The Mazda CX-9 returns for its fifth model year in 2011, offering new wheel designs and improved fuel economy. The CX-9 is Mazda’s largest SUV, with standard third row seating with capacity for seven passengers. It competes in the mid to large size SUV class. Since its debut in 2007, when it won the Motor Trend Sport-Utility Vehicle of the year award, the CX-9 has been a solid performer for Mazda.
The 2011 Mazda CX-9 is offered in three trim levels, the Sport (“GS”), Touring, and Grand Touring (“GT”). All trims offer both front and all-wheel drive options. The CX-9 offers only one engine choice, a 3.7-liter, 273-horsepower V-6 engine. It is mated to a six speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode.
GS models come standard with rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, power windows, heated cloth seats, three-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, towing package, and 18-inch alloy wheels. GT models have xenon headlamps, 20-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, blind spot monitoring system, wood finish interior time, pushbutton start, audio display screen, and leather upholstery.
The CX-9 offers slightly more passenger and cargo room in comparison to a 2011 Ford Explorer with third-row seating. The CX-9 offers 100.7 cubic feet of cargo space to the first row of seats, 48.3 cubic feet to the second row, and 17.2 cubic feet to the third row of seats. However, towing capacity is less. The CX-9 has less towing capacity, 3,500 pounds compared to 5,000 pounds for the Explorer. Fuel economy for the CX-9 is estimated at 16-mpg city and 22-mpg highway for all-wheel drive models.
The CX-9 is built in Japan, on the same platform as the Mazda6 sedan. It competes against models such as the Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot, and Hyundai Veracruz.
The GS’s suggested retail price with front-wheel drive is under $30,000, while a well-optioned GT can reach near $40,000. 2011 models will be on sale soon. The CX-9 is due for a redesign in the 2013 model year.