CARS.COM — Editor's note: This Car Seat Check was written in July 2016 about the 2016 Mazda CX-9. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2017, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.
For 2016, Mazda brings a host of improvements to the redesigned CX-9, and top among those is a robust new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and updated styling, inside and out. For families, the seven-seat SUV's new slide-and-tilt second row is a significant boon to getting your kiddies safely secured in the third row with as little bending, squeezing and twisting as possible. And while the CX-9 faltered in a couple of areas, by and large, the 2016 version is an improvement over the outgoing model.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
How many car seats fit in the third row? Two
A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn't impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.
B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.
C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row when available.
D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.
F: Does not fit or is unsafe.
About Cars.com's Car Seat Checks
Editors Jennifer Geiger, Jennifer Newman and Matt Schmitz are certified child safety seat installation technicians.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a shorter passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.
We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row's middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. Learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks.
Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.