Mazda CX-9 Signature delivers premium performance and amenities without the price
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 three-row crossover looks bigger than it is and drives smaller. With unexpected power and agility, it carries (up to) seven plus all their gear comfortably, with safety, on daily around town errands, to and from weekend adventures or across the country on family vacations. All at an affordable price.
In a segment with competitors the likes of Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander and Hyundai Santa Fe, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 – Signature trim level – is an attractive choice loaded with premium amenities, functional features and driving fun for a variety of buyers that include families and empty nesters.
Solidly ‘senior’ empty nesters – we spent a week recently in a 2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD in Central Texas. Building on our experience with the 2019 CX-5 Signature we tested earlier – we found it to be very well suited for our needs as an adventuring couple, traveling with friends and gear (two rows) and/or visiting grandchildren (three rows).
With its distinctive exterior styling, there is no mistaking the mid-size CX-9 is the senior member of the Mazda CX-series utility vehicle family that includes the two-row CX-5 and compact CX-3
As the top-trim Signature CX-9, its premium exterior elements include Auto-Leveling Adaptive LED Headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights, LED Fog Lights, LED Taillights, Power Auto-Folding Heated Side Mirrors, Power Rear Liftgate, Rear Roof Spoiler, Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers with Deicer, Power Moonroof with Sunshade and Roof Rack Siderails.
Inside, Signature premium features include elegant layered Santos Rosewood interior accents, genuine aluminum trims and Nappa leather-trimmed seats – heated and ventilated with power adjustment both driver and passenger. The fold down 40/20/40 rear bench seating is heated with a fold down center armrest with the 50/50-fold-flat third row. The second row-seating features tilt/slide capability for easy access to the third row.
Also included were second-row window sunshades, interior LED lighting throughout, Triple-Zone AC with rear vents, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, black headliner and all-weather floor mats and a lot more.
Equipped with the turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine, the Mazda CX-9 delivers plenty of power for this mid-size crossover with the unusual twist of being horsepower sensitive to the octane level of the fuel in the tank. Using 87 Octane, it produces 227 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. Using 93 Octane, horsepower increases to 250 horsepower. The torque – in either case – is 310 lb.-ft. of torque at a low 2,000 RPM.
Mazda CX-9 uses a six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic with Manual Shift and Sport mode that features a variable locking torque converter to optimize acceleration of the turbocharged engine.
The nicely balanced powertrain on the CX-9 does not lack for startup or on-demand acceleration to move this 4,300-pound SUV quickly around town or on the road.
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature is fuel economy rated at 20/26 mpg city/highway and 23 mpg combined. Our experience was a combined 22.6 mpg.
On the Road
The CX-9 Signature is equipped with the Mazda i-ACTIVE AWD system integrated with a new G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) system that optimizes drive experience in synch with the turbo power plant.
Mazda’s i-ACTIVE AWD drive system monitors real time road conditions and individual wheel response to those conditions. In coordination with G-Vectoring Control, it adjusts power to wheels for maximum control and performance.
Synched with the turbocharged engine, the new GVC Plus system is designed to add another management element to the vectoring control. As GVC, it still delivers that precise and consistent steering response by adjusting engine output that shifts weight to the front tires whenever the driver turned the wheel. The Plus feature provides input to steering response as the driver exits a corner, feeding a touch of braking to the outside front wheel for better control on the power out.
Mazda equipped the CX-9 with distinctive design 20-inch alloy wheels and P255/50R20 all-season tires, retuned the suspension and recalibrated steering – all enabling a smoother ride with better cornering.
Other road and handling elements include independent MacPherson Strut suspension front and independent multi-link suspension rear, anti-lock brakes with brake force distribution, power assisted front and rear disc brakes, power assist rack and pinion steering with variable speed sensing assist, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, Trailer Stability and Hill Launch assist.
Technology and Safety
The 2019 CX-9 features an Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition, a 360-degree View Monitor augmented with a 7-inch, a full-color touchscreen with rear camera and reconfigurable 7-inch TFT driver information center display plus the Mazda Connect suite of technology apps and services that included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Other features included the Mazda multi-function Commander knob with shortcut buttons and Siri voice command, Bose 12-speaker Audio System with Centerpoint, HD Radio, SiriusXM radio with Traffic and Travel Link, Bluetooth hands-free phone and streaming audio, Mazda Navigation, multiple USB ports plus Auxiliary inputs, Remote Keyless Entry and Push Button Start.
The 2019 CX-9 is equipped with a full suite of the Mazda i-ACTIVSENSE safety functions including Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go Function, Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection, High Beam Control, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Smart Brake Support, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
All this for how much?
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 AWD Signature Edition has an MSRP of $45,365. There are no factory packages available. Port or dealer installed accessories on our CX-9 included a Rear Seatback Entertainment System ($1,995).
With a couple of other items and delivery, our CX-9 AWD Signature priced at $49,680.
CX-9 Tows Too
Taking your seven best friends adventuring in a Mazda CX-9 might require bringing along some extra gear such as bikes, tents, kayaks and so on. Dealers are set up to install factory-engineered roof accessories like gear boxes or bike, kayak, surfboard, ski and snowboard carriers.
If more gear is required, CX-9 tows too – up to 3,500 pounds (when properly equipped) – also installed by the dealer.
2019 CX-9 Lineup
The CX-9 lineup for 2019 offers three models in FWD and AWD. They are – FWD MSRP – Sport $32,280, Touring $35,330 and Grand Touring $40,840. For AWD, add $1,800. The Signature model is AWD only.
Learn more about all of the 2019 Mazda CX-9 models here: https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/cx-9
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