Saturday, 09 December 2023

2019 Mazda CX-9’s performance separates it from the SUV pack Featured

Posted On Sunday, 06 October 2019 22:04 Written by
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 is a smart choice for SUV buyers looking for a more enjoyable driving experience. The 2019 Mazda CX-9 is a smart choice for SUV buyers looking for a more enjoyable driving experience. Photo by Matt Myftiu/

Too often, vehicles make you compromise. If it’s got power, it lacks agility. If it’s got agility, it lacks power. You have to choose what’s important to you.

Thankfully, a few vehicles are still out there which are able to remain uncompromised for the most part. One of those is the Mazda CX-9, a three-row SUV battling in an increasingly crowded segment that targets busy American families.

While there are only small changes for 2019 on the CX-9, whose current design was introduced in 2016, it doesn’t look or feel old and it remains relevant. Read on for a full report.


One thing Mazda had also done impressively is design their vehicles in a way that pleasantly surprises people, as the high-end look (especially inside) can take people by surprise.

The Signature trim level was on my test vehicle and it showed. Quality leather and other high-end materials could be found throughout the vehicle, and seating was comfortable on the level of a luxury ride.

The second row was very roomy, but the third row not so much. Reserve it for the littlest ones and keep the adults out back there.

Overall, the Mazda CX-9 is slightly less roomy and versatile than otter family carriers, though the difference is not drastic. (and the performance may be strong enough to overcome this deficiency for many people).

While not as impressive as the inside, the exterior also has some high points, including the trademark overhang nose. 


A smaller brand like Mazda needs to have an angle to stand out. And their angle is a legit one: The true quality of the driving experience.

The 2019 CX-9 features a 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, which is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Numbers are 227 horsepower, 310 lb.-ft. of torque, and you can engage Sport Mode to improve your experience.

I tested a CX-9 that featured all-wheel drive, but be aware that front-wheel drive is standard and you must choose to upgrade to AWD.

It’s worth noting that the 2019 model’s suspension has been improved to create a smoother ride, so those upgrading from previous versions will notice a difference.

I’ve driven pretty much every vehicle in this three-row SUV segment, and the results were clear to me after testing the CX-9: For a large crossover like this, you will be hard-pressed to find a more fun, smooth and quiet, yet still powerful ride. It doesn’t struggle to get going like some competitors, and works great in the turns. You will forget you are driving an ample-sized vehicle, as the CX-9’s responsiveness will have you thinking it’s a much smaller ride.


In terms of infotainment, Mazda’s system was strong in my experience, but sometimes too many steps are needed to get something done. An 8-inch screen houses the display.

I would rank Mazda mid-pack in the overall auto industry in terms of quality of user experience.

On the plus side, you will be extremely safe in the CX-9, which boasts a 5-star overall score on government safety tests.

New to the CX-9 in 2019 are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and a surround-view parking camera system. A 12-speaker Bose sound system is offered.

Other safety features on the CX-9 include: Front Parking Sensors, Traction Control System, Adaptive Front-Lighting System, Radar Cruise Control, Keyless Entry, Push-Button Start, Blind Spot Monitoring, rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Parking Sensors, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist and Smart Brake Support.

So while the in-car technology isn’t class-leading, there are ample safety features to give you and your family peace of mind.

Official fuel mileage numbers on the CX-9 are 20 city/26 highway/23 combined

In real life, my experience behind the wheel led to an average of 19 mpg, which was pretty low for the segment.

To be honest, due to the large size of these vehicles, the competition isn’t a whole lot better, so I don’t anticipate fuel mileage will be the deciding factor in this segment for many people.

The CX-9 I tested was priced just over $47K, and the base price starts about $33K.
This pricing is quite competitive for the three-row SUV segment, matching or beating its rivals on the low end and maxing out lower than several rivals.

You’ll get a 5-year/60K miles powertrain warranty, and 3 years/36K bumper-to-bumper warranty.


While not the roomiest three-row SUV, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 is definitely the most fun to drive.

If the third row wont see regular use, but you want to have it available to you, and you are looking for a fun sporty ride with a near luxury interior and strong safety features, this may be the vehicle for you.

----- can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.


Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2019 Mazda CX-9 
  • Price as tested: $47,385 
  • Best feature: Best drive quality in segment, high-end design 
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars  
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Families who want a sportier experience from their SUV
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Search Reviews by Make

AutoTechReviews  is your home for In-depth reviews of the latest cars, trucks, and SUVs; information on all the emerging vehicle technology; and breaking news from the world of NASCAR and other motorsports.