New England winters.

Good deal Chuyler, Your Scamp 16 should tow better than mine due to (more powerfull 2013 3.7 liter vs 2007 3.5liter engine), much better aerodynamics, which means better gas mileage:).
I vary from a high of 12mpg at 59-60mph to 8mpg at 70mph. That's 50% difference so a low of 120miles per tank to right to high of 200miles per tank. Head winds kill you and with a good tail wind and I can run 70pmh in 6thgear (2200rpms), though don't recommend 6th for extended towing. I am using a 600lb weight distribution hitch, which helps transfer load to front axle. Noting with single axle trailer you can balance load accordingly. I have measured tongue weight with 1000lb Shearline scale and its around 310-330lbs. Trailer empty weight as stated with all options was 2880, leaving 620 lbs for miscellaneous. Mounted a spare 2gallon gas tank on trailer tongue next too battery, after a stressfull close call running out of gas late night in mid west Texas. Good for additional 20 miles or 40miles without trailer!! Enjoy! Tom
 

chuyler1

goes to eleven
:
2013 CX-9
Gas next to the battery doesn't really sound safe...but I get it. I like to push things until the low fuel light comes on too.

I'm building up an order at eTrailer. Can't decide about the WD hitch. A guy in the sales dept said they "could" void the warranty if they saw a class III hitch but I've also read a few messages about uneven tire wear while towing and transferring some weight to the front axle would certainly help with that.
 

TomB

Member
:
2007 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD
Gas next to the battery doesn't really sound safe...but I get it. I like to push things until the low fuel light comes on too.

I'm building up an order at eTrailer. Can't decide about the WD hitch. A guy in the sales dept said they "could" void the warranty if they saw a class III hitch but I've also read a few messages about uneven tire wear while towing and transferring some weight to the front axle would certainly help with that.



Good catch, Regarding Gas Can, it's on a separate tray from battery which is inside Battery box, I also wipe off can after filling to avoid fuel residue. Not many options, other than back bumper of trailer which doesn't sound good either. Regarding 2" versus 1.25 factory hitch, smaller 1.25" hitch can be marginal when towing larger trailers due to forces applied to hitch by tall, heavy trailer. But again the scamp is a wind cheating design so may not be an issue. Also note, not all smaller trailers allow for a weight distribution hitch, so best to check with scamp. One last thing, 2" replacement hitch is designed for uncut valence ie no dealer-factory hitch installation, so when you install 2" hitch like in my case, the hitch was 1.5" below cutout, Wife did not like look nor did I so I had Welding shop specializing in RVs, modify hitch to fit flush, we added some additional double plates to hitch flanges beef it up some as well. I've done several follow up weld inspections and all is good.
 

jddesign

Member
:
Mazda Cx-9 GT
I am towing an 18' boat on a regular basis I was also worried but tows it incredibly well... as for fuel milage, if your towing throw just have your wallet ready
BR9e1cwCAAAa8rQ.jpg



also using 2" curt hitch had to custom weld a receiver to get the height was the only issue since the rear of these sit really low.
 
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wallyuwl

Member
:
Mazda CX-9 - Coming summer 2014
We are thinking about getting a 2014 CX-9 this summer when the new 2015 redesign hits the lots. I happened upon this thread, since it seems our decision (if we buy a new car this summer - we could wait another year) is between the Travers (5200 lb tow rating) and CX-9 AWD. I'm leery of the Traverse because it is a direct injected engine, causing dirty valves that can cause problems. Plus we have a Equinox and have had some problems with that DI engine (covered under warranty thankfully) and are a little leery of going to another GM DI engine.

Has anyone had any issues towing things that regularly bump up against the 3500 lb tow rating? In a few years we'd be looking to get a 18' or so boat, and they can be from 2500 lbs (aluminum) to 3500 (fiberglass) including trailer. It would be towed two or three weekends a month in summer. Any issues with brakes?

Also, we'd be looking to tow snowmobiles. That won't be a problem weight-wise (1500 lbs for two sleds including trailer), but how do these vehicles handle in the snow?

Lastly, anyone seen or heard anything on the 2015s? I heard at the dealer they will probably make them shorter (especially in the back) to make more aerodynamic, and will likely have Skyactive engine technology. Is Skyactive direct injection or not?
 

Chris_Top_Her

Banned
Moderator
Contributor
:
San Antonio, Texas
:
'15 CX-5 Miata AWD
Firestone ride rites are a good investment for towing. I bought a pair for my CX-5 (although sent back because I forgot I was lowered) and the operation and installation was simple. About $100 and usally you can slip it into the spring. less wear on brakes, springs, and your unibody car. If your going to tow regularly, you probably have your own trailer.. You can get new electric brakes on ebay for < $100 for a set a controller < $50. Save your brakes/body/suspension imo. I couldm't find specifically cx-9 springs, the ones for my cx-5 are actually listed under ford (same size) so if interested give them a call and they can help http://www.firestoneip.com/RideRite/index.aspx You don't ned an electric pump or any of that, all you need is a bike bump. I was going to get a dirt bike and trailer but I changed my mind.

These are the slip in type
$T2eC16FHJHYE9nzpcC-LBRL7mowLJQ~~60_12.JPG

1000x1000.jpg
 
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chuyler1

goes to eleven
:
2013 CX-9
Chris, thanks for the link but the CX-9 is not listed on the website.

Wally, I think you should decide on a boat before you buy a new vehicle. Keep in mind you need to know the weight of the boat, the trailer, and all passengers and equipment in the vehicle. You also need to know the tongue weight. If the boat alone weighs 3,500 lbs you should probably be looking at something with a 5,000 lb rating to be safe. As far as reliability goes, I think you are much safer with a Mazda than anything sold by GM. Mazda has a much better track record in that department, just check consumer reports. When it comes to brakes, some say they are the weak point on the vehicle. I'm not a big fan of the brake feel on my 2013 but I plan to change out the fluid in the spring and eventually upgrade to drilled/slotted rotors. When it comes to braking distances as tested by magazines the CX-9 brakes are on par with its competitors. Just don't expect a larger SUV like this to stop as quickly as a sedan or sports car. When towing over 1,000 lbs I'd recommend trailer brakes and an electronic controller.

One last item...if you do decide on the CX-9, make sure you get one with AWD. The FWD models are only rated for 2,000lbs. All AWD models come with the tow prep package that bumps the rating to 3,500 lbs. Most AWD models won't have a hitch, but they'll have the important bits like a larger transmission cooler, radiator fan, and reprogrammed ECU. You can add a hitch and pick up the harness at your dealer.
 
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