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 4 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.
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.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
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.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

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
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
2013
2014
2015
NA
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
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.
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
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
NA
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
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. FCW, AEB, BSW, and RCTW standard from 2018.
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
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

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 2013 Mazda CX-9 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

Display screen goes blank

"entire screen goes blank -, navigation freezes"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"System froze--had to be re-booted by dearlership"

Anonymous, CO (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"The vehicle icon in the map display would jump all over the place, even when it's en route. I ended up updating the software and the problem seem to have gone away."

Steve K., MA (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Voice commands are not understood"

Charle T., LA (2013 Mazda CX-9 3.7-L V6)

"Mazda has installed a Tom-Tom GPS on their top of the cars. It's a very cheap GPS. I updared and my house still not show up, Been here 4 yrs. System has also gotten me lost NYC by freezing. I WOUL NOT buy this car again"

Loren H., AL (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"System froze"

Anonymous, CO (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Navigation system could not determine location of car over several days. Had to upgrade firmware and reset system. System also has safety lock so you must use your voice to enter commands. Voice control is not USble"

Anonymous, NJ (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Loses satellite link often, even in clear weather. Dealership has twice re-booted the system, which seems to help for a while"

Anonymous, MI (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Stopped working. Needed software upgrade"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"The Bluetooth connection has loud background noise which renders the phone useless"

Charle T., LA (2013 Mazda CX-9 3.7-L V6)

"Pairing is time consuming and cumbersome"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Voice control commands

"System doesn't misunderstands commands frequently. Even when no other sounds or noises are interfering"

Anonymous, CA (2013 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

4WD/AWD components

"The transfer case began leaking. Mazda replaced it under extended warranty"

Mike V., GA (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"All wheel drive transfer unit failed and Mazda had an extended warranty on it so they knew about the problem. They fixed it at no cost to us."

Richard K., AZ (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Differential

"Leaky Diferntial - Making Noises. Replaced. Known issue"

David F., MN (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Noise emanating from differential."

Anonymous, CO (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

"Replace left front wheel bearing under warranty"

Gene T., WI (2013 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)
Transfer case

"Started leaking and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, MO (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Transfer case failed and was covered by warranty but it took dealer a year to sort out the problem. Even though transfer case failures are common on CX-9"

Anonymous, BC (2013 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

Rough shifting

"Car would jerk when it shifted. Also the engine would occasionally rev"

Dawn A., MT (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Transmission computer

"Transmission needed an update that the dealer fixed"

Dawn A., MT (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Car shifts down to lower gear sometimes for no reason, simply taking foot off gas or brake, especially downhill grades. Dealer says it’s normal.....don’t believe that."

Monroe F., GA (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"Noticed a leak and it was due to a loose screw - it was repaired under warranty"

Anonymous, RI (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

"transfer box for all wheel drive leaking"

Diana P., CA (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Transimission slipping 6 months ago. Dealer said there was no problem. Now the transmission fluid is leaking. I was told by a car service shop it was my entire transmission. Mazda tells me it may be the transfer unit but would not do good faith warra"

Rene M., NE (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"The car would not always down shift properly at around 40mph. Yes, it was resolved."

Anonymous, KY (2013 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

"The door handle on the passenger side rear door broke. The entire mechanism needed to be replaced."

Anonymous, TN (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Locks and latches

"The rear hatch is locked shut, it won't open manually or electrically"

Kurt S., IL (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Windows

"Wind noise--seals had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CO (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"the left rear window control button on the driver's side panel broke off and requires $250 to replace the plastic control button"

G H., MT (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Front passenger window motor failed. It had to be replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Driver's and passenger front widows have automatic up and down function. When we use the "up" function, it shuts all the way but then goes down again immediately"

Kurt S., IL (2013 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

Body control module

"The vehicle had intermittent problems with side mirror auto tilting function not tilting or not returning to normal position after shifting into or out of reverse. From time vehicle was new, windshield wiper auto speed control to adapt to changing rain volume conditions was erratic. During constant rain conditions it would operate at max speed for several seconds then slow to a creep then back to full speed. After numerous unsuccessful trips to dealer we eventually had the problem repeat itself where a a serv tech could diagnose it. A circuit control board was replaced and wiper issue was corrected. Backup mirror tilt function issues have been reduced but not eliminated since CB was replaced."

Anonymous, ND (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Keyless entry

"Fob for keyless starting would randomly not allow keyless start. Had to use the manual key that was contained in the fob. Dealership recommended new batteries for the fob. New batteries lasted approx 90 days before random failures to keyless starts recurred.After multiple incidents and battery changes, I began testing the new batteries installed and the batteries removed. Batteries installed averaged 3.15VDC Batteries removed were 2.9 to 3.0VDC. Battery powered electronics should be able to operate with a 10% loss of original power. Since this is a 3 volt system this should be able function reliably below 2.9VDC."

Philip G., ND (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Stops working randomly. Dealership can't pinpoint the problem"

Anonymous, MI (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"After approx 1 year, the keyless entry and keyless start fob stopped communicating with the vehicle. Replaced batteries in fob and communications resumed properly. Since original issue comms are lost about every 6 months requiring battery change. Measured battery voltage (using a recently calibrated multi meter) on several of the 2025 (3V) watch batteries that failed to maintain fob communications. Voltage of "failed" batteries was 3.0VDC. Voltage of new batteries I put in was 3.15VDC. This early failure is common to both fobs supplied with the vehicle. Replaced batteries with Mazda dealer supplied batteries with same results."

Anonymous, ND (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Warning lights

"The warning lights and keyless entry were all affected by the water leak described earlier."

Anonymous, TN (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

"1) Windshield wipers have a sensor to detect rain on windshield and adjust wiper speed automatically. Speed constantly changes from very slow to very fast even in constant rain conditions. Best test was with no rain and slow-fast event recurred. 2) OEM windshield wipers wear out after only 6 months. (blade rubber inserts come apart) and even when new inserts are installed they do not clear the windshield without large patches of major streaking."

Philip G., ND (2013 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

Master cylinder

"Leaking seal reduced braking effectiness. Recall covered the repair."

Anonymous, VA (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Brake pads were replace at 90,000 mile. This is the first time they were replaced which is to be expected after this many miles."

Anonymous, NY (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Regular brake failure

"Just ordinary wear and tear."

Roselyn H., IL (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Rotors

"Brakes pulsated on new retail delivery. All 4 rotors had to be re-machined"

Anonymous, IL (2013 Mazda CX-9 Sport 3.7-L V6)

"The rotors warped which is probably typical for a vehicle with this many miles. (About 90,000 miles at the time of service)."

Anonymous, NY (2013 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

"The drain hose that drains water from the sunroof to the outside of the car stopped up, causing water to pour over the electronics module that is housed just inside the driver side, close to the door. That caused the warning lights on the dashboard to stay on, but the car continued to be driveable. Car would not lock. Turn signals did not work. Significant water build up on the floor under the drive side floor mats. My regular mechanic was able to clear the clog and install a new electronics control module."

Anonymous, TN (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"The plastic parts squeak. The front passenger belt causes rattling when no one is using it. The middle console lid rattles"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Wind noise

"See same comments on the Mazda 6"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"At about 32000 miles starting hearing loud wind noise at driver's window"

William D., NY (2013 Mazda CX-9 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

"factory recall"

Anonymous, GA (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Power steering leaks

"Saw spots in the driveway, told the dealer, he fixed it"

Peter S., VA (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"it was a warranty covered recall. Excessive corrosion on the struts caused misalignment. Mazda took care of it for free"

Anonymous, VA (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)
Wheel bearings

"Front right axle/wheel area became very noisy when driving - I took the car in and it was a wheel bearing."

Anonymous, MN (2013 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

"Bumper guard came loose"

Anonymous, NJ (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"paint on the hood is chipping and coming off"

G H., MT (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

"Tiny chips"

Anonymous, IL (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

"Pulled up to a stop sign 1000 mi from home when it sounded like someone threw a toolbox of tools into the trNsmission and it immediately stopped"

Anonymous, IN (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Severe vibration somewhere in the transmission or torque converter or both. Not safe to drive distance."

Anonymous, CO (2013 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 failed yesterday, this starter was replaced the in 2018."

Anonymous, TN (2013 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"minor leak from oil pan gasket"

Anonymous, MN (2013 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

Evaporator

"When the ac was on the water which condensed in the pan leaked onto the floorboard in the front"

Anonymous, NC (2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring 3.7-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

Exhaust

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

Engine Major

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

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.

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