If you were following along on Twitter or Instagram, then you know I spent my birthday week reviewing the 2016 Mazda CX-9. Delivered to our door right before we headed upstate, I already had a feeling that this third row Mazda would woo me. And I was right.
The CX-9 Signature AWD arrived in the Titanium Flash Mica color, complete with leather interior and rosewood trim accents. The attention to detail in this Mazda really impressed both myself and our friends that joined us for the weekend. Not to mention the stares from strangers who stopped us to ask questions or to peek inside.
At the top of the Mazda price points, the Signature CX-9 starts at $44,015. From many Mazda owners we spoke to, it seems to be the upgrade that they are considering coming from the CX-5 or CX-6. With 7 passenger seating and a more luxurious ride, it’s quite easy to see why it is the next step for Mazda owners.
HWY272 HP25019 TRQ310 ENG2.5L
- LED grille accent lighting
- LED overhead accent lighting
- Nappa leather-trimmed seats
- Auburn-colored interior accents
- EPA-estimated mileage city/highway (mpg): 21/272
- Leather wrapped steering wheel with unique stitching
- Genuine Rosewood interior trim
- 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
- Power sliding-glass moonroof with sunshade
- Auto on/off headlights
- Adaptive Front-Lighting System
- LED fog lights
- Chrome front, rear and side lower body molding
- Rain-sensing windshield wipers
- Aluminum roof rails with Satin Chrome finish
- Windshield-projected Active Driving Display
- Bose® Centerpoint® 2.0 Surround Sound System with AudioPilot® and 12 speakers
- SiriusXM Satellite radio with 4-month trial subscription
- Mazda Navigation System
- Multi-information display
- LED interior illumination
- Genuine aluminum interior trim
- Driver’s power seat memory
- 2nd-row retractable window sunshades
- Distance Recognition Support System
- High Beam Control
- Lane Departure Warning System9
- Lane Keep Assist10
- Mazda Radar Cruise Control
- Smart City Brake Support11
- Smart Brake Support12
- Rear backup sensors13
- Power rear liftgate with programmable height adjustment
- Heated side mirrors
- 8″ full color touch screen display
- Mazda Advanced Keyless entry and start system
- Heated front seats
- Leather trimmed seats (1st and 2nd-row outboard seating positions)
- 8-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support
- 4-way power passenger seat
- 2nd-row center folding armrest with integrated storage, cup holders and 2 USB charging ports
- Auto dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink®7
- Dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors with extensions
- Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) System8
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- LED headlights and taillights
- LED Daytime Running Lights
- Body-colored rear roofline spoiler
- Power side mirrors with integrated turn signals
- Rear privacy glass
- Dual exhaust outlets
- Three-zone automatic climate control
- Power windows with one-touch auto open/close on all windows
- Power door locks with speed sensing auto lock
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
- Trip computer
- Outside temperature display
- Cruise control
- Tilt and telescopic steering column
- Steering wheel-mounted audio, phone and cruise controls
- Rearview Camera3
- Auxiliary input jack and 2 USB ports
- Bluetooth®4 hands-free phone and audio streaming capability
- MAZDA CONNECT™ Infotainment System5
- Multifunction Commander control
- Infotainment system voice command
- HD Radio™
- Aha™ internet radio integration
- Pandora® internet radio integration
- Stitcher™ internet radio integration
- Radio Broadcast Data System program information
- SMS text message audio delivery and reply
- E911 automatic emergency notification
- Dual 12-volt power outlets (front and cargo area)
- 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 underfloor storage
- Roll stability control
- Trailer stability assist
- Engine immobilizer
Interior: It’s all in the Details
Open the doors to the CX-9 and you’ll immediately notice the attention to detail.
The shifter and console are now higher in the 2016 CX-9, allowing drivers to feel more control. It’s a truly comfortable ride for both driver and passengers.
Rosewood accents make the interior beyond impressive. Again, the center console makes navigation control and playing DJ easy for the front passenger as well. And once again, Mazda delivers in its sound system with it’s available 12-speaker Bose® Centerpoint® 2 Surround Sound System.
We tried not to blast the music too loud around our bonfire upstate- as we danced in our ponchos. With hardly any service to stream music from our phone, the Sirius Radio stations were the perfect soundtrack to kick off my birthday weekend.
For back passengers, there is plenty of legroom and space. The leather seats are wide, comfortable, and recline back for an insanely smooth ride.
Attention to detail throughout- even the backseat armrest. Aside from the standard cup holders, you’ll find a compartment with two USB ports, which can be closed shut while devices charge.
Access to the third row comes easy, with the pull of a lever. The middle seats can be moved up for extra legroom in the third row- but for those who suffer from claustrophobia like me, I was still not able to sit there for long. But for families with younger children or occasional extra passengers, it’s a great extra set of seating.
Which brings me to one of my only complaints- if the moonroof were larger, perhaps the third row seat would not feel as small to those who are claustrophobic. The entire interior would feel much larger with an extended moonroof.
The cargo space is still a decent size when the third row seats are up, which is great for families who will be utilizing the third row often.
With the third row seats folded, we were able to fit 15 rental chairs and two cocktail tables for day two of my birthday weekend. After a night upstate, we enjoyed a smooth ride back to the Bronx and straight to run errands to set up for a country-themed outdoor party. A trip to the party rental store and then to BJ’s, there was plenty of space to get it all done in one trip.
Performance: Power and Safety
Pick up speed quickly thanks to the SKYACTIV®1-G 2.5-liter turbocharged engine. With such a smooth ride, it’s easy to forget how fast you’re going- but thanks to the speed warning features, the driver is reminded to slow down.
The MPG was also impressive- with an estimated combined 25 MPG (21/272), we didn’t fill up once during our week with the CX-9, even after driving 2 hours back and forth upstate and a week of errands around the Bronx.
As for safety, the CX-9 truly customizes itself to the driver, and there are plenty of safety features – from monitoring throttle input to braking patterns, to lane departure warnings and better road grip. While we drove this in the fall, I hope to spend some time with it again in the winter to experience more of the predictive i-ACTIV AWD®4 all-wheel-drive system to see how it handles in snow and other conditions.
There’s so much more to be said about the features of the CX-9, but to avoid simply repeating everything you can read on the Mazda site, visit www.mazdausa.com for more information and to build your perfect CX-9. It’s no secret that the Mazda fleet has really won me over, but the Mazda CX-9 has officially took the lead. It was the perfect addition to my 30th birthday celebration. See more of our time with CX-9 on Instagram and Twitter, and be sure to check out #DriveMazda across all your fave social media platforms.
We reviewed the Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD to facilitate this feature. As always, all opinions are our own.