"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 benefits from a recent redesign, losing 250 pounds compared to the previous model and offering only a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Doing more with less is the Mazda mantra, forced from being a small company with a shoestring budget.