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Review: 2019 Mazda CX-9


By: Aaron Turpen – New Atlas

Mazda revamped the mid-sized CX-9 in 2017 and this year it's taken the three-row family crossover and re-tuned the suspension for a better ride. And it definitely shows. The 2019 CX-9 looks good, drives well, and hauls the family with ease. There's a lot to like in the CX-9.

That isn't to say that there aren't some downers in the 2019 Mazda CX-9. Cargo space is limited, for example; especially when the third row is deployed. Yet with a little creativity and some pre-planning, we managed to get a family of five into the CX-9 with enough luggage and snacks for a week-long road trip.

Primary among the Mazda CX-9's appeal points are its exterior looks and its excellent drive dynamics for the class. Few crossovers can claim the almost universally appealing exterior of the CX-9. That athletic appearance translates to the drive quality of the crossover as well, with the 2019 CX-9 driving like a well-done luxury sport model. It's smooth, graceful, and nimble compared to the competition. The old race adage of "smooth is fast, fast is smooth" rings very true with the 2019 CX-9 in its overall feel.

This is especially apparent when driving at speed on the highway through corners or mountain roads. The CX-9 smooths out the body roll by elongating it so it tapers into existence rather than happening suddenly. This control means driving confidence and goes well with the fast shifts and steady steering pressure that the CX-9 delivers. Added to that, the all-wheel drive option brings further stability and multi-terrain, all-weather credibility.

Chief in the 2019 CX-9's appeal on the road is its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs a nicely-done 227 hp (169 kW). This can be boosted to 250 horses (186 kW) by utilizing premium octane fuel. Although the six-speed automatic transmission seems to be short on gears compared to some rivals with their double-digit gearboxes, the CX-9 does very well with the transmission on hand, being unafraid of dropping or gaining a gear when conditions warrant it.

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