"Driving Matters" is the tagline Mazda uses to promote its CX-9 three-row family mover, casting it as the driver’s choice among the soccer-mom mobile crowd. Turns out that this slogan is quite apt; the CX-9 is particularly agile, comfortable riding, and quiet among affordable midsized three-row SUVs.

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

"Driving Matters" is the tagline Mazda uses to promote its CX-9 three-row family mover, casting it as the driver’s choice among the soccer-mom mobile crowd. Turns out that this slogan is quite apt; the CX-9 is particularly agile, comfortable riding, and quiet among affordable midsized three-row SUVs. Long, sleek, and rakish, the CX-9 has a presence that contrasts with some rivals that come across as tall wagons in a "rugged" off-roader costume. Although we have some quibbles over accommodations, controls, and feature content, the CX-9 is a compelling alternative to the more popular players.

Mazda’s flagship is all-new from the ground up. It loses 250 pounds compared to the previous model and offers only a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Doing more with less is the Mazda mantra, forced from being a small company with a shoestring budget.

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
  • 2.5-liter 4 turbo (227 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 turbo (250 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 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

Backup or other camera/sensors

"At times would not work properly and get a blank view"

Anonymous, AZ (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen freezes up

"Unpredictable freezing, typically after starting the vehicle. Usually resets itself, but sometimes the entire car has to be turned off to reboot it. Infotainment's software has been updated and problem still exists"

Anonymous, AE (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"Upon startup the screen remains blank. The rear view camera is also out. The screen will remain out until the car is driven for a variable amount of time and may come on with a restart or may remain out."

Jim S., PA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The display screen died. It had an odd foggy spot in the top right corner that kept growing and then impacted the entire screen."

Anonymous, GA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"In the midst of driving the car the dash display flickers / goes blank and the vehicle dies."

Rod S., CA (2016 Mazda CX-9 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"randomly the screen goes black. the sound remains"

Robert W., NY (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"System would not initialize after vehicle turned off. After several hours, system worked properly. Dealer subsequently did a system update. No recurrence of the problem."

Anonymous, VA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"System intermittently reset itself. Apparently fixed with warranty replacement of SD card"

Anonymous, VA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

"It doesn't understand verbal commands"

Robert C., IL (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Molding around right rear wheel well came loose - the brackets holding the trim to the body broke and the molding flapped in the wind. That whole part and the attachment brackets had to be replaced. Mazda declined to cover this under warranty."

Stephen M., GA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Trim around right front wheel came loose"

Anonymous, TX (2016 Mazda CX-9 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"It appears that the clear coat on the bumper is peeling/flaking off. Mazda declined to cover this under warranty."

Stephen M., GA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Wheels are dark gray chrome. Surface finish was peeling off the wheels. Repaired by Mazda under Certified Used Warranty. Problem happened again. Mazda repaired a 2nd time."

Anonymous, GA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Circular swirled area on front fender where paint and clearcoat suddenly disappeared all the way down to the metal. Mazda says it was due to bird poop, but I disagree"

Anonymous, GA (2016 Mazda CX-9 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Normal routine brake wear

"rear brakes needed to get done"

Steven J., MA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Premature brake wear

"After leasing this car almost 2 years, i noticed a terrible groaning sound coming from the right rear tire area of my CX-9. The dealer fixed the issue which was a bad rear leaf spring. After fixing, the rattle/groan, the dealer told me that my rear brakes were almost worn out and needed replacing to the tune of $300. The car is less than two years old, has been driven mostly through the highway, and is basically babied. When I told the dealer that maybe the bad leaf spring caused the premature wear on the brakes, he actually laughed at me and said Hell no!. I don't ride my brakes, they just wore out extremely fast. I can't buy brakes for my CX-9 at an auto parts store either because the car is Too New and the dealers haven't issued out a part number for the brakes. I'm terribly disappointed."

Anonymous, CA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaking

"Right front wheel bearing failed and had to be replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Mazda CX-9 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Blind spot monitor was changed with 2016 model which works poorly. It does not operate as you're passing a vehicle & give notification when you can move over in front of passed vehicle.i feel this is a safety issue & useless to have"

Anne D., FL (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

"keyless fob will not start car and dealer cannot fix"

Anonymous, MD (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wiper motor or washer

"Rear wiper motor ceased operating. Due to virus outbreak, have not resolved issue. Minimal impact to driving the vehicle."

Anonymous, VA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

"Radiator hose was crimped from the factory which caused the hose to fail and leak Repaired under warranty"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Mazda CX-9 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"squeak in the widow switch cluster on the driver side when leg pressed against it. rattle sound coming from the drive side when going over bumps noisy brake"

Anonymous, ON (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"For such a luxury car there is a creeking sound like a loose clamp on a shock or something. Dealer said it was a loose spare tire. I think they read that answer in a dealer book or something. Ridicules , for such a nice car there shouldn't be creeking noises"

Clifford R., NY (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

"We live in Florida and the A/C can't keep the car cooled down, even at the lowest settings"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Automatic climate control

"Is not efficient and takes very long time to cool down the car"

Anonymous, AZ (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

"Was in an accident and could not get replacement doors for the car from Mazda because they hadn't made them yet, the car was too new??? Took over two months to get replacement doors and that was after numerous calls to corporate Mazda"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Seat controls - temperature

"The heated drivers seat gets very warm on high, but the front passengers seat does not get nearly as warm"

Anonymous, GA (2016 Mazda CX-9 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

"I would be driving at a reasonable speed (50-60 mph) when the car felt like it shifted down and all of a sudden the speed would drop and I had to floor it to do 30 mph. The dealer service department told me it was my fault because obviously I put my foot on the brake and the accelerator simultaneously. (I disagree). It happened a few more times in the furure, but I was too embarrassed to return to the service department with the same complaint."

H R., CA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Blind spot monitoring sensor was damaged by previous owner. Dealership (Mazda of New Rochelle, NY 10801) didn't fix it prior to purchase (though required to). Troubleshooting the issue required the bumper to be replaced but dealership would not replace under warranty. Issue was not fully understood until a month after purchase. Dealership had deleted evidence of damage and was unwilling to perform required repairs. Bumper must be replaced as out-of-pocket expense."

Scott L., CT (2016 Mazda CX-9 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Differential

"AWD error, apparently AWD was no longer available. Repair covered under warranty. Service reported it was a failed differential oil temperature sensor, was at the shop for 4 days."

Matthew K., WA (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Engine light came on, car began running rough. Sent to Dealer for the warranty work. They discovered it was the engine"

Clifford R., NY (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Wheel bearings

"Humming noise"

Anonymous, OH (2016 Mazda CX-9 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"dealer service tech destroyed drain plug threads. a new oil pan was installed. driveway and garage floor surface soaked with engine oil"

Robert W., NY (2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

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

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.

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

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