Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Mazda understood that despite offering a good MPV on the market, the Premacy, the SUVs, and the cross-overs are the future.
And it combined these two types of vehicles.
Developed on the new Skyactive platform, the 2016 CX-9 was the second generation of the big SUV built by Mazda, mostly for the U.S. market. It combined the look of a sporty SUV, such as the CX5, with a minivan’s utility, such as the Premacy. That should’ve made everyone happy.
Designing an SUV with three rows of seats in a package that should look like a regular SUV was never easy, but the Japanese designers did it. The 5 meters (199 in) vehicle disguised the three seats in a usual, BMW X5-like form with flowing lines and a massive front grille that attracted attention more than the third row of side windows and the thick D-pillar. The CX-9 headlights resembled those installed on the Mazda 6 sedan, or those on the CX5 with their slim, curved shape barely seen between the hood and the very tall bumper.
Inside, the dashboard resembled the one in the MX5 or the 3, with an infotainment screen placed on top of the panel and a three-dial instrument cluster. The tall center console placed between the front seats inspired the driver to feel like it was a sports car, despite the high seating position. To access the middle and the last row of seats the rear doors were longer than those found on the CX5 model.
Under the hood, the CX-9 featured only one engine option, a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four unit paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Mazda offered the 7-seat SUV either with a front- or all-wheel-drive system.
Awarded with the Top Safety Pick +Award in the U.S. by the IIHS, the second generation of the biggest Mazda on the market was upscaled toward the premium segment.
After the split with Ford in December 2008, Mazda made its way in the automotive world with a new design and unrestrained by using someone else engines and transmissions. The Mazda 6 was the start of a new era and, with a new design and the new SkyActiv technology, it managed to bring impressive cars on the market.
The CX-9 was one of the vehicles that started from the Mazda 6 platform, but it was built as an SUV with a permanent all-wheel-drive. The front fascia resembled the compact-SUV CX-5 and, due to a longer wheelbase, it could accommodate up to seven passengers inside. The raked A-pillar was similar to a sporty station wagon than to an SUV.
Inside, the front seats were slimmer to allow bigger legroom for the middle row passengers. In the back, there was enough room for children. The 2016 Mazda CX-9 came with a seven or eight-inch Mazda Connect touchscreen infotainment system. It could also have been controlled with voice commands or a control knob. An additional, 4.6” TFT screen was installed between the gauges, for the driver.
Under the hood, the CX-9 featured a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine mated to a standard 6-speed automatic. It was offered as an all-wheel-drive only.
Mazda’s flagship model, the 7-passenger crossover was updated for 2013.
The CX-9 featured a completely redesigned front and back, following the Mazda’s new Kodo design.
At the front, the new headlights looked more like an eagle’s eyes, while at the back, the updated taillights contributed to the more modern look of the CX-9, along with the dual exhaust and the bigger bumper.
The CX-9 was built on a platform similar to the Ford’s Explorer. Actually, the CX-9 had the underpinnings of a Ford, wrapped under a Japanese package.
Available in two trim levels, the GS and the GT, the CX-9 had a starting price of around $34,000, respectively, $47,000. Not the cheapest crossover on the market at the time.
The GS trim level came with a standard front-wheel-drive system, while the GT offered a standard all-wheel-drive system.
Standard 20-inch alloys came with the GT trim level, while the GS offered 18-inch alloys.
The approach on the inside was rather simple, with clear control for everything.
Part of the packages were a backup camera, a bluetooth system and a 5.8-inch screen.
The dashboard was similar to the CX-7’s and very different from the CX-5’s.
The seats were comfortable and offered plenty of room, even for the passengers in the 3rd row. The access to the 3rd row was made easy, users having to use only one hand to recline the seat on the 2nd row.
One of the engines mounted on the CX-9 was a 3.7-liter V6 engine that developed 273 hp. Compared to Ford’s models, the CX-9 offered plenty of power as standard, while a Ford Edge had a standard 3.5-liter engine and users would need to pay more to get a more powerful one.
Comfortable, roomy, agile with a sports car spirit and no lack of excitement? The Mazda CX-9 was all of that and more.
While the CX-9 had a similar design to its sibling, the CX-7, with pronounced fenders, a laid back windshield, the angular headlamps and the arching roofline, the CX-9 was the enlarged CX-7.
The CX-9 could accommodate up to 7 people, with its additional 3rd row. The access to the 3rd tow was made easy with the simple folding of the 2nd row seats.
The exterior design of the CX-9, although a 7 people carrier, looked rather sporty.
The CX-9 featured a power lift gate that could be activated using a button of the dashboard or the one on the key.
Inside the CX-9 users had a modern looking interior that was not only stylish, but highly usable. The CX-9 was equipped with a standard tilting telescopic steering wheel that had both cruise control and audio controls. A 3-zone automatic air conditioner unit was included.
Safety wise, the CX-9 was equipped with dynamic stability control, roll stability control, 6 airbags protecting all rows of passengers and ABS.
Optionals such as a premium 10-speaker Bose audio system, a power moonroof and bluetooth could be added.
Launched as a replacement for the Mazda MPV minivan in North America, the CX-9 was publicly unveiled at the New York International Auto Show on April 13, 2006.
Despite the similar appearance to the smaller CX-7 stablemate, this full-size crossover SUV comes packed with plenty of new parts including the Ford-sourced CD3 platform fitted with a 3.5-liter Cyclone V6 petrol plant. Standard equipment levels include Dynamic Stability and traction control systems, Roll stability as well as front side airbags and all-around side curtain airbags. The models was revamped for 2008 with the introduction of a new engine overhauled to 3.7-liter.