CX-9 vs. MDX

I'm a noob here and just starting my research on the MDX. Unfortunately, i'm also thinking about the MS3; i got 2 under 2 so the family car is most important.

My wife and I like the MDX alot, but the CX-9 seems more value for the buck. Anyone have experience with both cars? Also, is the AWD system on the CX-9 a must have?
Black cx-9 GT
I have a 08 CX9 with AWD and like it very much. The only problem is the tires and I would have the dealer trade them out for another brand of tire. that is the only issue I have had. We have one 2yr old and it hauls all the gear without a problem. And just in case.....CHANGE THE TIRES!! They are not safe in ANY snow!!!!!!!
I shopped the MDX too. For the money you can't beat the CX9. I have a loaded Grand Touring which I paid a little under 32K for. I would have paid north of 40K for the Acura.
2008 MS3 GT
Both the MDX and the CX-9 are on par. I've been a long time Honda/Acura guy and I don't regret going the Mazda route (MS3 and CX-9). If you don't need a 3rd row, I highly recommend you check out the Nissan Murano. That would be my choice for a premium CUV if 3rd row seating was not mandatory.
2017 Mazda CX-5 GT, 2016 Mazda6 iGT, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback
I have three points against MDX, which I looked at before CX9
- price (as you pointed out)
- no more trust for Honda transmission (my '01 Odyssey's tranny went at @80K, so was my friends' 03 Odyssey), and 5-speed? Is Honda lagging behind or what?
- tighter space inside

Besides, my Mazda dealer gives loaner vehicle and offer more affordable service and repair than Acura dealer.

SH-AWD is probably a better AWD system. I will give Acura that.
However, SH-AWD shines when you pull high-g at corners. That does not seem so important for a CUVs, IMHO (more for a sports sedan)
We will never buy another Honda product. Mazda has always been on top of any problems we've had, which have been few.

Honda had a known problem that required a more frequent valve adjustment on CR-V. Instead of sending a letter to owners to get their valves adjusted sooner, Honda let the problem continue until it damaged their cars. Then they made the owners pay for the head replacement out of their own pocket. (The problem always manifested itself around 80k, past the warranty)

Had I not done a lot of research and discovered this, we also would have had to pay for those repairs, but by arming myself with internal Honda documentation, I made them pay.

The MDX has NOTHING to justify the 10k more vs a CX9. None of the premium makes do.
2008 MS3 GT
As you can see, some of us here (Sporty) feel very passionate about our CX-9. At the end of the day, it's really your choice and personal preference. Both vehicles being very comparable you go with what you like. If you are worry about quality, just about everyone is on par these days since they get all their parts from pretty much the same parts suppliers. Correct me if I am wrong, the MDX calls for premium fuel right?
I am very passionate about my CX9, but I chose it based on form, function, and performance. Not on an emotional response to the car. It's really is a leader of all 3 row crossovers.
2017 Mazda CX-5 GT, 2016 Mazda6 iGT, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback
You can have my zoom-zoom sticker or K&N sticker. (it is still in my tool chest.)
I don't like stickers on the vehicles.
You can have my zoom-zoom sticker or K&N sticker. (it is still in my tool chest.)
I don't like stickers on the vehicles.
The K&N warning sticker is on the filter cover. The Regular one is in the trash.

I did buy some Zoom Zoom stickers at another dealer, but I, like you don't put stickers on my vehicles. The roof rack is another story though...



Mazda CX-9
My other vehicle is an 07 MDX (Sport + Ent) and I truly enjoy it (the CX-9 is mainly for my wife). I like the handling of the MDX better because of its SH-AWD and ability to switch between Sport and Comfort modes.

We just came back on a 2500-mile trip to Florida on the CX-9 and I must say it rides much stiffer than my MDX! I also happen to think the MDX is a better-built vehicle than the CX-9 ~ all you have to do is feel the doors! What really irks me is the fact that you can't even get a cargo cover for the CX-9 with power lift-gate ~ Go figure!
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2017 Mazda CX-5 GT, 2016 Mazda6 iGT, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback
Please explain what is wrong with the CX9's door.
I sat in numerous vehicles 'cause I visited auto-show every chance I get.
I see and feel nothing wrong with the door for a $30-$40K vehicle.
My 2001 Odyssey's door was the worst for that matter. It sounded like a tin can....

I am sure MDX is a great vehicle. For the amount of extra one pays, it should be.
I waited for MDX to replaced my Odyssey. I did some research into MDX.
It was too small for my use (I needed a usable 3rd row), and too expensive (compared to CX9)
There are features I loved (such as SmartKey of CX9) that was not available on Acura.
That was unbelievable to me (only on RL. However, even my '05 Prius had it.)

Coming from a '1998 BMW 540i, I like the GT suspension (with 20" wheels) just the way it is.
Firm or not, it is another subjective opinion. I saw you have (or had) Lexus RX330. I can tell
that you enjoy softer suspension. I test-drove one (my co-worker's loaner for his LS430).
It felt like a boat to me at turns, so did my friend who owned a Infiniti G35.
So you see, I like firm suspension.

Anyway, to each one's own. If there was no CX9, I am sure I would be driving MDX now.
So, please don't take postings as bashing MDX.
Every vehicle has its pros and cons. Just look at the "pet peeves" thread of CX9 on
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Thanks for all the info guys! keep it coming!

I really like the looks of the MDX, but i don't think it justifies the cost. I will probably test drive one soon and get a better feel for the CX-9 this weekend.
The problem I have with all of the 'luxury' crossovers is that they are more hype than substance. They over engineer things to get that wow factor going in order to try to justify the extra cost, but they don't make the vehicles truly functional.


1. Instead of a complex switchable suspension system, Mazda struck a good balance between smooth highway and firm cornering. I have driven on every type of road and am totally happy with the ride and handling. I couldn't stand to travel across I-40 over the rough roads if the car was floating up and down for 2 hours. Get the bumps over with and move on. My preference.

2. Acura has a ridiculously complicated system to adjust the A/C based on the GPS system and time of day, calculating the expected position of the sun. Well, what if it's cloudy? Or you're in a tunnel. Or you lose the GPS signal? The CX9 uses a photo cell sensor on the dash that reads actual sunlight coming into the cabin and adjusts. If it's cloudy, or you're driving away from the sun so the dark rear windows are blocking most of it, the A/C backs off. Sun in the side or front? The A/C increases output. Simple, cheaper to engineer, and a LOT more reliable.

3. None of the luxury crossovers have as much room as the CX9.

4. With the possible exception of the Cayenne Turbo, the CX9s performance is right there with all of them. Especially for the tens of thousands less, and the regular gas burning V6.

My 2 cents on 'luxury' cars.
2017 Mazda CX-5 GT, 2016 Mazda6 iGT, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback
I enjoy fancy gadgetry but, like you, I do find some "luxury" items amusing.
Swinging A/C vents (e.g Lexus), soft-close sedan trunk (are we really that lazy?),
GPS-linked A/C is another one.
Then, again, as I said before, money buys luxury, safety and convenience.
You got to get richer people something to show off to their friends.

One thing I always found interesting was that MDX put Power Liftgate in the "entertainment package". Go figure.....
I'd call a loaded CX9 GT pretty luxurious, safe, and convenient. I think my Sport is pretty nice, too.

Maybe I should get a Lexus RX that lifts the other cars and buildings out of the way for me. Or is that fiction?
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Luxury won't do me much good if i've got kids spilling cookies and milk all over the leather upholstery every time we're on the road!

So, CX-9 is the front runner for now (unless i hit the lotto). I mean if i really wanted to fork over that kinda cash, i guess you could say i might as well go for the Q7 or Chayenne!