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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 3 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?
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 2011 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

Master cylinder

“Power booster failure”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Brake booster was defective...Mazda had an extended warranty on part...repaired No Charge”

Robert W., FL (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Brake petal suddenly became very firm”

Anonymous, TX (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“We had a master cylinder fail and then Mazda would not fix the know defect. the Dealership stepped up and paid the difference. then 3 months later MAZDA sends out a letter of lifetime warranty for the specific issues I had and called about”

Anonymous, TX (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“The brakes are the only negative about the car, they wear easily and have been replaced numerous times over the years”

Matthew J., NY (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“The brakes on this car do not seem adequate to handle high-speed braking without meaningful pulsing & grinding, and rapid wear. Plan to replace with non-Mazda brake pads, calipers and rotors”

Anonymous, MD (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Have had problems with brakes making noise and rotors wearing out early”

Anonymous, NY (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Front brakes began to wear at around 13000 miles. Had to replace entire front brakes (pads, rotors) at about 20000 miles which is way too early compared to other brands I've owned”

Andrew B., IN (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Braking is inconsistent and car handles badly when braking. Not sure that this is WEAR, exactly, but it's not right”

Anonymous, WA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Antilock system (ABS)

“During our snowy winter, I experienced a few instances in snow where the brakes locked and the car slid without stopping”

Anonymous, MA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

“Brake vibration at around 45,000 miles. Replace front rotors”

Anonymous, NY (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Parking brake

“Parking break becomes loose, stops working. Fixed, quickly becomes loose and stops working again”

Anonymous, WA (2011 Mazda CX-9 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

Transfer case

“Transfer case failed. This is the 2nd time it failed; first time was at approx. 11,00 miles. When the transfer case failed, it also destroyed the automatic transmission”

Andrew B., IN (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“I had the case replaced because it was leaking. It was covered by Mazda so there was no expense to me”

Christopher A., NY (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“a bearing failed in transfer case and damaged the unit”

Gregory B., BC (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“The transfer case has been replaced twice since the car was new”

Mark N., NV (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Transfer case went bad”

S F., PA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

“Transfer case failure, prone to CX9s fully covered under warranty”

Laura K., WI (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“transaxle replace at 60000 klm”

Anonymous, QC (2011 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

“Failed requiring replacement”

Anonymous, CO (2011 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

Ball joints

“There was a recall on the ball joints due to corrosion. It was fixed under the recall, no expense to me”

Bob K., TX (2011 Mazda CX-9 Unsure 3.7-L V6)

“Recall on the ball joint - tie rods”

Anonymous, TX (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“Recall to replace front suspension lower control arms”

Anonymous, MA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“I needed to have both front tie rods replaced. It was not too expensive about $200 at the dealer”

Anonymous, NY (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Wheel bearings

“Passenger side (rear) wheel bearing housing started to make noise and then needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, NY (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Shocks or struts

“Hard ride. Strut Broke Brake assembly froze closed at 7000 miles Wore out Rotor”

Anonymous, NY (2011 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

Seals and/or weather-stripping

“Water build up in the floor of the drivers compartment due to clogged drainage”

Anonymous, TX (2011 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

“When gas tank is full, not properly attached to car and it bangs against the cars bottom when going over bumps”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)
Air or water leaks

“Driving rain leak around passenger door where the mirror is”

Anonymous, TX (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Wind noise

“door seal, passenger”

Michael B., NY (2011 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

“Headlamp enclosure leaked in rain, rain ruined HID ballast”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“There was moisture in drivers side headlamp. About 3 weeks later light stopped working. Parts and labor to fix the issue at dealer was over $600”

Brian M., CA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Keyless entry

“Passenger door button for door entry has quit working. We have not got the issue repaired”

Brian M., CA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

“Electric locks stopped working cost to cure 2000”

Anonymous, FL (2011 Mazda CX-9 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

“As noted earlier, the backup camera works, although even in the dark the view is grainy. The issue is primarily with not being able to see the screen well”

Anonymous, NC (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Display screen difficult to see

“I love my CX-9 except for this issue. About the only time you can really see well is if it's dark outside. During the day, especially in sunlight, the backup camera is nearly useless because the screen is so difficult to use”

Anonymous, NC (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“Car will no longer play anything plugged in through the Aux port. Aux category on radio does not work at all”

Anonymous, CT (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

“Mazda had a extended warranty on the transmission when mine went out”

Mike N., CO (2011 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

“Started making a noise related to shifting gears around 40 mph. Mazda promptly replaced transmission and provided a rental car”

Joel J., CA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

“transmission failed as a result of the transfer case”

Gregory B., BC (2011 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

“From the time In purchased the car, the transmission has shifted roughly. The trnsfer box was replaced but problems persist. May ask to have problems checked against Mazda notice regarding torque converter problems”

Anonymous, MD (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Slipping transmission

“Transmission jerked hard when going into gear. Had transmission flushed and fluid replaced at Dealership, and problem was fixed”

Anonymous, NC (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Transmission leaks

“Transfer case replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, AB (2011 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

“Failed and had to be replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, GA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)
Accessory belts or pulleys

“Drive tensioner belt ripped off the mounting mechanism from vibration”

Anonymous, WA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Oil leaks

“Don't know what it is”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Mazda CX-9 Sport 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

Evaporator

“Water backing up into car, all over carpet. Needed dealer to clean out evaporator”

Peter F., NJ (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
A/C compressor

“I have a dual A/C and the drivers side failed”

Alan C., TX (2011 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

Windows

“Passenger side power window no longer operates properly”

Anonymous, AL (2011 Mazda CX-9 Touring 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

“Several exterior body trim parts have come loose since purchased. Mazda would not cover these because they claimed it was due to damage which wasn't the case or possible”

Andrew B., IN (2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

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.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“Mass Air Flow Sensor failed”

Michael D., IN (2011 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

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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