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2022 Mazda CX-9 Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?

Why Buy a 2022 Mazda CX-9?

Should You Buy a 2022 Mazda CX-9? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The Mazda CX-9 is an interesting SUV option. While it is practical, it tends to emphasize performance and style more than many of its rivals. As a result, this three-row SUV will have a lot of appeal for a variety of drivers. When you look closely at the 2022 CX-9, there are many perks that jump out. Of course, there are also some flaws. The following information can help you decide if the cons are more significant than the pros.

What's New for 2022?

There are some big changes to be aware of for the 2022 Mazda CX-9. First, all models are now coming standard with all-wheel drive. This is a change that Mazda is making for all of its SUVs moving forward. Second, there is a brand-new Touring Plus trim level. It slots between the Touring and Carbon Edition, making some luxurious features a bit more affordable. Highlights include third-row USB ports, ventilated front seats, and driver-seat memory settings. The 2022 CX-9 is still part of the second generation of this SUV, which premiered in 2016.


Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Mazda CX-9 – The Pros

1. Premium Cabin with Upscale Materials

Each and every trim level of the 2022 CX-9 is sophisticated and loaded with popular features. Heated front seats are standard, for example, along with tri-zone automatic climate control. The driver gets power adjustment so that they can get in the perfect position for a long drive. With the exception of the entry-level Sport, all models are also equipped with leather upholstery. Higher trim levels add a wireless charging pad, sunshades, and a moonroof.

2. Standard All-Wheel Drive

Performance is one of the areas that the CX-9 really shines. With all models getting standard all-wheel drive, icy conditions and dirt roads are easier to tackle. Although the CX-9 has a slightly higher starting price than its competitors, you do not have to pay extra for AWD like you would with most rivals.

3. Powerful Turbocharged Engine

Mazda gives the CX-9 a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder engine as its standard engine. It produces a highly satisfying 227-horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque with regular fuel and can pump out 250-horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque with premium. Paired with this engine is a six-speed automatic transmission that provides smooth shifts. You won't have to worry that the CX-9 will not have the power you need when you hit the gas.

4. Sleek Exterior Design

The Mazda CX-9 proves that a midsize SUV does not have to be boring. It has an elegant, flowing exterior design. If you decide to go with the new Touring Plus trim level or higher, your CX-9 will also have 20-inch alloy wheels, a gloss black grille, and aluminum roof rails. This SUV is available in a sophisticated color palette that includes Snowflake White Pearl and Machine Gray. If you do want to stand out a bit more, Mazda also makes the CX-9 available in the popular Soul Red Metallic paint.

5. Extensive List of Standard Features

Another way that the 2022 CX-9 justifies its price tag is with the standard list of equipment it comes with. On top of the luxurious cabin features like heated front seats, all models have a 10.25-inch touchscreen to run the infotainment system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included, plus HD radio and a six-speaker sound system. There is a Wi-Fi hotspot as well, along with two USB ports. On the outside, the CX-9 comes with LED headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels. Rain-sensing windshield wipers are also included on all models.

6. Strong Fuel Economy for a Three-Row SUV

Since there is only one powertrain and one drivetrain for the CX-9 in 2022, there is only one set of fuel economy estimates to worry about. You can expect 20mpg in the city and 26mpg on the highway. These are more than respectable, especially when you factor in the standard all-wheel-drive equipped on this SUV.

7. Full Suite of Driver Aids

Multiple driver aids are also equipped on all 2022 CX-9 models, including the very useful adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go. A blind-spot monitor, forward-collision mitigation including pedestrian detection, and lane-keeping assist are also included on all models. For select models, the CX-9 also is equipped with adaptive pivoting headlights, a surround-view camera system, and driver attention monitoring. It is also worth pointing out that the 2022 CX-9 received five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

8. Engaging Driving Dynamics

When it comes to the performance of the CX-9, it is more than just the power that makes it special. Precise steering helps you feel in control, and the brakes provide enough stopping power to give you confidence at the wheel. Minimal body sway and a smooth suspension help passengers enjoy the ride in the CX-9, although you will want to stick with the 18-inch wheels.

9. Stylish Carbon Edition Available

The 2022 Mazda CX-9 Carbon Edition comes exclusively in Polymetal Gray paint. It also is the only model to have red leather seats in the cabin, plus red interior trim. These touches are significant enough to really set this trim level apart from the rest. It is also very well-equipped, coming with adaptive headlights, a wireless device charging pad, and a heated steering wheel.

10. Top Signature Trim Rivals Luxury Brand SUVs

If you are able to choose the top Signature trim, your Mazda CX-9 will take luxury and sophistication to the next level. This model shows off an exclusive grille design that features LED lighting. Inside, there is quilted Nappa leather upholstery with piping and genuine wood trim throughout the cabin. Another nice touch is the center console between the second-row captain's chairs. Rounding out the upgrades found in this trim level is the unique accent stitching found on the steering wheel.

Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Mazda CX-9 – The Cons

1. Subpar Towing Capacity

One of the downsides of the Mazda CX-9's design is its low towing numbers. When properly equipped, it can handle only 3,500 pounds. Most midsize SUVs can do much better than that. Of course, not everyone needs to tow, so this may not be too big of an issue for some shoppers.

2. Third-row is Tight

The CX-9 struggles with the same problem that many three-row SUVs do, particularly midsize ones. Only small children will find that the third row of this vehicle has enough space to stay comfortable for any length of time. The cabin is also a bit on the narrow side, further adding to the cramped feeling. On the plus side, there is plenty of legroom in the first two rows, and the third row is easy to access if you choose second-row captain's chairs.

3. Less Cargo Space Than Competitors

With all three rows of seats up, the CX-9 offers only 14.4 cubic feet of cargo space. This is not a lot of room for luggage if you are taking a trip with the whole family. It has 38.2 cubic feet behind the second row, and it has 71.2 cubic feet behind the first. These numbers are more in line with competitors, but that will not matter if you are routinely driving six or seven people.


How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2022 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2022 Toyota Highlander

Both the CX-9 and Highlander have a pleasant ride, satisfying acceleration, and a respectable number of safety features. The starting price for these two SUVs is similar as well. Like the CX-9, the Highlander has a third-row that is too small for the average adult. Points in favor of the Highlander include a higher towing capacity and more cargo space, while the CX-9 pulls ahead with a more luxurious cabin. Shoppers should also keep in mind the fact that the Highlander is available as a hybrid, which is something that Mazda has not done for the CX-9 yet.

2022 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2022 Kia Telluride

The new Kia Telluride is a truly impressive SUV in just about every way. It has a lower starting price, larger cargo capacity, and more room for back passengers. The Telluride also has a much longer warranty, plus more family-friendly technology. At the same time, the handling is not nearly as sharp as what you will experience with the CX-9. Like most midsize three-row SUVs, the CX-9 has a hard time competing with the Telluride.


Overall, Mazda has gone above and beyond to make the 2022 CX-9 a fun and stylish vehicle that still manages to be practical. A future redesign that allows for more space in the third row and cargo space would be beneficial. Although the powertrain is engaging, Mazda should consider offering a hybrid in the future. Upping the towing capacity of the CX-9 would also broaden its appeal.

Compare the Mazda CX-9:

2022 Mazda CX-9 vs Toyota Highlander
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