2016~2021 New CX-9 Grand Touring - A *build* thread

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2019 CX-9 GT AWD
Hello all,

First off, this board has been helpful with things I'm doing to the CX-9. Thanks for that.

Recently purchased a 2019 CX-9 GT AWD in black. Traded my '11 Taco for it. Was sad to see the Taco go but my wife and I have a new baby girl and the truck wasn't cutting it. We drove a CX-9 back in November as a rental and really liked it. Once I heard they were adding the 360 cam and Android auto in the '19s, I knew I wanted one.

Things I've done so far:

  • Tint - 30% on the rear, 20% on the fronts. Looks good and isn't too dark from the inside. I usually run 5% to 20% all around but my wife hates that so I went a bit lighter. Tint shop said the CX-9 was a pain to tint but it came out very nice. I went with the hybrid metal tint. I looked into ceramic but it was going to run almost $1k to do the entire car. I paid $400 which is a bit high for my area but this tint shop does great work w/ lifetime warranty.
  • Floor mats - I initially purchased the Maxliner mats from the Maxliner USA eBay store. I got the 2nd row, 3rd row, and cargo area. Roughly $200 for all three but I'm only keeping the 3rd row mat. The mats look and feel cheap. I'm keeping the 3rd row because Maxliner has the best coverage of all the mats I've looked at and I won't be using that row a lot. Looking at the WeatherTech for the 2nd row and the Mazda OEM rubber mat for the cargo area. The cargo mat needs to have no/little lip.
  • 3M Door Edge Guard film - I've used these in the past and they work well but this time I got some off of eBay. They were not cut with sharp blade so I've got some glue edge going on. eBay seller refunded once I sent them pics. I'll redo these at some point but I wanted to get some protection on. I also did a crap job on the rear doors where it turns in/down over the wheels.

Want/might do:

  • K&N Intake - looks like a typical power gain but it sounds like the Mazda ECU adjusts and removes the gain from what I've read.
  • Custom exhaust - same issues as the intake, but if I can get the gains it's helpful as I'm in the mile high city and we take a hit on power.
  • ECU Tune - sounds like there is only 1 company possibly working on this and a tune is needed to realize the gains from performance mods. I've got a tune on a 2.0T Genesis and it took some time working with the tuner to get it to run properly at altitude. Not sure I want to be a guinea pig again...
  • Dash cam - possibly
  • Mazda hood protector - not sure about this because of it's location. I read somewhere the paint on this car is soft and its true. My wife gently open the door into her IS250 and the Mazda chipped, but not the Lexus. Not sure how the front end will hold up in the winter here with all the sand on the road. Don't really want to do a clear bra...

I bought the CX-9 because I needed a family car, but it had to be something I'd enjoy driving. I'd love a bit more power but at the price point, the CX-9 is a great buy. My price OTD was just over $40k which appears to be a good price for the area.





 
Last edited:

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
Welcome to the forum!

Sounds like you've got some nice plans for the CX-9! Can't wait to see what else you end up doing to it.

You mentioned 30% rear and 20% front, did you mean 20% rear and 30% front?

I also had tint applied recently. Just yesterday, actually. Since the CX-9 comes with the rear windows and rear windshield tinted, I had the shop apply ceramic tint to the two front windows and the windshield for better heat rejection. Made a pretty noticeable difference!

Regarding the cargo liner, I have the OEM rubber mat from Mazda and it's great, but I do wish I got the cargo liner instead. The liner has a flap that folds out to cover the painted part of the rear bumper. I've got a tiny scratch in the paint from unloading a heavy, awkwardly-sized box.

For your future mods, I believe CorkSport is the only company that makes an aftermarket intake and exhaust for the 2nd gen CX-9. I think the only thing K&N makes is a replacement drop-in filter for the OEM airbox, but that filter should also improve airflow. For the tune, as far as I know, OrangeVirus is the only company that offers tuning for the CX-9's 2.5T, and they can only offer remote tuning from their Philippines location. Someone on a different forum with a Mazda6 2.5T has been trying to get them to tune his car and he says it's been difficult, with lots of back and forth going on for months now. I had heard that a company in Canada called DRTuned is going to start offering 2.5T remote tuning soon, but no word on when. Their website says 2019, but no specific date.

PPF/clear bra is your best bet for stone chip protection, but if you don't want to go that route, you might want to look into a ceramic coating. This coating can last anywhere from 1-10 years (depending on coating, installer, etc.) and will at least provide chemical and UV protection. It doesn't do anything to prevent rock chips, though.

Lastly, I've found that the easiest way to post pictures here is to click on the Go Advanced button at the bottom, then click on Manage Attachments about halfway down the page. Upload your photos (be aware that there is a size limit) to attach them to the post.

To embed the photos into your post, you just click on the attachment to open it in a different window, copy the URL, then post the URL between image tags. So it would look something like
.

Hope that helps!
 
For the floor mat I recommend the husky liners. After a lot of research i went with them instead of weathertech because the WT dont go high enough over the dead pedal. (They only cover about half of it). They were cheaper and i like them just as much as my old weathertech on previous cars.
 
:
2019 CX-9 GT AWD
You mentioned 30% rear and 20% front, did you mean 20% rear and 30% front?

I also had tint applied recently. Just yesterday, actually. Since the CX-9 comes with the rear windows and rear windshield tinted, I had the shop apply ceramic tint to the two front windows and the windshield for better heat rejection. Made a pretty noticeable difference!

It's 20% in the front and 30% on the rears to make them darker - but really only appears darker from the outside. Inside is still fairly uniform. I got the pics posted in the original and you can see how it looks.

Regarding the cargo liner, I have the OEM rubber mat from Mazda and it's great, but I do wish I got the cargo liner instead. The liner has a flap that folds out to cover the painted part of the rear bumper. I've got a tiny scratch in the paint from unloading a heavy, awkwardly-sized box.

I decided on the Husky liners for the 2nd row and the OEM rubber mats for the front. For the cargo area, I went with the product from https://www.canvasback.com/ Looks like it covers well and won't be as intrusive as a rubber liner. We'll see. I'll post up pics once I get it.

For your future mods, I believe CorkSport is the only company that makes an aftermarket intake and exhaust for the 2nd gen CX-9. I think the only thing K&N makes is a replacement drop-in filter for the OEM airbox, but that filter should also improve airflow. For the tune, as far as I know, OrangeVirus is the only company that offers tuning for the CX-9's 2.5T, and they can only offer remote tuning from their Philippines location. Someone on a different forum with a Mazda6 2.5T has been trying to get them to tune his car and he says it's been difficult, with lots of back and forth going on for months now. I had heard that a company in Canada called DRTuned is going to start offering 2.5T remote tuning soon, but no word on when. Their website says 2019, but no specific date.

K&N has an intake out. Looks to be around $300 online with a $50 rebate if you purchase before the end of the month. https://www.knfilters.com/cold-air-intakes/69-6034ts-performance-air-intake-system

Lastly, I've found that the easiest way to post pictures here is to click on the Go Advanced button at the bottom, then click on Manage Attachments about halfway down the page. Upload your photos (be aware that there is a size limit) to attach them to the post.

To embed the photos into your post, you just click on the attachment to open it in a different window, copy the URL, then post the URL between image tags. So it would look something like
.

Hope that helps!

This worked once I resized the pics. Thanks!
 
:
Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016
"I think the only thing K&N makes is a replacement drop-in filter for the OEM airbox, but that filter should also improve airflow."
How?

Show an airflow comparison with a clean oiled cotton gauze (K&N) filter vs. a clean OEM filter. I've seen several. Some give a bit of advantage to the oiled gauze, some to the OEM. Also show an airflow comparison with the two filters tested to the ISO 5011 standard using ISO 12103-1, A2 Fine Test Dust and A4 Coarse Dust, the industry standards. I used a K&N oiled gauze air filter on a turbo Volvo. That was the only time I've seen a dusty downstream half of the airbox. That filter went into the garbage can.

In any case, airflow only matters at wide open throttle and high rpms. The rest of the time the throttle is doing its job...throttling the airflow.

If you haven't guessed, my opinion is that all the intake mods are usually bogus--the engine sounds more powerful but really isn't. Intake and exhaust tuning are science. Intake tuning offers about half the benefit of exhaust tuning, at best. With both, the length and diameter are tuned in combination to give the performance band desired---narrow rpm band max output or wide band with good output. And...any so-called cold air intake that takes in hot under-hood air is a set back.
 
:
2019 CX-9 GT AWD
"I think the only thing K&N makes is a replacement drop-in filter for the OEM airbox, but that filter should also improve airflow."
How?

Show an airflow comparison with a clean oiled cotton gauze (K&N) filter vs. a clean OEM filter. I've seen several. Some give a bit of advantage to the oiled gauze, some to the OEM. Also show an airflow comparison with the two filters tested to the ISO 5011 standard using ISO 12103-1, A2 Fine Test Dust and A4 Coarse Dust, the industry standards. I used a K&N oiled gauze air filter on a turbo Volvo. That was the only time I've seen a dusty downstream half of the airbox. That filter went into the garbage can.

In any case, airflow only matters at wide open throttle and high rpms. The rest of the time the throttle is doing its job...throttling the airflow.

If you haven't guessed, my opinion is that all the intake mods are usually bogus--the engine sounds more powerful but really isn't. Intake and exhaust tuning are science. Intake tuning offers about half the benefit of exhaust tuning, at best. With both, the length and diameter are tuned in combination to give the performance band desired---narrow rpm band max output or wide band with good output. And...any so-called cold air intake that takes in hot under-hood air is a set back.

I've never used just the filter before, have always done intake kits. I think Volant makes the best kit as they come with a sealed box piped to the factory air intake ports but they don't make one for the CX9. I've run 3 K&N intake kits and all have gained a small percentage of power based on dyno runs. I run a K&N intake kit on my Genesis currently and it does a reasonable job sealing off hot air and still using the stock intake port. Additionally, turbo engines also have an air intercooler which helps regulated the temp of the air before it goes into the engine. Something NA cars don't have. But it is still a science. Aftermarket intakes also improve throttle response and on a turbo give it a bit of an edge on boost build up (shorter time) with the additional air flow. I don't know enough about the ECU on this vehicle though to know if the gains will stay or if the ECU does in fact adjust and dial back any gains. Same for exhaust but I haven't even looked at the CX9 exhaust so I have no idea what the setup looks like.
 
Last edited:

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
"I think the only thing K&N makes is a replacement drop-in filter for the OEM airbox, but that filter should also improve airflow."
How?

Show an airflow comparison with a clean oiled cotton gauze (K&N) filter vs. a clean OEM filter. I've seen several. Some give a bit of advantage to the oiled gauze, some to the OEM. Also show an airflow comparison with the two filters tested to the ISO 5011 standard using ISO 12103-1, A2 Fine Test Dust and A4 Coarse Dust, the industry standards. I used a K&N oiled gauze air filter on a turbo Volvo. That was the only time I've seen a dusty downstream half of the airbox. That filter went into the garbage can.

In any case, airflow only matters at wide open throttle and high rpms. The rest of the time the throttle is doing its job...throttling the airflow.

If you haven't guessed, my opinion is that all the intake mods are usually bogus--the engine sounds more powerful but really isn't. Intake and exhaust tuning are science. Intake tuning offers about half the benefit of exhaust tuning, at best. With both, the length and diameter are tuned in combination to give the performance band desired---narrow rpm band max output or wide band with good output. And...any so-called cold air intake that takes in hot under-hood air is a set back.

That's all well and good, but all I was speaking to was what Pillager702 was talking about, which was a K&N intake. I thought K&N only made drop-in filters for our cars. I don't have any testing data on hand, which is why I used the word "should" instead of "will" when I wrote "filter should also improve airflow". I based this on the fact that K&N's cotton gauze filter is less dense than most OEM filters, as well as this video that shows an increase of 6tq/7hp from 3800 to 7200 RPM on a G37 (vs. the OEM filters).


The K&N panel filters are less efficient when it comes to filtering contaminants, but depending on where you live, that may not be much of an issue.
 
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