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Almost forgotten by car buyers, the Mazda CX-9 provides a pleasant three-row SUV alternative. Agile handling that masks its size is a nice surprise, as a run down a twisty back road will attest. The ride is firm and steady, proving comfortable on a variety of roads and the quiet cabin contributes to a calm cruise.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
NA
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
NA
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking available from 2016.
Road Test

Almost forgotten by car buyers, the Mazda CX-9 provides a pleasant three-row SUV alternative. Agile handling that masks its size is a nice surprise, as a run down a twisty back road will attest. The ride is firm and steady, proving comfortable on a variety of roads and the quiet cabin contributes to a calm cruise. The well-finished and functional interior accommodates seven, and even the third-row seat is hospitable compared to most other crossovers. Reliability is above average for this long-running design.

Having been introduced back in 2007, with only minor updates since, the CX-9 is showing its age. There's ample power from the smooth and refined 3.7-liter V6, but its thirsty 16 mpg overall only matches much-larger modern-day leviathans like the Chevrolet Suburban. Most midsized rivals get three to five mpg better. Newer designs also trump the CX-9 in the IIHS small-overlap crash test; the CX-9's Poor performance makes it ineligible for our formal recommendation.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.7-liter V6 (273 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2008 Mazda CX-9 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“We had a recall notice on the ball joints 18 months ago and have had to replace them twice in 18 months”

Anonymous, IN (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Done wored out”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Manufacturer recall after I already replaced”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Car squeak”

Carol A., FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Tie rod was damaged causing rack to be damaged. All needed replaced”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“While taking a turn, the tie rod sheared and the car was rendered inoperable. The car had relatively low miles for something like a tie rod to shear”

Mark S., CT (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Replace one at 85k and another @95k. planned obsolensence?”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Upper and lower control arms had to be replaced on left and right front end just after 100,000 miles”

Anonymous, MO (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Wheel bearings

“Driver side wheel bearings needed to be replaced due to noise. This is the FIRST and ONLY major repair that was needed on the CX-9; Not bad for a 9 year old vehicle!”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“I heard a noise in the left rear wheel and had it checked out. My local mechanic said it was the wheel bearings and replaced them in the one wheel and checked the other wheels which did not need repair”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Front wheel bearings and hubs required replacement due to corrosion”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Wheel bearing failed on one side in front”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

“They wore out. This is first repair of any type for this car”

Ralph W., FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

“Blindspot monitor failed”

Ken W., CA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Blind Spot indicator stops working after the third time I turn on and off the vehicle while running errands. It is intermittent and Mazda refuses to fix until it is constant”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“stopped working”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Display screen difficult to see

“Nav/radio screen has always been difficult to see. Cannot view back up camera screen except in low light situations”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“Audio port failed”

Ken W., CA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“will not stay synced and has caused time display to be unsettable”

Anonymous, MO (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“About two weeks after purchasing the car (used in 2012 with 65,000 miles on it), the navigation system stopped working and research determined it was not an uncommon problem to happen and also would not be worth fixing due to cost and reliability”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“The bluetooth is no longer working. Though I have not attempted any repairs”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Blue tooth stopped working. Mazda wanted $1,200 plus to replace the module”

Bob B., CA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Pairing suddenly stopped after purchase of new phone”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Paring phones and especially mutlitple phones is more work than it should be”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“loses pairing”

Anonymous, MO (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

“I have replaced both front calipers previously and have now had to replace the front passenger caliper a second time as well as the rotors”

Mark R., AE (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“calipers failed and were locking up”

Richard O., MD (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Master cylinder

“Mater cylinder was failing and brakes bacame low”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Mazda sent notice about possible brake booster failure which we experienced. Master cylinder was found to be leaking at the same service visit. Both were replaced (only booster was on warranty)”

Anonymous, CO (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“rotors heated up and warped”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Brakes squeak when backing. Neighbor with same year and model has same problem”

John S., SC (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“had to replace rotors”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Premature brake wear

“Pads did not last past 5,000 miles”

Bob B., CA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Uneven wear on break pads causing one pad to wear completely through to the metal backing while the other pad showed almost no wear”

Anonymous, MI (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Stability control (ESC)

“Warning light comes on”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Replacement due to spindle failure”

Jeff C., ID (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Mazda thinks the transfer case lube should last a lifetime but it does not. There is no recommended service interval. There isnt even a drain plug. The fluid heats up and wears out over time and the unit will fail. Replacement for me was $1500”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Bad clunking noises followed by complete failure a minute later - very little warning. Very disappointing, it was always well maintained (though the transfer case oil is not changeable in this year - not well thought out) and was never abused nor d”

Richard B., PA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

“drive shaft failed and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Differential

“Front dif leaked and had to be replaced”

Keith T., FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“Right window doesn't seal properly when rolled up”

Carol A., FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Leaking water from sunroof, accumulated on a control module and caused a failure. This is the second occurrence”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“windows roll seals inward creating excessive wind noise”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

“Drivers side door is squeaking when opened or closing”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Wind noise

“The seals around the windows shrink and lose flexibility over time leading to terrible wind noise at highway speeds”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

“Headlight burned out and then came back on. Then went out. Replaced it. Had trouble getting someone to point the headlight correctly to be able to see okay with the new headlight”

Anonymous, CO (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Headlights repeatedly went out after a short period of time. Wiring issue”

Anonymous, MN (2008 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)
Keyless entry

“The smart keys do not always work. The problem seems to occur when the the smart key is kept near our cell phone. As long as the key is kept away from the phone then it works”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Tire pressure monitor

“TPMS light flashes and then stays ON”

John O., PA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Warning lights

“Warning lights for Traction Control, Brake, and another light turn ON intermittently while driving and then go OFF”

John O., PA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“This was my second visit to complain about A/C the first was inJuly 2016 at which time they could not find a problem and said I needed a recharge. This visit January 2017 ,same symptoms, dealer said the compressor needed replacement. $1499.04 Had my car 1 week”

Lawrence J., FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“rear console AC control stopped working”

Mike H., CO (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Air filter allowed trash to get into the filter housing and clog drainage line for AC. Water built up and shorted out compressor, blower motor, and other parts”

Keith T., FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“condensation drain plugs and fills motor with water”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Fan relay was replaced”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

“Stopped for gas. Restarted car and could not get shifter out Park.mazda dealer replaced gear shifter $700”

Lawrence J., FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Slipping transmission

“Slippage detectable when slowing down and then accelerating in 6th gear. Currently just a minor inconvenience”

Enrique E., FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Transmission keeps jerking on me. Have taken to the dealer 4 times and they keep telling me they can't replicate it. My extended warranty runs out in a couple of months and I think they are just putting me off until I have to pay for the transmission myself. I like the car, but I won't purchase another Mazda because of the dealer treatment”

Chris A., GA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“The transfer case shaft was not greaseable where it mated to the transmission gear causing extreme wear on the shaft splines. The transmission part was not available as an aftermarket part so the transmission couldn't be rebuilt. It had to be replaced. The transmission repair shop said the new parts will only last about 90000 miles before they fail again because they mating parts are not greaseable. Poor design”

Matthew C., WA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Unsure 3.7-L V6)

“The car would shimmy at 45 mph, the dealer replaced the transmission it was only 2000 after warranty, but Mazda paid 50% and the dealer paid 25%, I paid the difference”

Steven L., FL (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Transmission had to be replaced”

Anonymous, MN (2008 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

“fell off”

Mark B., MD (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Just noticed a line of cracked paint near the edge of one of the rear doors. Doesn't appear to be from any impact. Looks like it would be from a crease, but there is no visible crease”

Anonymous, NH (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

“Engine failed at around 98000 miles. Head was cracked. needed to replace with used engine”

Anonymous, PA (2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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