Mazda CX-9 Review

Sporty seven-seater that’s invisible

By Shahzad Sheikh

Mazda CX-9

It often comes up in conversation, the Mazda CX-9, and those that have driven the car, just nod sagely, as if they’re sharing some sort of secret. Unfortunately I go blank at this point, furiously racking my brains to conjure up even a faint image of the car, never mind any kind of impression of it.

Mazda CX-9

Up until this point, the car has been rather invisible to me, because they don’t exactly sell like hot cakes in the UAE market. Which is odd, because if it is as good as some of my colleagues suggest than why should it not? Besides, Mazda does have a track record (as Honda used to) of injecting that certain dose of driving pleasure into its vehicles.

Mazda CX-9

Would it managed to do the same in this, its biggest vehicle? Actually there’s a more pressing question. Does the CX-9 even exist?

Why yes, so it does. And it’s here. It’s been delivered to me by Mazda dealer Galadari Motors. And I can see it.

Mazda CX-9

What I’m seeing is not entirely unpleasant either, in fact it’s something of a surprise I haven’t noticed it before. Because it’s a sleek, swoopy good-looking thing, that manages to hide its bulk better than some rivals.

Mazda CX-9

But it’s big, make no mistake. Larger than the Ford Explorer for example. And inside that scale results in a comfy and extremely user-friendly cabin. Passenger-carrying ability and luggage space is on par with rivals.

Mazda CX-9

Despite the mass, the CX-9 does that whole-shrinking-from-behind-the-steering-wheel trick quite well. It feels remarkably fleet and nimble and the steering response is better than you have any right to expect on a people-mover like this.

Mazda CX-9

The venerable engine has plenty of oomph in it, and the 273bhp and 270lb ft of torque from the 3.7-litre V6 driving all four-wheels (two-wheel drive is an option on base-model editions) through a six-speed automatic, will get to 100kph in about 7.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 190kph.

Mazda CX-9

It’s well-equipped too, with even the mid-spec GT version coming with three-way climate control, leather upholstery, sat-nav, Bluetooth, rear cameras and parking sensors, sunroof, side-airbags and all the usual safety features and driver’s aids. GTX versions will get you goodies like a 10-speaker sound system, keyless entry and powered rear door.

Mazda CX-9

The CX-9 then, is spacious and comfortable, well-equipped, reasonably quick and rather satisfying to drive. With prices starting from AED115k it’s reasonably affordable too.

Mazda CX-9

Having said that, I’d personally still choose the Ford Explorer over this – to my mind it’s better looking and more modern. However I’d certainly be keeping an eye on the rear view mirror for one of these big Mazdas, as it’s no longer the invisible car, that’s for sure.

Mazda CX-9
GS 2WD AED114,740 [$ ]
GS AWD AED119,750 [$ ]
GT AWD AED129,750 [$ ]
GTX AWD AED137,750 [$ ]
GTX Limited AWD AED146,750 [$ ]
Engine: 3.7-litre V6, 273bhp @ 6250rpm, 270lb ft @ 4250rpm
Performance: 7.8secs 0-100kph (est), 190kph, 13.0L/100
Transmission: six-speed auto, two or four-wheel drive
Weight: 2067kg (AWD)

Have you seen the CX-9 anywhere? Do you own one? What do you think of it? Tell us below.

3 responses to “Mazda CX-9 Review”

  1. Vikram Kakkar says:

    Hi Shahzad,

    Hope to see your review of the all new (2016) CX-9 which is a game changer for its competitors in this category.
    As always keep up the good work!

    Thanks & kind regards,


  2. Joel says:

    Hi Shazad,

    Would like to see you review of the all new (2016 / 2017 ) CX-9 which from the reviews Punchs above the competitors .
    Enjoy your reviews, keep Reviewing keep posting 🙂


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