First Drive: 2016 Mazda CX-9

Mazda is transitioning from a mainstream manufacturer famous for agile dynamics and styling to some premium manufacturer classleading efficiency and adding performance. It was iconic MX5 Miata twoseat sports cars Mazda3 and Mazda6 sedans that are midsize, subcompact Mazda2 miniminivans, and CX9 threerow CUVs. All were likeable, and the CX9 won North American Truck of the Year and both Motor T rend, but there was little in common to create the brand. For more details about truck tool box topside, check out uws truck tool box.
Now the Mazda2 and 5 are gone, the 6 and 3 are more tasteful, two wellreceived new CUVs (subcompact CX3 and compact CX5) have already been inserted, the MX5 Miata is all new, and this both allnew threerow CX9 CUV has arrived to top off the line. All six boast eye pleasing looks with Mazda’s “Soul of Motion” style ethos, funtodrive personality, and prepared, yet frugal, new powertrains below the Mazda SKYACTIV tag.
Styling is subjective, but this artfully sculpted proportioned crossover strikes us as moviestar handsome in a section known for aggressive, blocky, or dull looks. The same holds true within the cottage, where the levels of craftsmanship and materials (at least in highend Grand Touring and Signature trims) rival those in luxury automobiles. Its winning strategy is “emotion and passion” that clients value and competitors can not easily match. The disadvantage of its sleek exterior shape, however, is less thirdrow passenger and cargo area (about 71 versus 7983 cubic feet) in comparison to its major competitors.
We discovered the 2.5L SKYACTIVG turbo four (which replaces the former CX9’s V6) torquey and strong when we needed it to be–in twolane passing, for instance. Mazda’s engine wizards designed a exceptional variablepulsation Dynamic Pressure Turbo and restricted its peak power to some rather modest 227 hp at 5,000 rpm with regular gas (250 with top) in favor of a healthy 310 lbft of torque at just 2,000 rpm for rapid, nolag response even at low rpm in top gear without a downshift. Additionally, it has headoftheclass EPA fuel economy is 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg together with frontwheel drive and 21/27/23 with “predictive” iACTIV AWD.
In a day of driving on freeways and twolanes, we discovered the steering of the CX9 responsive; its handling its cottage conversation quiet; its brakes strong and sure; and athletic than competitors. At about 4,300 pounds–roughly equivalent to Honda’s new Pilot but 200300 pounds lighter than Toyota’s Highlander and Nissan’s Pathfinder (in addition to the prior CX9)–it is no sports car in the corners, but in average Mazda style, it acquits itself nicely even when pushed more aggressively than most owners ever will.
One of its standard and available features are singlelever 60/40 secondrow chairs for effortless thirdrow accessibility, 12speaker Bose premium sound tuned for concertlike audio, a MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system with both a touchscreen (sadly only usable when stopped) and a “commander control knob” surrounded by five shortcut buttons on the console, along with the iACTIVSENSE package of driver assists. Those include Advanced Blind Spot Tracking, which detects vehicles up to 164 feet away; Mazda Radar Cruise Control, which maintains safe following distances even in challenging conditions (and may be turned off to revert to traditional rail); Lane Keep Assist, which helps you stay in your lane; Lane Departure Warning, which vibrates the steering wheel if you stray from the lane; High Beam Control, which changed to lowbeams for head or taillights forward; Distance Recognition Support System, which shows distance to the vehicle ahead; Forward Obstruction Warning, which computes when evasive action could be required; and Smart Brake Support, which wheels to decrease the intensity of an impending accident.
The ’16 CX9 is supplied in Touring, Sport, Grand Touring, and flagship trims. Standard on the $32,000 Sport are trailer stability assist and taillights, cloth seats wheels camera, LED head, and MAZDA CONNECT with a color screen. A $950 Sport Package adds heated front seats, power driver seat, and heated mirrors. Touring ($36k) adds leather, Keyless Entry, Blind Spot Tracking with Back CrossTraffic Alert, power front seats and liftgate, and an 8inch touchscreen. A $1,745 Premium Package adds LED fog lights, automatic headlights, a sunroof, navigation, premium audio wipers sensors satellite radio, and Smart City Brake Support. Grand Touring ($40k) has 20inch wheels, roof rails, a memory driver seat, aluminum interior trim, an Active Driving headup display, adaptive front lighting, and the iACTIVSENSE attributes, whilst Signature models ($44k) include Nappa leather, rosewood trim, and LED accent lighting around the front grille and shift lever. IACTIV AWD is standard on the Signature available and trim on all others.