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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
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
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 2010 Mazda CX-9 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

“ABS master cylinder controller failed and was replaced”

Anonymous, TX (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“light came on but not related to ABS”

Frank M., NC (2010 Mazda CX-9 Unsure 3.7-L V6)

“Brakes became very hard to push. Mazda dealership fixed the problem because I had an extended warranty that was transferred to me when I received the car from Father-in-law”

Jimmy-Shannon S., WV (2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Brake booster went bad. 600. Repair. Mazda has many complaints online about this but haven't done a recall. When discussing booster problem was told by service agent that the car also has 2 serious recalls that need attention asap. Otherwise I like the car very much”

Anonymous, NC (2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“normal brake wear requiring replacement of pads and rotors front and rear”

Anonymous, ME (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“no problems”

Anonymous, NY (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Warped rotors w/o adequate explanation (no downhill, excessive breaking, etc)”

Anonymous, KS (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“The front rotors developed a warp and brake performance was below expectations. Once repaired the brakes performed as expected”

Anonymous, BC (2010 Mazda CX-9 Unsure 3.7-L V6)

“The closest Mazda dealer was quoting over $2000 to replace the rotors and calipers at less then 25000 miles”

Anonymous, MD (2010 Mazda CX-9 Unsure 3.7-L V6)
Rotors

“Front rotors rusted at 23000 miles. Caused front brake pads to wear to the point the rotors and pads had to be replaced”

Anonymous, IL (2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Rotors warp easily. Have turned once and replaced once”

Anonymous, NV (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“brake fad--just needed a brake job”

Jack G., ON (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“by 2011, rotors had to be replaced. Technician told me to stop parking on the grass, which I never do. Full replacement all 4 rotors”

Steven B., NY (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Brakes have had a metal on metal squeaking since day one. Not bad but noticeable”

Anonymous, NV (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

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

“This was a recall item that was fixed by Mazda as part of a salt induced corrosion problem”

Anonymous, ON (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Shocks or struts

“Rear right strut was leaking, but repair was covered by certified pre-owned warranty”

Anonymous, CA (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Passenger side rear shock failed replaced by dealer”

Anonymous, IL (2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“broken strut”

Anonymous, WI (2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“Steering seems to be loose when turning left. Will hold the corner well up to a certain point, then something slips and the car veers a bit until the steering linkage catches a stop. I found a loose bolt which I tightened and improved it some”

Anonymous, UT (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Caused by slide on ice in in-climate weather”

Anonymous, IL (2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“The front tie rods were recalled due to the fact corrosion can cause them to fail”

Anonymous, NV (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Wheel bearings

“Guy who worked on it said the car should ott have this problem with this mileage”

Anonymous, OH (2010 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

“Loud grinding noise as wheel bearing on driver's side failed”

Anonymous, ON (2010 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

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Unintuitive design and controls and bad mapping not enough. Rejecting DVD, freezing and shutting down at 50k. Now completely unreliable, DVD pristine, won't navigate. Not worth repair. Bought mid-grade Garmin for $125. Puts Mazda system to shame”

Howard W., MA (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“We had to replace an expensive component in order to fix the Bluetooth. The cost was about $700”

Anonymous, NY (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Phone disconnects often”

Anonymous, DC (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Bluetooth system failed so that, while it picks up signal I can no longer hear the anything. Th other person (on a phone call) can still hear me”

Anonymous, ON (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Bluetooth phone pairing regularly fails. No update and poor design”

Steven B., NY (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Speakers

“Speakers in front doors have loose wiring. When contacting Mazda, they said, just to open up the door to look at the issue it would be over $250. Loose wires”

Anonymous, FL (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“the module in the armrest for the external audio failed and I had to replace it. Dealer wanted $75 to diagnose, and said would probably be $200+ to fix. I fixed it for $60 by buying the part online and replacing it myself”

Michael J., FL (2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Rear entertainment system (e.g., DVD player, rear screen)

“It was very finicky, not user-friendly. Then we lost the remote and had to pay $450 just to replace it so we never did”

Anonymous, MA (2010 Mazda CX-9 Unsure 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

Driveshaft or axle

“A wheel bearing for one of the rear wheels broke and needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, TX (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
4WD/AWD components

“problem with AWD system”

Anonymous, PA (2010 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

“flashing 4wd caused by a wiring disconnected in the driveshaft. Repair cost was 500$”

Eric B., QC (2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Transfer case

“3 transfer cases.#1 failed 80K. Mazda paid due to perfect service record. #2 failure at 105k. $1400 selfpay. #3 TC now noise+ rolling resistance+ No leak/no warr. repair. MZ keeps installing same FORD TC with design defect.MZ knows-ripsoff CX9 owners”

Howard W., MA (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“There is a vibration at certain speeds. 52 mph, 60 mph and 72 mph. If drive at these speeds the car starts shaking, feels like the cause is in the rear.... Mechanic cant ID. New tires, rotation, balance alignment, checked wheel bearings... Vibration still there”

C M., TX (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand 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

“The evaporator drain for Air conditioner is prone to clogging due to a poor design. Water became trapped in blower motor assembly and caused a failure”

Anonymous, MD (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Condenser

“Condenser drain clogs - previously described”

Garrett H., PA (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
A/C compressor

“Intermittent problem and compressor was replaced under extended warranty”

Anonymous, VA (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

“Refrigerant was low possibly due to age of the car and had to be recharged. Not a major problem”

Anonymous, NV (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Had a leak in refrigerant that had to be fixed”

Anonymous, MD (2010 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

Air or water leaks

“There is a design flaw in the CX9 - the condenser drain clogs - driver hears a noise in the dash on turning left. Its a simple fix - and info in readily available online, but if left unresolved water leaks into the cabin at the passenger side”

Garrett H., PA (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“loose controller arm”

Anonymous, WI (2010 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

“wind noise with windows or door”

Anonymous, KS (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Excessive when on turnpike compared to rental cars of similar size/trim package that I use”

Anonymous, IN (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“The brake wear was most expensive, but the road noise and wind noise is a continuous problem”

Anonymous, MD (2010 Mazda CX-9 Unsure 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

“A piece of chrome molding by the driver mirror just flew off. The part cost about $100, labor was free because the auto body guy was fixing something else”

Anonymous, NY (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Trim on left side driver side became loose - easily fixed at body shop”

Hugh H., MD (2010 Mazda CX-9 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

Transmission leaks

“Transmission pan gasket began slowly leaking just prior to warranty expiration at 4 years 11 months of ownership. Leak repaired under warranty”

Julian L., FL (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Common problem I guess, we are having to get a new transfer case”

Anonymous, AK (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

“Torque converter just failed and had to be replaced”

Terry E., FL (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“failure of transfer case necessitated transmission and transfer case replacement”

Anonymous, VA (2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

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

What Owners Say

Starter

“Starter went out, had to be replaced. $400”

Eric B., UT (2010 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.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

“Broken right side front door handle”

Daniel L., FL (2010 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.

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.

Engine Major

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

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