New owner of 2021 CX-9 Takami (Signature), here is what I love and dislike!

Hi guys,

New owner of a 2021 CX-9 Takami (Signature), I upgraded from a 2003 Subaru Forester X20.

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I've had the car for about a week now and have done over 800KMs or 500 miles on the vehicle.

Here are what I love and what I don't like about it:

Love
  • Power - the 2.5L turbo engine is really powerful and the car feels really fast.
  • Interior - really luxury inside, love the Napa leather and the rose wood.
  • Infotainment - The new upgraded screen is really nice, fast Apple CarPlay and Bose stereo is good enough.
  • Noise management - great noise management, very limited exterior noise.
  • Keyless entry - Really cool that I can unlock the car with the key in my pocket and it will lock when I walk away from it.
  • Camera - the 360 camera is great, I no longer need to turn my head to look out the back when I reverse.
  • Adaptive/Radar cruise control - Game changer when driving long distance, works quite well.
Dislike
  • Interior storage - I really wish there's more interior storage, in the Subaru I had so many little spaces for coins, paperwork, pens but in the CX-9, there's really very little interior storage.
  • Boot height - It's really quite high and I do worry about my puppies not being able to jump up when their are old.
  • Interior space - It's a large vehicle and I would expect that it'll be larger inside.
  • Sunroof - Really wished it had a pano sunroof like its competitors.
  • Lane centering - I had test driven the 2020 Subaru Forester and had been impressed with its lane centering ability, really wished that it had the ability to do so.
 

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2021 CX-9 Sig
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2014 CX-5 GT
Nice write-up. I just moved into a 2021 from a 2018 and love the new camera and infotainment screen. The drive is also a little bit better as the car seems to push more power to rear under normal situations. With the 2018, on stock tires, if you accelerated hard in the wet, you would get front tire slippage. The 2021 does not do that. Just goes like it should.

All the other positives are still there. The drive is fantastic and the car does a better job of taking corners and minimizing body roll. Can still hold all the cargo I need and the kids like the captain chairs better.

My negatives are

1) poor station controls for XM. That is, you can go down the favorite lists using the controls, but not back. The steering buttons control fast forward and rewind - not station movement. Kinda strange.

2) a bug from the 2018 is still there. If you have the auto lights, with auto high beams and auto wipers on, if the wipers come on before the auto lights, the auto high beam function won't work. Was a bug in the 2018 and still happens here.

3). The 2018 had the nice auburn color on the dash. The 2021 is just plain black. Nice but not as nice!

4) the wireless charger works but is at a steep angle and the phone can easily slide off.

5) after driving cars with heat around the whole wheel, the mazda heated steering wheel is no good. Luckily I live in a place were 30 is as cold as it gets, so no big deal. But they should heat the entire wheel.

What is nice is that for the most part, they have added meaningful things to the car over the years.
 
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Poppy D

2021 CX9 GT
Hi guys,

New owner of a 2021 CX-9 Takami (Signature), I upgraded from a 2003 Subaru Forester X20.

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I've had the car for about a week now and have done over 800KMs or 500 miles on the vehicle.

Here are what I love and what I don't like about it:

Love
  • Power - the 2.5L turbo engine is really powerful and the car feels really fast.
  • Interior - really luxury inside, love the Napa leather and the rose wood.
  • Infotainment - The new upgraded screen is really nice, fast Apple CarPlay and Bose stereo is good enough.
  • Noise management - great noise management, very limited exterior noise.
  • Keyless entry - Really cool that I can unlock the car with the key in my pocket and it will lock when I walk away from it.
  • Camera - the 360 camera is great, I no longer need to turn my head to look out the back when I reverse.
  • Adaptive/Radar cruise control - Game changer when driving long distance, works quite well.
Dislike
  • Interior storage - I really wish there's more interior storage, in the Subaru I had so many little spaces for coins, paperwork, pens but in the CX-9, there's really very little interior storage.
  • Boot height - It's really quite high and I do worry about my puppies not being able to jump up when their are old.
  • Interior space - It's a large vehicle and I would expect that it'll be larger inside.
  • Sunroof - Really wished it had a pano sunroof like its competitors.
  • Lane centering - I had test driven the 2020 Subaru Forester and had been impressed with its lane centering ability, really wished that it had the ability to do so.
Nice assessment on your new Signature. I like your exhaust tips which are different from our GT. We just purchased a '21 GT about 2 months ago so I'll give a 2 month update:

Likes: Arguably the nicest vehicle we've ever owned
1. Plenty of room. Some have said that it is on the small side of the 3 row SUVs, but I find it quite comfortable and it is quite a bit larger than the '13 Equinox we traded in. So I guess everything is relative to where you are coming from. We looked at the Telluride and my wife said to the salesmen, "this is a nice minivan, but why no sliding doors." Needless to say the salesmen wasn't pleased.
2. The handling is superb. Drives like a small sedan.
3. The HUD is great. Took a day to get used to it and now I will not have a vehicle without it. Never have to take your eyes off the road again.
4. It is quiet, very little road or wind noise.
5. Heated seats and steering wheel heat up quickly
6. The transmission shifts smoothly, no hunting for gears. Some auto experts complain that 6 gears are too few? I say huh, maybe they should drive the car first before making unnecessary comments. I drove a bunch of SUVs with 8 and 9 gears where the transmissions keep hunting for the right gear. I found that unsettling.
7. Good gas mileage. I'm averaging 22.4 mpg in city driving. I haven't had a chance to take it on a trip. I will post again when I do another update.
8. The 360 degree camera is sweet, makes it a breeze to park in tight spaces.
9. Clean uncluttered dash and interior. We looked at the Highlander which started out as the number one on our list, but we eliminated it after the test drive... and that dash? What were they thinking?
10. Logical controls. The controls are right where you would expect them to be.
11. Good ground clearance. This is important here in Central New Yok since we average over 130 inches of snow.
12. Plenty of power. Even though it only has 4 cylinders, it accelerates like it has a much more powerful engine. I don't worry about turbos, The conventional wisdom would have you believe that turbos are problematic. That hasn't been our experience with our A4. I checked with my brother who is a mechanic for many years and has two shops. He said he rarely ever sees a bad turbo. So that was good enough for me.
13. Paddle shifters. I love these things, especially on snowly, icey rodes.
14. No "start-stop." Thank you Mazda. I can't tell how much I hate it. I found them dangerous on a test drive. Won't own a car with it.

Zonks: I may be nit-picking so bear with me here
1. Hood prop rod. I do my own maintenance, but I was expecting a vehicle as nice as the GT should have hood struts, heck my wife's 6 year old Audi A4 has hood struts.
2. The safety feature settings are "gray-out" in the infotainment system. I think they can be accessed via the "Mazda Connect" thru your phone but that seems like too much work. The only thing I can think of is Mazda doesn't want just anyone to alter the setting, just the vehicle owner. But that is just a guess.
3. The FOB has the buttons on the edge, not he face. It is awkward to hold and press the buttons. I would prefer them on the face, but I can see that putting the buttons on the edge would make it harder to accidently press the buttons. Again, just a guess.

In summary, our '21 Mazda GT is the nicest, most comfotable and spacious vehicle we have ever owned. It rides and handles like a much smaller vehicle. It is very well appointed with just about everything you need for safe and comfortable driving. Since this is my first Mazda so I have no experience in terms of long term reliability. I hope long term Mazda owners will chime in here. My brother says he doesn't see many Mazdas in his shop for repairs. But that could be that Mazda owners take their vehicles to the dealer, or there aren't many Mazdas locally, or they just don't need repairs very often. I just don't know, but time will tell.
Poppy D
 
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2021 CX-9 GT
2021 GT owner here. Pretty much agree with everyone’s feedback.

Space isn’t an issue for us either. The third row is occasional use but has come in handy. Out 6’1 son sat in the third row and said he was fine back there.... maybe not for a 4 hour road trip but for driving around town, it was fine. I think overall where it gets dinged in reviews is there’s no space behind the third row when it’s up. If you need 6/7 seats and lots of luggage space, a roof top carrier will be a must.

Handling, interior quality, esthetics inside and out, all top notch. Love the paddle shifters. I specifically waited for a 2021 over a 2020 to get them. I don’t play Nascar with them but they're great for downshifting.

I continue to be impressed by little details I discover. Most recently, I noticed how there’s a rubber seal on the forward edge of the rear doors to help control wind noise. I also noticed that the door bottoms are concave and wrap around the lower rocker panels and there’s another rubber seal that runs along the length of the rocker panel to further seal the door bottoms. (y)

My dings are pretty nit picky, too.

No hood gas struts. I wish there was lighting for the sunroof button, glove box (Signature only), and Homelink buttons. Also wish the Homelink buttons were not on the mirror.

The new key fob is a little clumsy. IMO the older, slender one was much better and felt higher quality. I HIGHLY recommend getting a silicone case for the new fob! Not only does it give it a nicer ‘heft’ but the case will put a raised lip around the side mounted buttons. The first few weeks I found that the side buttons were getting pushed while in my pocket. The silicone case seems to prevent this.

The heated steering wheel ... I get why Mazda only heats the sides, after all that’s where your hands should be - until you turn the wheel and then you’re feeling hot cold hot cold hot cold :p

Entertainment favorites are a little awkward to use but I use CarPlay 99% of the time and that works well so I’m good.
 
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