Thinking about swapping my CX-9 for a 4-door truck - bad idea?

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SF Bay Area
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'17 CX-9 Signature
I realize this is a Mazda CX-9 forum and people will have some biased opinions and that's perfectly OK and expected.

I have a 2017 CX-9 Signature with about 45k miles on it. The car is in great shape, with no mechanical issues, except some brake and suspension noises from time to time.
A few components are starting to show some wear - steering wheel leather, passenger seat, paint, etc, but nothing major yet. Gas mileage is OK, but I don't drive too much.
I bought the car almost new, it was a certified model with only 8k miles and I paid $35k for it - 3 yrs ago. It's been a reliable daily driver. I like how it drives/handles (similar to a sedan) but I keep wishing it had more power and I definitely wish it had a better, more capable AWD system during the winter months when I spend a lot of time in the mountains. Snow tires do help.

We have 3 tall kids who are starting to get involved in various outdoor activities, sports, etc. They have the gear to move around - bikes, scooters, kayaks, paddleboards, snowboards, etc I am also very much a DIY guy and I'm very frequently involved in house projects, doing repairs, building stuff, helping friends/family, and being at the hardware store at least once a week. I lost count how many times I had to stuff 10ft long 2x4s and 2x6s in my CX-9 .... trying not to scratch the interior. It's an interesting adventure every time, and so far, my interior is flawless. :) ... but I hate the lack of cargo space when I need it.

You see where I am going with this. My CX-9 is a good car, but it's a bit small for my family and my needs, especially for my projects and kids' stuff. I wish it had more cargo space where I could just dump things and not worry about it. We already have another SUV (wife's Q7) and an older minivan so we can move people around when needed.

My idea is to swap my CX-9 Signature for a nice, loaded 4-door pickup truck - like a Dodge RAM or Toyota Tundra or Ford F150. Something with real 4x4, real cargo bed, real towing capacity, and still have 4 doors with enough seats for 5 people + all the nice touches in the cabin. The new RAM Trucks.... in Limited trim are extremely nice inside. They rival many luxury cars. Amazing seats, great leather ergonomics, comfort and technology ... plus the option to get a nice turbo-diesel engine with a great MPG rating. The Toyota Tundra, even if a bit outdated, is large, comfortable, and extremely reliable & capable truck. Ford just introduced an updated 2021 F150 that looks amazing, at least on paper.

I never had a truck as my primary daily driver, so I am wondering how much of a change would that be if I give up my CX-9 for it? Am I overlooking any other drawbacks or disadvantages that will come up with such a swap? Obviously, unless I get a diesel option, the MPG rating will be bad with any truck, but I am OK with that.

Thanks!
 

Antoine

Administrator
Interesting post and thanks for sharing your thought process...I don't own a SUV or Truck but I must admit I've become increasingly interested in them...If Mazda sold the BT-50 in the US, would you consider it?

Here's a link to the Australian market one...

I actually posted this poll recently...

I wouldn't be surprised if there are others on here who have both, a Mazda and a truck or had a truck...Hopefully those people can chime in here as well...Looking forward to the conversation! :)
 
Interesting question. The CX-9 is great, but doesn't seem to fit your requirement. It is possibly one of the smallest 7 seaters and without a rugged interior. So a change or addition to the fleet may be worthwhile for you. Here are my thoughts on pick up trucks (note that I am not a truck guy, if I have 60 000$ to put on a car, I am getting a porsche, not a Dodge RAM, but I know and work with people who picks the pick up truck first, so keep that in mind when reading my comments below.)

1. interior passenger space. Pick up truck with crew cabs are incredibly roomy inside, and as you mentioned can be pretty luxuriously appointed. So that's a win for pick up truck here.
2. towing capacity. In my opinion this is pick up truck strong suit, not only in towing capacity, but also in the fact that the wheelbase is longer, this is important when towing.
3. Real 4x4. That is debatable, more offload capabilities than a cx-9, sure, but not really compared to a grand cherokee, a 4 runner, etc. In my opinion pick up truck have the worst 4x4 configuration possible, because of the poor weight distribution due to the fact that the rear suspension is designed to support 1 ton of cargo. The weight distribution is off most of the time and the tail is pretty light and snappy. Its fun to whip the tail out, but not superior to other systems when driving down icy twisty roads. So it depends what kind of 4x4 systems you are looking for, on road or off road.
4. The cargo box. Most crew cab pick up trucks come with a short bed. Even though people swear by their trucks, it actually most often not really suitable for handyman work. Try to fit your 10 feet 2x4 in a short box ? Any kind of long sheet of drywall ? I have a friend who helped me out with my reno's who owns a F-150. We ended up putting everything on the trailer behind it and almost notting in the box. His own words was that the best combination for him was an SUV with a trailer. That way his tools, compressor, etc. where secured and protected from the elements inside, and he needed the trailer anyway for the raw material. Loading and unloading stuff in a trailer is also way easier than up in a pick up bed.
5. Trucks can get expensive really fast once you start making them nice.
6. I don't like how they handle. But that is a personal preference.

Honestly, the best cargo haulers is an old minivans with the seats removed :).

Personally, I would go with a bigger, more rugged SUV than the CX-9 with a trailer before getting a fully appointed pick up truck.
 

Chocolate

Harpy Eagle
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2019 CX-5 AWD
My previous vehicle was a 2013 Lexus LX 570, bought certified in 2016. Original MSRP ~90K, selling price around 56K. I liked the truck, its rareness, and its capability a lot. I removed the 3rd row seats and had plenty of room for any cargo. I didn't like the big payment or the solid rear axle which degraded ride quality over bumps. I also replaced the 20" wheels with forged 17" wheels, which helped ride quality, but the solid rear axle will always compromise handling and ride. I really enjoyed the truck, but I am convinced it was a stupid waste of money even with strong resale (about $26,000 in payments over 3 years). So here I am in a CX-5 AWD, which I bought new for well under half of the CPO LX 570. It still does everything I need and I plan on using its factory hitch to tow a Uhaul 5x8 enclosed steel cargo trailer cross country in the near future.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
I pretty much agree with youri and Chocolate. SUV with an enclosed trailer would be my choice, if you have the space for it. Adding a trailer is like adding another car to your driveway/street/garage.

If you do want a truck, I would wait and see what the 2021 F150 brings. I like the Tundra but I would probably pass on it on principle (why pay new pricing for an old platform?), same way I would pass on a 4Runner. I don't have any experience, but I have heard that in general, Dodge Rams are unreliable, but take that with a grain of salt. I'd be considering 2020-2021 F150s or a Subaru Ascent. I haven't done my research, but the Ascent does appear to have more cargo space, and a more capable AWD system.

Lastly, I personally would swap out the Q7 before the CX-9, just because of the horror stories I've heard about German vehicle ownership when out of warranty. I know that there are tons of owners out there who haven't had any issues whatsoever, but I'd still be wary, and I wouldn't have the same peace of mind that I do with my CX-9. That's just me though.
 
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SF Bay Area
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'17 CX-9 Signature
Lastly, I personally would swap out the Q7 before the CX-9, just because of the horror stories I've heard about German vehicle ownership when out of warranty. I know that there are tons of owners out there who haven't had any issues whatsoever, but I'd still be wary, and I wouldn't have the same peace of mind that I do with my CX-9. That's just me though.
Naah, the Q7 is not going anywhere. It's 2019 Prestige trim, with only 5k miles on it and lots of warranty left. Also, people here will hate me for saying it, but the Q7 is a LOT more car/SUV than the CX-9 Signature, in almost every category. It's a higher class vehicle. It's an extremely well built, true luxury, and very capable SUV. There is a good reason why it costs more than the CX-9. It drives, feels, and behaves like a more expensive car. There is no comparison.

As far as the horror stories with German cars, many are true. It is also true that German cars require more maintenance and are more sensitive to poor maintenance. Many people do NOT realize this and cut corners (or go to the dealer for every little thing and get ripped off). However, certain German brands and models are very well built and quite resilient. The 2017-2019 generation Q7 is one of those good examples. Plus, this is my 3rd Audi and each so far I kept for more than 100k miles without any major issues. I maintain my cars by the book, I source the parts & fluids, I do all the work myself and I never pay dealers to do anything on my cars (unless under warranty). Somehow, magically, my German car ownership has been pretty much trouble-free and definitely affordable. Is this coincidence? Anyway... I am getting off-topic. :) ;)

I agree with the Tundra comment 100%. Unless I get a deep discount on the 2020 model or I find a crazy good deal on CPO 2019 Platinum model, it simply costs way too much given how old this truck is.
The RAM trucks, sadly, can be hit or miss on the reliability front. I am still researching. If I could only get the RAM interior with the Tundra drivetrain.

The trailer idea is good, just worried about parking spot for it (it takes as much room as one car) in front of my house and also how practical it is to always tow it behind when going to the hardware store or when I am moving kids' gear around. Not all public(or store) parking lots accommodate SUVs with trailers.

It may be smart for me to wait until 2021 and see how the new F150 gets reviewed, how the 2019-2020 RAM holds up... and how much I am attached to my CX-9 after another winter with it.
 
Last edited:
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2010 CX-9 GT
I'd rent a F150 for a week and see if it suits your needs. I'm not a truck person, so I can't comment on the pros and cons of the various brands. I will say, though, that if you value handling you should not be considering a truck. I've driven several pickup trucks and the primitive suspensions and awful weight distribution are nearly always apparent.

I would go look at a Kia Telluride or Hyundai Palisade after the hype dies down. They are marking those up over MSRP right now.
 
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North of Toronto
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2019 CX-9 Sig
I've owned half tons and 3/4 ton, chevy and dodge, but not with backseat. Having said that, bed was long so length was issue for me living in city. Parking was ugh. May not be concern for you.

You'd obviously be looking at a crew cab of some which would cut into your bed space...are they called short box vs long box? I forget. But if you get the crew with the longer bed...well, I hope your driveway is spacious!

If on other hand you get crew with short box, you'd be limited in what you can hold. Are these dirtbikes? Not even sure if some of the other items mentioned would fit for length. Maybe they would. But those always seem like small bed areas when I really take a look since i'm used to the long ones.

I could see maybe a full size suv with trailer rental when needed suiting your needs? Not sure if the hassle there is worth it for you.

No doubt the capabilities of the pickup in terms of power, space and 4x4 is no brainer. Toss anything in back. No moving a yard or soil in a cx9.

I will say a pickup or big suv certainly seems to be more suited to your life than a cx9. You had me at 3 tall kids TBH.

I'd say the lifespan on your Zoom Zoom is closing in with each family car ride. I know you said the minivan is there for people moving...but...pick up gives you more flexibility.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
Naah, the Q7 is not going anywhere. It's 2019 Prestige trim, with only 5k miles on it and lots of warranty left. Also, people here will hate me for saying it, but the Q7 is a LOT more car/SUV than the CX-9 Signature, in almost every category. It's a higher class vehicle. It's an extremely well built, true luxury, and very capable SUV. There is a good reason why it costs more than the CX-9. It drives, feels, and behaves like a more expensive car. There is no comparison.

As far as the horror stories with German cars, many are true. It is also true that German cars require more maintenance and are more sensitive to poor maintenance. Many people do NOT realize this and cut corners (or go to the dealer for every little thing and get ripped off). However, certain German brands and models are very well built and quite resilient. The 2017-2019 generation Q7 is one of those good examples. Plus, this is my 3rd Audi and each so far I kept for more than 100k miles without any major issues. I maintain my cars by the book, I source the parts & fluids, I do all the work myself and I never pay dealers to do anything on my cars (unless under warranty). Somehow, magically, my German car ownership has been pretty much trouble-free and definitely affordable. Is this coincidence? Anyway... I am getting off-topic. :) ;)

I agree with the Tundra comment 100%. Unless I get a deep discount on the 2020 model or I find a crazy good deal on CPO 2019 Platinum model, it simply costs way too much given how old this truck is.
The RAM trucks, sadly, can be hit or miss on the reliability front. I am still researching. If I could only get the RAM interior with the Tundra drivetrain.

The trailer idea is good, just worried about parking spot for it (it takes as much room as one car) in front of my house and also how practical it is to always tow it behind when going to the hardware store or when I am moving kids' gear around. Not all public(or store) parking lots accommodate SUVs with trailers.

It may be smart for me to wait until 2021 and see how the new F150 gets reviewed, how the 2019-2020 RAM holds up... and how much I am attached to my CX-9 after another winter with it.
Oh my bad, I didn't realize the Q7 was a newer vehicle. I had assumed it was an older model already out of the warranty period for some reason.

That's a good point about the trailer, didn't even think to consider that some parking lots can't accommodate cars/trucks with trailers.

I was going to suggest the Ridgeline as an alternative, but the bit of research I did sounds like the F150 is better for your taller family. Plus, zrogers73's experiences with his Ridgeline and the general quality concerns with the Honda brand are not inspiring.

I'd be more inclined to consider the 20-21 F150 or a barely used Tundra, in your situation.
 
If you are sold on the truck, just know that suggested retail price is way inflated. I often hear on the radio add of trucks with 10-15 thousand dollar markdown. Also read reviews. The truck market is interesting because the updates cycle seems to faster than car and suv model ( at least from the big 3 companies). One year the Ram is the best, next year it’s the chevy or the ford, etc. You can often get good deals on barely used truck as well.
 

Chocolate

Harpy Eagle
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2019 CX-5 AWD
What is your budget for this truck? I didn't see that, and that will help. I will reiterate my dislike for the solid rear axle design, which most pickups and many body-on-frame SUVs still have. It is simple and durable, but it really compromises ride and handling. The Sequoia (and new "Sequoia TRD Pro") actually has an IRS, but it's too big, cheap inside and out, and ancient. I didn't realize how much I missed having a 4 wheel independent suspension until I replaced my truck with my CX-5. I'll only buy vehicles with 4 wheel independent suspension going forward.

I continue to look at the electric trucks with interest, but they are too expensive. Only Tesla's "40K Cybertruck" seems reasonably priced, but it is only 2WD and years away. The Rivian R1S/R1T looks great but it'll be very pricey.
 
My dad moved from a 2017 Explorer to an 18 F150 in January of 18. He had similar justifications for the purchase: added ease of use for towing, higher ground clearance, "real" 4x4, and it still has the nicer features that make it feel luxurious.

He's happy with the purchase overall but in the 26 months of ownership, not once has that truck done anything that the Explorer couldn't, though he does love not having to worry about keeping it clean when he brings home plants from the Lowe's garden center.

It seems that the truck will be a good fit for you, so I say you go for it. Just be mindful that the added capability of it has a downfall: the huge turning circle and wide body make parking a truck a PITA. That should not be a deal breaker but it is definitely something you will notice, especially if the truck is going to be your daily driver.
 
You should also check out the Subaru Outback. It is very spacious. I have transported a couch inside it and packed lots of ikea boxes. It is available with a turbo engine that is quite powerful and has excellent AWD.
 

Chocolate

Harpy Eagle
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2019 CX-5 AWD
You should also check out the Subaru Outback. It is very spacious. I have transported a couch inside it and packed lots of ikea boxes. It is available with a turbo engine that is quite powerful and has excellent AWD.
The Outback is a good vehicle, but I wouldn't go through the hassle and cost of replacing a CX-9 with one, as an Outback (even top trim) is not an upgrade over a CX-9.
 
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SF Bay Area
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'17 CX-9 Signature
What is your budget for this truck? I didn't see that, and that will help. I will reiterate my dislike for the solid rear axle design, which most pickups and many body-on-frame SUVs still have. ....
Since I am looking for a fully loaded model and I am specifically interested in a brand new one or certified 2-3 yrs old one.... my budget will be $40-45K, which I realize can be realistic if I can get some deep discounts. The "big three" often have amazing 10-15k off MSRP deals and even more + 0% financing so it can be done, but it also depends on what time of the year, demand levels, etc. From my research so far, the truck market is pretty hot. The inventory is fairly limited (due to C-19 related production interruptions) and dealers are not too desperate to drop their prices. I may have to wait until the late fall/winter when all the 2021 models come. I am NOT interested in paying full price for any brand new truck, period. Also, some of the loaded trucks from Ford/Dodge are touching $70k MSRP. This is ridiculous.

As far as the handling, I am sure that a truck won't handle a good as a CX-9 or Audi Q7 SUV. I will have to live with that. But I am also pretty impressed with the new RAM road manners and how well this truck drives, given its size and capabilities. The Tundra... sadly, needs air suspension options in order to barely compete with that.
 
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2010 CX-9 GT
Rumor has it that the new F150 has an independent rear suspension option so it may be worth it to wait and see...
 
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2010 Mazda 5
I have a Ford Excursion. I can and have fit a full size couch in it. I have carried 2k lbs of concrete block in it. I tow our 8k lbs camper with it.

I would still prefer an open bed truck at times. Even with a solid rear axle, trucks ride and handle better than they did in the past. Not like upscale SUV, but pretty good. The excursion is not in that category.
 

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