Introduced for the 2007 model year, the CX-9 crossover is available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels, has a number of standard safety features and can seat up to seven people in its three rows of seats. For 2008, the CX-9 gets a larger and more powerful V-6 engine and an optional blind-spot warning system. Competitors include the GMC Acadia and Hyundai Veracruz.
The CX-9 manages to avoid the chunkiness of many SUVs, in part because of its angular nose and car-like honeycomb grille. The SUV's beltline rises as it heads rearward, and the sides are free of cladding. Sport and Touring models have 18-inch wheels, while the Grand Touring version wears 20-inch wheels. Available features include a power liftgate, high-intensity-discharge headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers and turn-signal repeaters in the side mirror housings. CX-9s have a four-wheel-independent suspension and front and rear stabilizer bars.
The CX-9 has front bucket seats, and the 60/40-split second-row seat has room for three. The second row's backrest can recline or fold flat, and the seat can also slide fore and aft to optimize legroom and cargo space. There's 17.2 cubic feet of cargo room behind the 50/50-split third-row seat, which can also fold flat. Standard features include air conditioning, keyless entry, power windows and cruise control.
Under the Hood
The 2008 CX-9 is powered by a new 273-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine that drives a six-speed automatic transmission that has a clutchless-manual mode. Front- or all-wheel-drive versions are offered.
All-disc antilock brakes, side-impact airbags, three-row side curtain airbags and an electronic stability system with Roll Stability Control rollover mitigation technology are standard. There's also an optional blind-spot warning system that will be available in the fall. It's designed to alert drivers of items in the rear blind spot of the vehicle.