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2022 Toyota Highlander vs Mazda CX-9

2022 Toyota Highlander vs Mazda CX-9

2022 Highlander vs CX-9 - How Do They Stack Up? Which is Better?

While the challenge of fitting seven or eight passengers in a midsize SUV is not for the faint-hearted, it's certainly achievable - and popular brand car makers are constantly pushing boundaries to meet this demand. Enter two powerhouses from within that class: The 2022 Toyota Highlander vs. The 2022 Mazda CX-9! Both offer great advantages on their own terms but which one will best suit your family’s driving needs? Find out as we review these cars' similarities and differences; helping you make an informed decision with ease.


The Powertrain

The Highlander offers power and versatility in equal measure. At the heart of each standard model is a 3.5L V6 engine that produces an impressive 295 horsepower with 263 lb-ft torque - all controlled by an eight-speed automatic transmission, plus optional front or all wheel drive for added traction as needed. For even more efficiency out on the road there's also a new hybrid setup; based around a 2.5L four cylinder, it gives 243 horsepower while providing driving comfort thanks to its continuously variable transmission (and FWD/AWD availability).

Enjoy a turbo-charged ride with the 2022 CX-9. This athletic SUV comes standard equipped with an impressive 2.5L four-cylinder engine that delivers up to 250 horsepower and 320 lb ft of torque when powered by premium gasoline, plus all wheel drive for better traction in any driving conditions. Don't need more oomph? No problem – you can stick with regular gas and still enjoy 227 horsepower on tap! For those who are looking for hybrid power or additional boosts beyond what this model offers may be disappointed though as other options aren't available here yet.

With front-wheel drive, the Highlander is estimated to get 21mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway. This is decent when compared to other midsize SUVs with V6 engines, but falls behind the many competitors that go with a four-cylinder instead. Opting for all-wheel drive for the Highlander will mean getting 20mpg city and 27mpg highway.

The Highlander Hybrid does considerably better. Buyers can expect 36mpg city and 35mpg highway with front-wheel drive. Going with all-wheel drive will mean getting 35mpg in the city and either 34 or 35mpg on the highway, depending on the trim level.

The Mazda CX-9 offers dependable fuel efficiency across all models, with a trusty 20mpg in the city and 26 mpg on highways - no matter if you're going short distance or long haul. While its ratings may not be top of their class, they offer reliable performance backed by standard all-wheel drive powertrain.

The Highlander is an impressive midsize SUV that rivals its competitors in power, capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds. But not everyone needs such immense strength; for those who don't need a heavy-duty hauler the CX-9 offers more than enough power with 3,500 pound capacity - perfect for small boats and trailers alike!

Both Toyota and Mazda equip their vehicles with a dependable warranty, offering five years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage. Beyond that protection comes the limited comprehensive assurance for three years or 36,000 miles given to select models such as the Highlander and CX-9.

For some buyers, a predicted reliability score from J.D. Power is a significant factor in their decision-making. The 2022 Highlander received a score of 82 out of 100. As for the 2022 CX-9, it did almost as well, getting a score of 80 out of 100.


When it comes to handling, the 2022 Highlander is perfectly acceptable. It offers up a comfortable ride and is easy to drive. The steering feels a bit numb, however, which prevents it from being labeled as sporty.

That is not an issue for the 2022 CX-9. This SUV is widely applauded for its engaging driving dynamics. The steering is weighted beautifully, there is very little body roll, and the brakes provide all of the stopping power needed. Going with the available 20-inch wheels will mean sacrificing some ride quality, but the standard setup does an excellent job of absorbing the bumps in the road.

Cargo capacity is a large selling point for some. The Highlander is more than respectable, giving buyers 16 cubic feet behind the third row. This is more than the CX-9, which has 14.4 cubic feet. Folding down the very last row will mean getting 48.4 cubic feet in the Highlander but only 38.2 cubic feet in the CX-9. The maximum cargo capacity for the Highlander is 84.3 cubic feet, while the Mazda SUV tops out at 71.2 cubic feet.

Maximum seating capacity may be a deciding factor between these two vehicles. In its standard setup, the new Highlander has room for up to eight. Many trim levels opt for second-row captain's chairs, however, which means having room for seven. As for the CX-9, it can only handle up to seven, with some versions of the SUV dropping down to seating for six.

The CX-9 and Highlander are generous with room in the first two rows, but the third row may be a bit too cramped for some passengers. Those behind the wheel of the Mazda will have great views out front and to each side; however, its sloping roofline offers slightly less visibility from back windows than other SUVs. Fortunately there's plenty to see no matter which direction you turn while driving Toyota's Highlander - excellent outward vision guaranteed!

The Highlander and CX-9 make driving a pleasure with their infotainment setups. Both offer an 8-inch touchscreen (Highlander) or 10.3 inch display (CX-9)—the perfect size for taking advantage of Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, WiFI Hotspot & six speaker sound system– yet the Highlander comes well equipped to keep everyone in your group connected—it offers Amazon Alexa compatibility as well five USB ports! Unbeatable features when compared against entry level models which have only two USB ports available.

Both of these SUVs offer navigation and a premium sound system. For the Highlander, the system has 11 speakers and is made by JBL. The CX-9 goes with a 12-speaker setup instead, and it can add up to four additional USB ports on upper trim levels.


The National Highway Safety Administration has tested both the 2022 Highlander and the 2022 CX-9. Overall, both of these vehicles received a score of five stars. They both got five stars for side crash testing, but four stars for frontal crashes and rollovers.

Buyers can also look at the crash test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In the six main categories tested, the top score of "Good" was received across the board for the Highlander and the CX-9. The headlights for the CX-9 also got the score "Good." For the Highlander, only the top Platinum trim received that score. All other trim levels had "Acceptable" headlights.

With the Highlander and Venza, drivers won't have to worry about navigating roads safely. These SUVs come fully equipped with a generous selection of advanced driver assistance features like forward-collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection and lane trace assist for maximum peace of mind on your journeys. Plus you'll get an extra layer of safety from clever extras such as rear seat reminder technology!

The CX-9 is a great option for drivers seeking advanced safety features. It offers adaptive cruise control, forward-collision mitigation and lane keeping assist to help you stay on track. And don't worry: with its standard blind spot monitoring, those trouble spots won't be an issue! If additional convenience is desired however the Highlander can provide it in the form of traffic sign recognition technology - making navigation through unknown roads safe and easy.

Both of these SUVs are offered with some of the most sophisticated driver assistance features currently out there. They can have a surround-view camera system, for example, as well as adaptive headlights that corner with the vehicle. Front and rear parking sensors are available on the CX-9 and Highlander. The CX-9 offers driver attention monitoring, while the Highlander offers rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Which Has the Best Value?

When comparing the base models of these two SUVs, it's clear that shoppers looking for an all-wheel drive vehicle will likely find more value in a Mazda CX-9 - though both vehicles offer luxurious features no matter which trim level you choose. The entry-level Highlander L carries a starting price tag of $35,405 while the comparable CX-9 begins at just $35,280. Meanwhile top tier options such as the 2017 Toyota Highlander Platinum and Mazda CX- 9 Signature don't differ much either with estimated prices around $47k each.

With the lack of changes to Highlander models, Mazda's all-wheel drive CX-9 provides an interesting comparison for drivers looking to purchase a new car. Taking 15,000 miles estimated yearly usage into account will be key in deciding which vehicle is best fit for budget and needs—making this race a close one! Analyzing both vehicles' "true cost-to own" estimates should provide enough information on making the ultimate decision.

When it comes to the depreciation battle, both vehicles face steep losses in value—the Highlander falling by nearly $21K and the CX-9 losing close to a hefty $23.5K over five years . Fuel costs are almost equal between these two models; with just an extra three hundred bucks when you pit front wheel drive against all wheel drive – so take your pick!

While it may seem like the Highlander is more expensive to maintain up front, its repair costs over five years are actually lower than those of the CX-9. In fact, with estimated maintenance expenses totaling around $4K and repairs coming in at a cool $1.7K for the Highlander compared to an approximate total of $5K and upwards of $$1.9k for repairs on the CX-9--the savings really add up!


Which Is Better?

When considering the 2022 Toyota Highlander vs. the Mazda CX-9, there is no one clear winner; it all comes down to individual needs and preferences. While both vehicles provide a range of great features, some areas remain unique to each - so buyers must decide which vehicle ultimately suits them better for their desired experience!

The Toyota Highlander has been designed with the busy family in mind. It can seat up to eight and provides a wealth of cargo space for groceries, sports equipment or whatever life throws at you! You'll also benefit from its excellent re-sale value over time plus five USB ports as standard - so everyone's devices stay powered on the go. For added green credentials there is now even a hybrid option available this year too!

The 2022 Mazda CX-9 is an exciting ride for all drivers, with its standard features of All-Wheel Drive and added bonus items like Blind Spot Monitoring as well as a large infotainment screen. Enjoy the thrill that comes from choosing this dependable car - no extra cost required!

Families looking for a spacious and efficient SUV should explore the 2022 Highlander, while those who fancy an exhilarating driving experience coupled with modern technology will want to investigate the 2022 Mazda CX-9.

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2021 Toyota Highlander VS Mazda CX-9