Lolli here…I was given a 2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD to test drive for one week in my home town in order to facilitate my honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
I like to start off my car reviews by clarifying that I am not a car expert. That’s my dad. He lives and breathes cars, enjoys tinkering around with broken down vehicles in his free time and window shops for car parts just because he thinks it’s fun. I’m a little more simple-minded when it comes to cars.
As a mom of a large family (5 kids between the ages of 8 and 16!) my main concerns with the vehicles I drive are whether the buttons and knobs and dials are easy to figure out and maneuver when I’m driving, whether or not the seats are comfortable, how much space there is for my family and our stuff, and how much I’m going to have to pay for gas.
That being said, I typically have a first impression of a car, and the Mazda CX-9 was one of those first impressions that not only lasted but grew and solidified during the week that I got to test drive it. The very first time I drove the CX-9, I had the strong impression that I was driving chocolate. Sound strange? Let me see if I can explain.
Every time I drove the CX-9 I couldn’t help but think about chocolate – not because I wanted to eat chocolate (which I do, pretty much every day) but because the CX-9 drove so smooth and the seats (everything, actually!) felt so luxurious that all I could do was imagine silky smooth chocolate.
This car made me comfortable, relaxed and happy. The kids loved it, too.
The other thing I noticed about the Mazda CX-9 was that, despite the fact that it’s a 7-passenger crossover SUV, I felt like I was driving a much smaller car. I’m accustomed to driving a minivan, and although the CX-9 had the same number of seats, it was noticeably more responsive to turns and much easier to park. The CX-9 is comfortable to drive – not too heavy or stiff. I also loved that I could fit a full grocery haul in the sufficiently spacey cargo area, with room to spare.
A few things I didn’t love about the Mazda CX-9: I was not thrilled with the console between the two front seats. I prefer to have somewhere I can set my purse (without having to reach to the back seat) and I admit I felt like I was kind of boxed in. There IS plenty of room in the driver’s seat, but I’m the kind of person that likes some wiggle room for my arms and legs. I don’t even like driving with the arm rest down. So the console was a little much for me.
Also, as much as I love that the Mazda CX-9 has 7 seats (and all 7 seats are very roomy and comfortable!), as a mother of five, I am not crazy about the fact that one of the seats must be folded down in order to reach the 3rd row. Just a personal preference!
Beyond those two things, I absolutely loved the car!
2013 Mazda CX-9 Specs:
The Mazda CX-9 is available in three trims: 2013 CX-9 SPORT (MSRP: $29,785), 2013 CX-9 TOURING (MSRP: $32,230), and 2013 CX-9 GRAND TOURING (MSRP: $34,785).
How Much will it cost to drive the Mazda CX-9? The Mazda CX-9 front-wheel drive models get an EPA-estimated 17 city/24 Highway MPG, while the all-wheel drive models get an EPA-estimated 16 MPG in the city and 22 Highway MPG.
NAVIGATION: Mazda has partnered with TomTom navigation systems to add a fully integrated system with a 5.8-inch touch-screen display and voice recognition. (I especially loved the navigation system in the CX-9 because it was so easy to understand).
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION: 273-hp, 3.7L DOHC 24-valve V6 with 6-speed Sport automatic transmission
DRIVETRAIN: Front-wheel drive (FWD) or available Active Torque Split All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
- Available Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry & Start System and standard Welcome Lighting System
- One-touch power moonroof and retractable sunshade are available on select models
- Available 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory settings for up to three drivers
- Three-zone automatic climate control and available heated front seats
- Cavernous cargo space with 60/40 split fold-down second row and 50/50 split fold-down third-row seating
- 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Brake Assist
- Roll Stability Control moderates braking to help stabilize the vehicle during accident-avoidance maneuvers
- Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control System
- Tire-Pressure Monitoring System
- Rearview camera: see directly behind your vehicle, including lower blind spots. The backup sensor alerts you with increasing frequency as distance decreases between the rear bumper and an object within the detection zone.
- Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) System: uses motion-detecting technology to scan blindspots. If it detects a vehicle in your blindspot when you initiate a turn signal, it sounds a warning chime and illuminates an icon in the corresponding side-view mirror.
Note: Not all features listed are available on all models.
Final word: My family and I loved the 2013 Mazda CX-9, and I really had a hard time giving up my “chocolate” car. Give it a test drive and you’ll see what I mean about this incredibly smooth ride! Check out my other car reviews at Better in Bulk.
Special thanks to Mazda for providing the car for review!