The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

Redesigned just two years ago, the CX-9 continues with a couple changes for 2018. Noticeable among them are a standard G-Vectoring Control (uses engine timing for more accurate steering inputs), Smart City Brake Support (designed to reduce rear-end collisions by stopping at low speeds before a frontal impact), blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert in all trims.
Under the hood of the Mazda flagship crossover is once again an 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine putting out 227 horsepower @ 5000 rpm and 310 pounds-feet of torque @ 2000 rpm. The powertrain is equipped with the direct-injection Skyactiv, which uses a torque boost via a high compression ratio to increase fuel economy. Power is routed through the traditional but seamless 6-speed automatic transmission.
Suspension is handled via an independent MacPherson strut in the front and a multilink rear with stabilizer bars at both ends. The electric-power assist steering is direct and precise. And the one-off CX-9 is available as Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and Signature trim – to meet the needs of the diverse buyer. Tow capacity is an impressive 3,500 pounds.
The familiar five-point grille with double bars is surrounded by LED headlights while the rear also gets LED tail lamps and dual exhaust tips. Nappa leather, and splashes of rosewood and aluminum trim, lend classiness to the roomy cabin. The 60/40-split second-row seat, which can slide fore and aft, as well as the 50/50 third-row seat, will be useful if traveling with children. Also standard are a tri-zone auto a/c, 8-way heated power driver and 4-way passenger seats, 8-inch instrument display with command control, power lift gate, head-up display, tilt/telescopic steering column, second-row window sun shades, push-button start and a 12-speaker Bose sound system.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for all rows, four-wheel antilock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution, Dynamic Stability Control and traction control, antiskid system with rollover sensor, front seat active-head restraints, three-point front seatbelts with pretensioners, rear backup sensors, lane keep assist/departure warning, front/rear crumple zones and tire pressure monitoring system are standard.
The CX-9 is anything but your run-of-the-mill crossover SUV. It offers ample power, quick acceleration, incredible people and cargo-hauling capabilities, and in the looks department, it scores a point or two for bold styling.

Tires: P255/50R20
Wheelbase: 115.3 inches
Length: 199.4 inches
Weight: 4,361 pounds
Fuel capacity: 19.5 gallons
City: 20 mpg
Highway: 26 mpg
Price: $44,315
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