Way back in the day, my first car was a 1980 Mazda 626, so it is only fitting that my very first automotive review is a Mazda. Now I won’t be making any comparisons to my first car because the 2017 edition of Mazda is far more than a Zoom Zoom away from my first ride.
With that said, this week we had the pleasure of reviewing the 2017 Mazda CX-9 and from the moment the vehicle was dropped off we knew that it was going to be an awesome experience.
The exterior styling and design were amazing, from the candy apple paint, actually called (Soul Red Metallic) to the chrome accents and dual exhaust, the CX-9 was just drop dead gorgeous.
With a sporty stance and a massively stylish front grille, the Mazda CX-9 does not fall into the category of average soccer mom vehicle, although it can easily handle soccer mom responsibilities, I would be remiss to limit it to only a family shuttle bus.
I would say it is more of an upscale trendy SUV with a handsome dose of sophistication and under the city lights, it made the evening just right. My wife and I had big plans for the CX-9 this week and each task and event that we went to was done very comfortably and in style. At every event we attended we received a ton of compliments on everything from the color to the interior.
At one point during the weekend we were at a traffic light and several cyclists on their usual morning workout could not get over how vibrant and flawless the paint job was handing out several compliments even during that brief moment.
A few times at various places I tried to explain that the car isn’t mine and that we were only reviewing the car for the week but sometimes I could barely get a word in, so by the end of the week I just learned to say thank you and kept it moving.
The moment I got behind the wheel and fired up the CX-9 we knew that it was going to be one heck of a ride. From the perforated Nappa leather seats and sculpted aluminum to the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, the overall look and feel were very harmonious and well-designed, the attention to detail was on point.
The CX-9 felt stable and firmly planted to the ground while still being light on its feet with plenty of torque and acceleration. I absolutely loved the crisp, responsive handling that allowed us to safely maneuver in traffic, switch lanes and dip in and out of tight spaces especially when driving in downtown Dallas.
The 2017 Mazda CX-9 offers an entire suite of driver-assisted systems (i-ACTIVESENSE) that were EXTREMELY useful. My family and I benefited from the blind-spot monitoring on both side view mirrors. When driving on the highway a yellow indicator would light up if you were in a specific range or too close to the vehicle next to you, basically alerting you whether or not you can safely switch lanes. It even alerted us when the other object in my blind spot was a motorcycle.
I was also spoiled by the windshield-projected Active Driving Display which is literally a digital print of your speed and other information projected on the front windshield on the driver side and clearly visible during the day and night-time driving.
This feature gives you basic information such as your current speed and the official speed of the street or highway that you are traveling on. In addition to the basics, it gave information on your navigation, cruise control and more.
The CX-9 comes with much more in terms of safety such as the lane departure warning system and disabling the use of the navigation system while driving and it also had a few features that thankfully I did not experience, such as the Smart Brake Support which operates or engages under certain speed conditions.
Typically, I do not like to drive at night especially on long road trips; however, driving the CX-9 at night was simply a pleasure. From the moment we opened the door at night we certainly appreciated the glow of the cabins LED interior lighting overhead and the accent lights in the door panels. As well as the well-lit instrument panel and gauges that allow you to see all of the essentials with clarity.
Also, nighttime visibility was very impressive with Mazda’s high-tech lighting system ‘Adaptive Front Lighting System’ (AFS) which cast a nice wide even beam of light on the road in front of you.
AFS will automatically direct light in the direction that you are traveling, I noticed this more at slower speeds when coming home and turning the corners and into the driveway but this feature is always active and analyzing your speed and steering; ensuring that you always have an even distribution of light in your field of view.
Honestly, I can go on and on about how great the Mazda CX-9 was and our experience with it but I have to make some attempt at wrapping this up.
This was a super busy week for us and we had so much fun driving through the streets of downtown Dallas. The CX-9’s precise handling, great suspension and unique styling stood out when we did everything from a simple ride to the grocery store and a longer road trip stopping at my 4yr old son’s favorite travel rest spot – Buc-ee’s!!
The 12 speaker Bose Centerpoint 2.0 Surround Sound System was awesome and delivered a nice crisp well-balanced sound that kept us entertained while driving. And not to mention the power sliding-glass moonroof which was so awesome especially during the evening and night.
The CX-9 is perfect for a family that wants a little more edge than a typical SUV, and a great buy if you want a vehicle flexible enough to balance fun on the open road, a daily commute and nights out on the town.
Some Notable Specs
20-inch aluminum alloy wheels
Power sliding glass moonroof with sunshade
Auto on/off headlights
Adaptive Front-Lighting System
EPA-estimated mileage city/highway (mpg): 22/284
Windshield-projected Active Driving Display
Bose® Centerpoint® 2.0 Surround Sound System with AudioPilot® and 12 speakers
Mazda Navigation System
LED interior illumination
2nd-row retractable window sunshades
Distance Recognition Support System
Lane-keep Assist System
Mazda Radar Cruise Control
Smart City Brake Support
Smart Brake Support15
Rear backup sensors16
Power rear liftgate with programmable height adjustment
Mazda Advanced Keyless entry and start system
Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) System
Power windows with one-touch auto open/close on all windows
Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
Auxiliary input jack and 2 USB ports
Bluetooth®6 hands-free phone and audio streaming capability
MAZDA CONNECT™ Infotainment System
3 rows of seating for up to 7 passengers
60/40 split fold-down and reclining 2nd-row seats with tilt and slide 3rd-row access
50/50 split fold-down 3rd-row seats
Rear cargo area under floor storage
More pics below: