What Is the 2014 Mazda CX-9?
The 2014 Mazda CX-9 is a seven-seat large SUV that competes with the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. It is offered in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trim levels, all of which come standard with front-wheel drive but are available with all-wheel drive.
What's New on the 2014 Mazda CX-9?
For 2014 the Mazda CX-9 is newly offered with rear-cross traffic alert.
How Does the 2014 Mazda CX-9 Compare to Other Large SUVs?
The primary thing that separates the 2014 CX-9 from its competitors its handling – it's fun to drive thanks to precise steering, plenty of power and a responsive transmission. In terms of fuel economy, it's on par with other models in the class, offering 17/24 mpg city/highway – same as the Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Traverse, and coming in just behind the 18/25 mpg of the Honda Pilot. One could easily argue that its nimble driving dynamics more than make up for that, though.
While the 2014 CX-9 drives like a small vehicle, it feels quite spacious, even though its second-row headroom (39 inches) trails that of the Pilot (39.8), Traverse (39.4) and Explorer (40.5). While the second row feels large enough, the third row seats feel perfunctory at best. The CX-9 also lags a bit behind in cargo space behind its third row, with 17.2 cubic feet, less than the Traverse (24.4), Explorer (21) and Pilot (18). Even with the second- and third-row seats folded down, the Mazda CX-9's cargo space expands to only 100.7 cubic feet, which is once again outclassed by the Traverse's 116.3.
The CX-9's infotainment system is functional, but it would be better-served by a larger display and a more intuitive interface. While its 5.8-inch touchscreen is on the small side – the Chevy Traverse's is 6.5 inches – and frequently requires an unnecessary number of steps to achieve a given task, its navigation system is a winner, serving up atypically precise directions and even registering many private roads.
What Features in the 2014 Mazda CX-9 Are Most Important?
Every Mazda CX-9 comes equipped with a 273-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with a selectable manual-shifting mode.
Significant standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust tips, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector; 60/40-split, folding second-row seats; 50/50-split, folding third-row seats; cruise control; three-zone automatic climate control; and a CD audio system with a 5.8-inch touchscreen; MP3 and USB jacks; and Bluetooth streaming capability.
Standard safety features include all-disc antilock brakes, an electronic stability system with roll stability control, front-seat side-impact airbags and three-row side-impact curtain airbags. Optional safety features include a backup camera, rear cross-traffic alert and a blind-spot warning system.
Should I Buy the 2014 Mazda CX-9?
It's rare for a large SUV to be worthy of descriptors like "agile" and "sporty," but they both apply to the 2014 Mazda CX-9, and that is perhaps its biggest triumph: It's just a lot of fun to drive. It's not as spacious as its competitors, and its multimedia controls can be a bit finicky, but it's also the sportiest model in its class, making it an appealing alternative to the relatively bland family haulers out there.
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