2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
There are many noteworthy changes to the Mazda CX-9 in 2021, including a significant update for the infotainment system. Now running on a 10.3-inch touchscreen, the new interface is meant to be more user-friendly. When buyers choose the Touring, Grand Touring, or Signature trims, they now get a wireless charging pad standard.
A new Carbon Edition version of the CX-9 is also debuting in 2021. Based on the Grand Touring, it adds several black exterior accents. Inside, it has red leather seats to help it make an impact. Finally, the already luxurious top Signature trim gets more standard equipment, including a driver-attention monitor, rear automatic emergency braking, and quilted leather upholstery.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
Counting the new Carbon Edition, there are five different 2021 CX-9 models. The Sport is up first, and it comes standard with automatic LED headlights, alloy wheels, and heated side mirrors. Inside, drivers find smartphone integration, tri-zone automatic climate control, and heated front seats.
For the Touring trim level, the CX-9 gains leather seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The tailgate also gets a power function. For the Carbon Edition, the CX-9 gains heated second-row seats, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and second-row captain's chairs.
The Grand Touring has everything the Carbon Edition does when it comes to features. It then adds a hands-free liftgate and navigation. For the Signature model, the CX-9 adds real wood interior trim and premium leather upholstery. This model also comes standard with all-wheel drive.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
Most buyers will find that the Touring model has what they need and will save them some money. Like all models, it has plenty of standard tech and safety features. The extra added by the Touring model, like leather upholstery and rear USB ports, make it worth a little extra. As a bonus, this model can be had with a front-wheel or all-wheel drive, as well as a bench or captain's chairs for the second-row.
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
The Mazda CX-9 has really upped its technology game in 2021. Standard features include a 10.3-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The base model has two USB ports, and all others add two to the rear as well. Other available technology features include satellite radio, navigation, wireless device charging, and a 7-inch digital driver information display. Buyers can also get a 12-speaker premium audio system from Bose.
How Does It Perform?
All models of the 2021 CX-9 get their power from a turbo 2.5L four-cylinder engine. When filled with regular gasoline, this engine can make 227-horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Premium gasoline sees this engine making 250-horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque.
Typically, midsize SUVs rely on a V6 for satisfying acceleration. The CX-9's turbocharged four-cylinder does a truly impressive job of powering the vehicle, however. Plus, the steering is accurate, and the ride remains comfortable over most bumps. Front-wheel drive is standard for all models except the Signature. All-wheel drive is an available upgrade for the remaining four trims.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given the 2021 Mazda CX-9 five out of five stars after conducting thorough safety testing. As for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, they gave the SUV a "Good" score in all categories.
When it comes to standard safety equipment, the CX-9 has a respectable list. It has forward-collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring. Lane departure warning is included as well. As buyers move higher on the trim ladder, they will also find driver-attention monitoring, a surround-view camera system, traffic sign recognition, and parking sensors.
What's the Interior Like?
The CX-9 is the biggest SUV in the Mazda lineup. It has three rows of seating and can seat either six or seven. The front two rows of the vehicle are spacious and comfortable. Like many midsize SUVs, the CX-9 has a third-row that is rather cramped and uncomfortable for adults.
Similarly, the CX-9 is a bit lacking when it comes to cargo space. Behind the third-row, buyers get just 14.4 cubic feet. The maximum cargo capacity behind the first row is 71.2 cubic feet. It is not hard to find rivals with over 80 cubic feet of cargo space.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
The Ford Explorer is a popular option when it comes to three-row SUVs. It comes standard with rear-wheel drive, something that many drivers find they prefer. Like the CX-9, the third-row of this vehicle is quite small. The Explorer is also pretty pricey, which may have people turning back to the CX-9.Another option would be the Hyundai Palisade. Like all vehicles from Hyundai, the Palisade is packed with features and has a low starting price. The Palisade also has more cargo space. On the other hand, the CX-9 has more engaging driving dynamics and better fuel economy. Other options in the three-row SUV market include the Toyota Highlander, GMC Acadia, and Kia Sorento.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Note: All Mazda CX-9 lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.