Totalled 2008 CX9 - Thoughts from folks who moved to Gen 2?

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2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring FWD . 2014 CX-5 GT FWD
So an idiot kid driving on a suspended license passed me on the shoulder in a fit of road rage in heavy traffic and then wound up hitting me and totalling my beloved 2008 CX9 with less than 90k on it.(drive)(pissed) Thankfully only minor injuries were sustained after spinning nose first into the median at highway speeds. BTW, Airbags and belts work but leave you disoriented and then severely bruised later.

I hadn't planned on replacing the old vehicle since I'd had few problems and had proactively replaced the oil pump. I also had new tires on it that were only 6 days old. Thankfully talked the insurance folks into giving me more or less full credit for those.

In any case, I am driving our CX-5 and really miss the room and power of its bigger sibling. Now that the Turbo 4 has been in service for a few years I'd like to hear what folks think who've experienced both the V6 and Turbo 4 versions.
Regrets? Other vehicles to consider?
 
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2018 CX-9 GT
Sorry to hear about your accident and I'm glad that your only airbags and belts worked, albeit some disorientation and bruising. If you search this forum, you'll see a number of conversations discussing the current generation CX-9 against other makes, including Acura, Volvo, Honda, and Toyota. The long-and-short of it is that everyone loves their 2nd generation CX-9 except for, possibly, the seats: There has been considerable debate on the seat width being too narrow for some drivers. Initially, when I took home my '18 GT, the seat seemed a little narrow at the top, where my shoulder blades meet the bolsters, but now I'm completely used to it and the bolsters have softened a bit. I drove Acuras and Toyotas in comparison with my Mazda before the purchase. The CX-9 was much more fun to drive, rode better than both, had a quieter interior. Quality of materials, both inside the car, and the engine and drive-train, are top notch. I've found the turbo-4 engine to be responsive and I get much better mileage than the V6 MDX I was driving. I would say to go drive other cars similar to the CX-9 (Highlander, MDX/RDX, Volvo CX-60) and compare driveability against long-term costs/value. I did this and the CX-9 came out on top each time. Just my $0.02. Good luck.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
If I were looking to buy today, I'd be cross-shopping the Mazda CX-9 (handling and interior/exterior looks), Kia Telluride (tech and interior looks), Acura MDX (power and luxury), and Subaru Ascent (space and AWD).
 

helbigtw

T-Rav
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PA
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08 CX-9 GT FWD
Thaumaturge glad you are relatively ok. Glad the srs worked as intended. Sorry to hear it is toast.
Sorry to go off topic here, but just wanted to mention that if you need any insurance related help, let me know. I'm an auto adjuster and have been looking at cars now for 14 years. Also used to handle liability, injury, coverage, medical and all that stuff, in case you run into any problems, its always nice to know people who might be able to help. For what its worth. Best of luck in your decision on what to buy next. P.S. - 2020 Highlander comes out within the next month and has a V6 and killer electronics/ergonomics.
 
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2019 Maxda CX-9
I believe someone already mentioned it above, but the seats are some of the worst design that I have seen in a modern vehicle. The leather itself is of good quality, its the ergonomics, too narrow at the top. Some who have noticed the issue have gotten used to it. I will admit, it doesn't bother me quite as much or as often as it used to, but I do find myself sitting all the way back at times only to be pushed out by the bolsters.

Our previous CX-5 has more room in the shoulders and our other vehicle, a 2013 Toyota Camry, feels like riding in first class as a comparison. I think its a major flaw.

Other issue I have is the headliner developed a substantial rattle after ~ 1000 miles. It started small and only over could be heard over extremely rough road. We are now at 2,200 miles and the rattle is pretty much constant over any small road imperfection at speeds above 15 MPH. I have located the rattle, its in the headliner above the drivers seat. If I put pressure on the area to the left of the sunroof it goes away. Comes back as soon as I let pressure off. I was trying to wait until first service to bring it up, but I may take it in earlier. I have had jeep wranglers and trucks in the past and this rattle is much greater than anything experienced in any prior vehicles. Some of that has to do with the soundproofing in the vehicle, so that can be a plus and a minus. Its not as noticeable with windows down. While it doesn't affect the performance of the car it makes it feel cheaper IMO.

Factory tires are a drawback. They are garbage and should be swapped out for winter treads which is ~ $800 + installation for the 255/60/18's on Touring, more like $1,000 for the 20" GT model.

I like the spin wheel for the entertainment system, but its been much more laggy than our old 2015 CX-5. Can take 2-3 minutes sometimes on startup to change media outlet. I can live with it.

The car is big. Turning radius is decent, but the nose on this thing is really long. Its much longer than most in its segment and a lot of that is in the front end. It makes parking a chore.

My combines MPG is ~ 17. Most of that is short trips in stop and go suburban traffic, but still seems low. Hopefully after first oil change I get closer to 19.

Last gripe is the AWD. It feels like the system doesn't engage fast enough when slippage occurs. There is a good amount of torque steer and uneven power. Its a little better with TCS off and sport mode activated.

As for the positives, the car handles well in neutral situations and the steering feel is really good. All the controls are physical buttons and everything is laid out properly. After living with car for 3 months I regret purchase a little bit. The deal we got on in was really good, that was driving factor for purchase. If cost was the same I would have chosen something like the Acura RDX/MDX, Volvo XC60, Toyota Hylander or Honda Pilot.
 
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2010 CX-9 GT
So an idiot kid driving on a suspended license passed me on the shoulder in a fit of road rage in heavy traffic and then wound up hitting me and totalling my beloved 2008 CX9 with less than 90k on it.(drive)(pissed) Thankfully only minor injuries were sustained after spinning nose first into the median at highway speeds. BTW, Airbags and belts work but leave you disoriented and then severely bruised later.

I hadn't planned on replacing the old vehicle since I'd had few problems and had proactively replaced the oil pump. I also had new tires on it that were only 6 days old. Thankfully talked the insurance folks into giving me more or less full credit for those.

In any case, I am driving our CX-5 and really miss the room and power of its bigger sibling. Now that the Turbo 4 has been in service for a few years I'd like to hear what folks think who've experienced both the V6 and Turbo 4 versions.
Regrets? Other vehicles to consider?
Have you test driven a new CX-9? I'd go sit in one and see if you like it - if room is important to you, the new generation might fall short of your expectations. It's definitely nicer inside (as well as quieter), but it is smaller. In the old model, I have at least 4" between my knee and the center console - in the new one, my knee was touching the console.

The turbo 4 is not bad. You almost forget there is a turbo under the hood most of the time. Occasionally, you can catch it flat footed, but not often enough to be a big deal. The old V6 needs to be revved to make power, so it is kind of a wash.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
I believe someone already mentioned it above, but the seats are some of the worst design that I have seen in a modern vehicle. The leather itself is of good quality, its the ergonomics, too narrow at the top. Some who have noticed the issue have gotten used to it. I will admit, it doesn't bother me quite as much or as often as it used to, but I do find myself sitting all the way back at times only to be pushed out by the bolsters.

Our previous CX-5 has more room in the shoulders and our other vehicle, a 2013 Toyota Camry, feels like riding in first class as a comparison. I think its a major flaw.

Other issue I have is the headliner developed a substantial rattle after ~ 1000 miles. It started small and only over could be heard over extremely rough road. We are now at 2,200 miles and the rattle is pretty much constant over any small road imperfection at speeds above 15 MPH. I have located the rattle, its in the headliner above the drivers seat. If I put pressure on the area to the left of the sunroof it goes away. Comes back as soon as I let pressure off. I was trying to wait until first service to bring it up, but I may take it in earlier. I have had jeep wranglers and trucks in the past and this rattle is much greater than anything experienced in any prior vehicles. Some of that has to do with the soundproofing in the vehicle, so that can be a plus and a minus. Its not as noticeable with windows down. While it doesn't affect the performance of the car it makes it feel cheaper IMO.

Factory tires are a drawback. They are garbage and should be swapped out for winter treads which is ~ $800 + installation for the 255/60/18's on Touring, more like $1,000 for the 20" GT model.

I like the spin wheel for the entertainment system, but its been much more laggy than our old 2015 CX-5. Can take 2-3 minutes sometimes on startup to change media outlet. I can live with it.

The car is big. Turning radius is decent, but the nose on this thing is really long. Its much longer than most in its segment and a lot of that is in the front end. It makes parking a chore.

My combines MPG is ~ 17. Most of that is short trips in stop and go suburban traffic, but still seems low. Hopefully after first oil change I get closer to 19.

Last gripe is the AWD. It feels like the system doesn't engage fast enough when slippage occurs. There is a good amount of torque steer and uneven power. Its a little better with TCS off and sport mode activated.

As for the positives, the car handles well in neutral situations and the steering feel is really good. All the controls are physical buttons and everything is laid out properly. After living with car for 3 months I regret purchase a little bit. The deal we got on in was really good, that was driving factor for purchase. If cost was the same I would have chosen something like the Acura RDX/MDX, Volvo XC60, Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot.
RDX and XC60 are 2-row, so the comparable Mazda would be the CX-5. The MDX and the XC90 are both more expensive, so I would expect better overall build quality and infotainment/tech. In my own experience, the only rattle in my 2018 is one I added (rattle from the leveling indicator in my daughter's car seat).

The Highlander and Pilot would have also made my shopping list if not for the personal experiences I had with the older models. Regarding the newer models, I rode in a friend's 2018 Highlander and it was such a forgettable experience, truly an A-to-B car. He might as well have bought a minivan because at least it would have more room.

When you take the car in to get the rattle taken care of (likely just a clip that popped loose or something), ask them to reflash the infotainment with the most updated firmware. I haven't updated my firmware since I bought the car at the beginning of 2018, and my infotainment is ready to go after 30-45 seconds when I start it up in the morning. Hopefully that fixes the slow-boot issue.
 
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2019 Maxda CX-9
RDX and XC60 are 2-row, so the comparable Mazda would be the CX-5. The MDX and the XC90 are both more expensive, so I would expect better overall build quality and infotainment/tech. I
I don't know why its necessary to only ship the CX-9 against other 3 row SUV's, most of the time the 3rd row will stay folded anyways. If that is your qualifier for comparison then I guess the RDX and XC60 would be out. However, the base models of both offerings are just as comfortable in the 2nd row (slightly larger IMO), only have a bit less total cargo capacity, are priced @ or below a CX-9 GT and are more maneuverable in parking lots. So if you don't absolutely need a third row, and you are just looking at cost I think they would both be better offerings. That is if you are looking at the GT CX-9. I got a heavy discount on a Touring trim which was thousands less than the RDX or XC60, but just looking at MSRP the vehicles are not far off. The one I bought was on the lot for 7 months, hence the deal.

Also, the MDX base trim with AWD is priced the same as a CX-9 GT. There are going to be options that you miss in the base MDX, but just looking at dollars they match up. I prefer the drivetrain and transmission in the CX-9. The MDX has superior AWD and a more spacious cabin.

Not wanting to completely disagree with sm1ke, cause the CX-9 is capable, and if you can get past the seats its not a bad choice, just want to lay out some of my experiences after 3 months. Hoping my rattle gets fixed, that would lessen some of my dislike for the car. The seats are the most important thing. Sit in them for at least 15 minutes. In test drives I found myself sitting straight up and not leaning back as I would in a longer trip. To me the seats are not good if you want to take a more relaxed position. YMMV.
 
Not coming from a 2nd gen CX-9, but coming from a Ford Edge 2011, which had almost the same V-6 and was riding on the same platform. I also want share my overall opinion of the CX-9. The points regular guy brought up are accurate, but also suggestive and I have a different opinion. I think before I go into details, the important for you is to set your priorities and of course, test drive the hell of every car on your list, this will determine if the negative mentioned here are deal breaker for you or not. In my opinion, this is the better executed Mazda of the entire line-up.

Engine impressions compared to the Duratec V6. I like it a lot. But it has a totally different character. It is very powerful off the line, but doesn't give a progressive surge up the RPM like the V6 does. The V6 and its surge of power at high RPM was fun to rev high, but to get there I had to force it to stay in 2nd gear up to 50 mph. The new engine has all that torque available immediately. In regular driving condition, I find it more satisfying. Especially when the vehicle is loaded, the torque is really making itself felt. Reliability wise it is still a bit of an unknown, with some people hinting at issue of oil dilution which is common to a lot of direct injected turbo engine but if you follow the oil change interval this should not be an issue. The old V6 was a trusted-proven engine, but still with its reliability concerns (extremely costly or catastrophic water pump failure).

Interior space. The gen 2 is an odd beast on the market in this regard. It is on the smaller side of the 3 rows SUVs, but would still be bigger than the previous Gen CX-9 (it is crazy on big all the cars have gotten in the last 10 years). *EDIT* As pointed out below in the next post, I may be wrong and the Gen 2 may be smaller than the Gen 1*EDIT* It may sound strange, but as someone mentioned earlier, it doesn't feel bigger (and may even feel smaller) than the previous generation. The big center console is partly to blame here, the leg room is smaller than on my previous ford edge and even than smaller SUVs. You don't get that "How my god there is so much room" feeling when climb in the driver seat, like you would from the Honda Pilot. But I find the space to be more than sufficient and oddly I prefer it that way. It is hard to explain but I guess I could says that it is more like a car driving position and set-up as opposed to a mini-van pick-up truck position set-up. I find everything is within reach, logically placed and as the driver I just feel like everything is in the right place. It just feels right to me. It feels more like a "drivers'' car and I like it.

Handling. Hands down the best handling SUV in its category. This car is fun to drive on windy road. The only sad part is it doesn't happen often enough with the wife and kid in tow. Parking lot handling. I don't have any issues with it. The hood is long, and feels even longer due to the sharp drop-off (or rise ?) of the nose, It will feel way longer than the previous gen, but I don't feel like the car is hard to maneuver in and out of parking lot. Turning radius is also pretty good.

Noise. This gen is quieter than anything mazda as ever built before. You will see a big difference from the previous gen.

Seats. This seems like a hit or miss. From previous post I think I am about the same height and weight as regular guy, and I love the seats. Definitely give them a long hard try first.

Finally, you could cross shop with 2 rows crossovers, if you don't need the 3rd row. I was actually trying in the market for a 2 row SUV with a larger cargo area (like the ford edge for example), but there is not that many 2 rows crossover that will have that much cargo area. For me the CX-9 is perfect, not as large as the other 3 rows but large enough for my cargo hauling need, with the occasional bonus of having the 3rd row when needed.

So recommendation for other vehicles are hard to do unless we know what you are looking for. If you want maximum space and 3 row, the CX-9 isn't it, and you would be better serve with a Pilot or Telluride. If driving dynamics matter to you and you don't need mini-van esque space, then the CX-9 is a solid contender. I tend to avoid the acura and volvos due to the bloated maintenance cost associated with the luxury brands, but they are good vehicles in their own right. In my case, the CX-9 is perfect for my need and I have no regrets.
 
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2010 CX-9 GT
Interior space. The gen 2 is an odd beast on the market in this regard. It is on the smaller side of the 3 rows SUVs, but would still be bigger than the previous Gen CX-9 (it is crazy on big all the cars have gotten in the last 10 years). It may sound strange, but as someone mentioned earlier, it doesn't feel bigger (and may even feel smaller) than the previous generation. The big center console is partly to blame here, the leg room is smaller than on my previous ford edge and even than smaller SUVs. You don't get that "How my god there is so much room" feeling when climb in the driver seat, like you would from the Honda Pilot. But I find the space to be more than sufficient and oddly I prefer it that way. It is hard to explain but I guess I could says that it is more like a car driving position and set-up as opposed to a mini-van pick-up truck position set-up. I find everything is within reach, logically placed and as the driver I just feel like everything is in the right place. It just feels right to me. It feels more like a "drivers'' car and I like it.
There is no way the current generation is larger inside than the last. Look up the cargo and interior volumes. The passenger cabin volume declined slightly, but it feels a lot tighter than the previous one despite the marginal decrease in volume. Probably the center console, but who knows.

Despite the overall exterior dimensions staying within spitting distance of the previous generation, the cargo volume of the current generation dropped by about 30%. The packaging of the current generation is just not as good as the last. The long nose and raked rear liftgate look good, but sacrifice interior space for style.
 
There is no way the current generation is larger inside than the last. Look up the cargo and interior volumes. The passenger cabin volume declined slightly, but it feels a lot tighter than the previous one despite the marginal decrease in volume. Probably the center console, but who knows.

Despite the overall exterior dimensions staying within spitting distance of the previous generation, the cargo volume of the current generation dropped by about 30%. The packaging of the current generation is just not as good as the last. The long nose and raked rear liftgate look good, but sacrifice interior space for style.
I looked at the spec and you are right on paper. I may have spoken out of turn on that comparison and I don't have a Gen 2 so can't physically compare. And yes the shape sacrifices style over functionality. I will edit my post to avoid confusion.

But I am not convinced about the 30% loss of space. The spec numbers of Generation 1 looks huge. I wonder if over the years the method of measurement has changed. Because based on the specs I found the gen 1 would be bigger than a new Honda Pilot, and new Kia Telluride. Which doesn't seem right:
Mazda CX-9 2008 (gen 1)
- behind 3 row:17.5 cubic feet
-behind 2 row: 48.4 cubic feet
- behind 1st row 100.7 cubic feet

Compared to a 2019 Honda Pilot:
- behind 3 row:16.5 cubic feet
-behind 2 row: 46 cubic feet
- behind 1st row 83 cubic feet

Compared to a 2019 Kia Telluride:
- - behind 3 row:21 cubic feet
-behind 2 row: 46 cubic feet
- behind 1st row 87 cubic feet
 
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2010 CX-9 GT
I looked at the spec and you are right on paper. I may have spoken out of turn on that comparison and I don't have a Gen 2 so can't physically compare. And yes the shape sacrifices style over functionality. I will edit my post to avoid confusion.

But I am not convinced about the 30% loss of space. The spec numbers of Generation 1 looks huge. I wonder if over the years the method of measurement has changed. Because based on the specs I found the gen 1 would be bigger than a new Honda Pilot, and new Kia Telluride. Which doesn't seem right:
Mazda CX-9 2008 (gen 1)
- behind 3 row:17.5 cubic feet
-behind 2 row: 48.4 cubic feet
- behind 1st row 100.7 cubic feet

Compared to a 2019 Honda Pilot:
- behind 3 row:16.5 cubic feet
-behind 2 row: 46 cubic feet
- behind 1st row 83 cubic feet

Compared to a 2019 Kia Telluride:
- - behind 3 row:21 cubic feet
-behind 2 row: 46 cubic feet
- behind 1st row 87 cubic feet
The old model did a good job maximizing interior space. You are correct that it is based on the same platform as the previous Ford Edge, but it seemed much larger inside than the Edge. We test drove both way back when we bought the CX 9 and we're amazed that they were based on the same chassis.

It will be interesting to see what Mazda does with the CX-9 in the future. A new model is coming out and is rumored to slot in between the CX-5 and the CX-9. The Alabama factory is supposed to produce this model starting in 2021. Mazda already sells a CX-8 overseas. Add the CX-3 and CX-30 to the mix and Mazda has a crowded lineup.
 
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2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature, Machine Grey Metallic
Having owned a previous generation CX-9 (a 2010 GT FWD), and now, a 2019 CX-9 Signature, I can tell you that the 2019 is a better vehicle than the previous generation.

At the time when I bought our 2010, it was the best driving 3-row vehicle that can be had at a reasonable cost. Keep in mind that the previous generation was, in most ways, a Ford product that Mazda sprinkled some Zoom Zoom magic dust onto, making it perform and handle like a Mazda vehicle. The previous gen had a Ford engine, along with a French-made Aisin transmission. I had my transmission replaced with a rebuilt one at 55K under warranty (lucky I didn't have to pay for it). While it drove well, the previous gen transmission had a subtle whine that I always heard (I guess mainly coz I may have trained my brain to notice it). Compared to the current generation, fuel economy of the previous generation was abysmal in city driving, much like similar vehicles with a V6. The current generation's engine does not make me miss the previous generation's V6 mainly because of the 310 ft-lb. of torque. Power is immediately available and the vehicle feels much nimbler and lighter. While the turbo 4 is suitable for the vehicle, I'm thinking that the next generation will have the inline-6 that Mazda is developing. Driving dynamics is much better than the previous generation. I live in GA and winding roads are readily available for me to explore. I've had quite a bit of fun with the CX-9 these past few weekends as my wife and I pursue places of Fall peak colors. I've been getting 24mpg in mixed driving. I would have been getting 20mpg or less on our 2010. Interior is exquisite, it really feels like a much more expensive vehicle.

Current generation CX-9 is a long vehicle. I think that perception is due to the long hood. I find myself using the 2019's 360-camera when parking most of the time, as I find it difficult to judge whether the front is sticking out of the space and/or whether the rear is in the space.

The seats will take some getting used to. The previous gen had better seats, IMO. The seat bottoms are quite firm, but I see this softening as time goes by. Just like a mattress, a plush one may become too plush from use, while a firm one might likely become quite comfortable. My daily driver is a 2013 BMW 528i and the seats on that vehicle is comfortable, even my wife says so. We actually had to use the BMW this weekend since my wife tweaked her back and found the CX-9 passenger seat to be a bit uncomfortable. I think that this may be a deal breaker for some, and I would understand.

The current generation size seems perfect for us. It is noticeably smaller, interior-wise, compared to the previous gen. We would have chosen a CX-5 had it been a tad bigger/longer. We do not use the 3rd row a majority of the time, but we appreciate the adequate space of the CX-9's 2nd row and cargo area. Availability of 3rd row seats is a bonus, IMO. The current generation CX-9 is all Mazda and it really shows. I don't miss our 2010, except for the memories of my growing children in it, which I'll always have.
 
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2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring FWD . 2014 CX-5 GT FWD
Having owned a previous generation CX-9 (a 2010 GT FWD), and now, a 2019 CX-9 Signature, I can tell you that the 2019 is a better vehicle than the previous generation.

At the time when I bought our 2010, it was the best driving 3-row vehicle that can be had at a reasonable cost. Keep in mind that the previous generation was, in most ways, a Ford product that Mazda sprinkled some Zoom Zoom magic dust onto, making it perform and handle like a Mazda vehicle. The previous gen had a Ford engine, along with a French-made Aisin transmission. I had my transmission replaced with a rebuilt one at 55K under warranty (lucky I didn't have to pay for it). While it drove well, the previous gen transmission had a subtle whine that I always heard (I guess mainly coz I may have trained my brain to notice it). Compared to the current generation, fuel economy of the previous generation was abysmal in city driving, much like similar vehicles with a V6. The current generation's engine does not make me miss the previous generation's V6 mainly because of the 310 ft-lb. of torque. Power is immediately available and the vehicle feels much nimbler and lighter. While the turbo 4 is suitable for the vehicle, I'm thinking that the next generation will have the inline-6 that Mazda is developing. Driving dynamics is much better than the previous generation. I live in GA and winding roads are readily available for me to explore. I've had quite a bit of fun with the CX-9 these past few weekends as my wife and I pursue places of Fall peak colors. I've been getting 24mpg in mixed driving. I would have been getting 20mpg or less on our 2010. Interior is exquisite, it really feels like a much more expensive vehicle.

Current generation CX-9 is a long vehicle. I think that perception is due to the long hood. I find myself using the 2019's 360-camera when parking most of the time, as I find it difficult to judge whether the front is sticking out of the space and/or whether the rear is in the space.

The seats will take some getting used to. The previous gen had better seats, IMO. The seat bottoms are quite firm, but I see this softening as time goes by. Just like a mattress, a plush one may become too plush from use, while a firm one might likely become quite comfortable. My daily driver is a 2013 BMW 528i and the seats on that vehicle is comfortable, even my wife says so. We actually had to use the BMW this weekend since my wife tweaked her back and found the CX-9 passenger seat to be a bit uncomfortable. I think that this may be a deal breaker for some, and I would understand.

The current generation size seems perfect for us. It is noticeably smaller, interior-wise, compared to the previous gen. We would have chosen a CX-5 had it been a tad bigger/longer. We do not use the 3rd row a majority of the time, but we appreciate the adequate space of the CX-9's 2nd row and cargo area. Availability of 3rd row seats is a bonus, IMO. The current generation CX-9 is all Mazda and it really shows. I don't miss our 2010, except for the memories of my growing children in it, which I'll always have.
Thanks so much for your comments as they are exactly what I was looking for - a gen1 to gen2 comparison from an owner with experience. BTW, I also used to own a 7 Series Big Money Waster, and definitely miss the seats (but little else) in that car.

My cons for the 2008 were:
- The seats (actually looked into replacing them when the vehicle was new) so hearing that the Gen2 seats are worse is very disappointing.
- Subtle whine in transmission (it's a design flaw)
- Mileage

My pros for the 2008 were:
- V6 engine. I won't get into the argument about it being a 100% Ford product (it wasn't), but that engine was great with the exception of the water pump design.
- Handling
- Size/Room - I was VERY disappointed when the gen2 came out and was smaller except for the silly nose.

Since we own a CX-5 and I only last about 2 hours max in that car, I really don't want anything smaller or less comfortable than my Gen1 CX9.

After considering all the data and comments it looks like I am going full size SUV or truck since I can't bear the Honda Pilot. All the other midsize SUV options leave me cold.

Thanks again
 
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2018 CX-9 GT
We used to have a 2013 CX-9 Touring which we traded for Tacoma in 2017 because we needed to haul odd-sized items for a few years. Now that our 3 kids are getting bigger (and we no longer haul odd-sized items), we eventually found ourselves back in a 2018 CX-9 GT (last month). After test driving many other 3-row SUVs (in this price range), Mazda still has the best handling and driving SUV.

When comparing the 1st and 2nd gens, I feel the biggest changes are in engine and in the technology...everything else is minor. Handling is still on par with gen 1's handling. This includes vehicle maneuverability as well as transmission smoothness.

First and foremost, I though the 4-cylinder would be a bit of let-down since I knew how the V6 used to drive. I am happy to report that it is much better than the V6 in just about every way and am extremely happy with it. The only way it may fall behind the V6 is if you really load down the vehicle (ie, towing something). Otherwise, it is peppier, torquier, and more efficient than the V6. And that is all down in the lower RPM range where the majority of my daily driving occurs. Reliability is the only one that we won't know until later down the road, but a warranty will usually cover you if it ends-up falling short. By then, it will be time to trade in for the in-line 6 or the Skyactive-X! lol

All of the tech upgrades are a huge step up over our gen 1 (which had a tech package of some sort). The HUD (aka, active driving display) is just plain awesome! I thought it was just a nice-to-have feature when researching, but after only 2 weeks of driving the CX-9 daily, I really feel odd when in another car without it. I just wish it would work with Google Maps driving directions (like it does with the OEM nav).

Also with the tech upgrades, the headlights are a big improvement over the 1st gen...especially if you have the adaptive/auto lighting. The adaptive cruise control is also quite good (better than what Toyota has in its now standard TSS).

The headunit with Nav is not a huge upgrade, but it can be had with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay finally! I had it installed in our 2018 without any issue. It takes a few days to get used to the wheel interface (instead of touchscreen), but it is now future proof vs the already outdated OEM maps and the Gracenote album art database. :)


Our only real concern (when testing gen 2) was that we noticed is that the rear visibility seems slightly less than gen 1. It initially had my wife concerned after our first test drive, but with all of the tech goodies in the GT, all worries went to the way-side because it definitely helps minimizes the issues with those blind spots.


You won't regret the gen 2 once you test it out (assuming the seats are still to your liking). Take the time to do an extended test drive after really dialing in your seating position.

Honestly, I feel the seats are better in gen 2 over the gen 1. I think this goes to show that this is more subjective than the driving characteristics tend to be. However, keep in mind that we had a couple years in the Tacoma which had far worse seating than the CX-9. lol Anyways, the driver seat now has memory function...that was one thing my wife and I hated in the gen 1 (adjust a power seat and mirrors every other day was a PITA because it was so slow). Now, we just click a button that does it all for me before I even start the engine (except the rear-view mirror). I would also note that I liked the CX-9 seats over the CX-5 seats (which I drove for a full day while they installed my Android Auto upgrade). It wasn't much of a difference, but it was noticeable for me. Oh, yet another note is that my CX-9 was 1 year old when we bought it...so our seats may have already been broken in.

I also believe that the 2nd and 3rd row seats have been improved based on what I remember from our gen CX-9, but take that with a grain of salt since I basically never sat back there.

Hope that helps and I am glad that you are okay after your accident!
 
:
2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature, Machine Grey Metallic
BTW, I also used to own a 7 Series Big Money Waster, and definitely miss the seats (but little else) in that car.
My BMW was kind of a coincidental purchase. We bought it from a relative that treated the car as a garage queen, never really drove it and just had it for the sake of having one. It was more or less a trophy of sorts, like a psychological victory that a BMW was in the garage. Relative got tired of it and wanted to trade it in and was gonna be upside down. Since we had teens that were about to drive, we knew we needed to add a good used vehicle to the fleet. So, we paid off his loan and it was ours. I guess I'm trying to say that I didn't necessarily want a BMW, just that it presented itself and we couldn't pass up the opportunity. So far, it's been trouble-free and I've only spent on maintenance.

My pros for the 2008 were:
- V6 engine. I won't get into the argument about it being a 100% Ford product (it wasn't), but that engine was great with the exception of the water pump design.
Let me be clear that I didn't say that the gen1 CX-9 is a 100% Ford product, it wasn't. It did have a majority of the Ford DNA where it counted, i.e. engine, transmission, chassis (shared with XC90, Explorer, Edge). Mazda did a tremendous job making it distinctly a Mazda, but gen2, being all Mazda, is better in that regard. The Duratec V6 is a good engine, but that water pump design is a real achilles heel.

- Size/Room - I was VERY disappointed when the gen2 came out and was smaller except for the silly nose.
I guess if size and roominess is a priority, the CX-9 will not be the toprunner there. To me, I see it as a 5+2. My priority was driving dynamics and the CX-9's size was perfect for our needs.
 

Montanaman

Montana/Arizona
:
2018.5 CX-9 AWD GT
I have no experience with the Gen 1 CX-9. I never came to love the looks as much as the new CX-9. After a year and a half, two cross country trips and about 18k miles we are happy with the CX-9 GT AWD. It is one of the quietest vehicles I've ever driven including some older BMW's and Mercedes. It's that good. The handling with the G-Vectoring is very good and my only really beef is the motor. It's fun and it's quick off the line but as someone said you can "catch it sleeping" once in awhile depending on how your foot action is. I think the motor overall works fine but I can see the need for a V-6 or perhaps Mazda's supposed new inline 6. The AWD system is adequate but it has to think before it acts. I've got a 3.5 Honda V6 in my Honda Ridgeline and I'd have to say I prefer that motor. It has 280 HP ( 262 torque) and it just feels more stout and the power is always there and consistent. It also has Honda/Acura's torque vectoring AWD system ( SH-AWD) and that is a whole different experience from the Mazda. That thing is always on and feels like a rear drive vehicle. Brilliant in wet and snow.

The field for this segment ( mid size 3 rows and slightly bigger compact 2 rows SUV's) has gotten very crowded. If I were to do it all again the only other ones I would take a hard look at would be the Telluride, the Acura RDX and believe it or not the Jeep Grand Cherokee. I never thought about current Jeep G.C but I was just in my friends Limited and it was much nicer than I thought it would be. It's also riding on a good proven rear-drive platform that was developed by Mercedes when they were in bed together. i'm not sure I would trust the reliability but having that rear drive platform ( no 3rd row and don't care) and it's ability to do some fairly aggressive off roading with a great V6, 8 speed auto would have me taking a look this time. I wanted to like the new Explorer but saw it and the interior felt cheap compared to the CX-9 and this was in the top trim. I'd also look at the new Highlander as its a Toyota but unless they inject some fun into I'd pass. The current version while bulletproof is boring and dated.

Just my .02
 
:
Mazda CX-9 GS AWD
We used to have a 2013 CX-9 Touring which we traded for Tacoma in 2017 because we needed to haul odd-sized items for a few years. Now that our 3 kids are getting bigger (and we no longer haul odd-sized items), we eventually found ourselves back in a 2018 CX-9 GT (last month). After test driving many other 3-row SUVs (in this price range), Mazda still has the best handling and driving SUV.

When comparing the 1st and 2nd gens, I feel the biggest changes are in engine and in the technology...everything else is minor. Handling is still on par with gen 1's handling. This includes vehicle maneuverability as well as transmission smoothness.

First and foremost, I though the 4-cylinder would be a bit of let-down since I knew how the V6 used to drive. I am happy to report that it is much better than the V6 in just about every way and am extremely happy with it. The only way it may fall behind the V6 is if you really load down the vehicle (ie, towing something). Otherwise, it is peppier, torquier, and more efficient than the V6. And that is all down in the lower RPM range where the majority of my daily driving occurs. Reliability is the only one that we won't know until later down the road, but a warranty will usually cover you if it ends-up falling short. By then, it will be time to trade in for the in-line 6 or the Skyactive-X! lol

All of the tech upgrades are a huge step up over our gen 1 (which had a tech package of some sort). The HUD (aka, active driving display) is just plain awesome! I thought it was just a nice-to-have feature when researching, but after only 2 weeks of driving the CX-9 daily, I really feel odd when in another car without it. I just wish it would work with Google Maps driving directions (like it does with the OEM nav).

Also with the tech upgrades, the headlights are a big improvement over the 1st gen...especially if you have the adaptive/auto lighting. The adaptive cruise control is also quite good (better than what Toyota has in its now standard TSS).

The headunit with Nav is not a huge upgrade, but it can be had with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay finally! I had it installed in our 2018 without any issue. It takes a few days to get used to the wheel interface (instead of touchscreen), but it is now future proof vs the already outdated OEM maps and the Gracenote album art database. :)


Our only real concern (when testing gen 2) was that we noticed is that the rear visibility seems slightly less than gen 1. It initially had my wife concerned after our first test drive, but with all of the tech goodies in the GT, all worries went to the way-side because it definitely helps minimizes the issues with those blind spots.


You won't regret the gen 2 once you test it out (assuming the seats are still to your liking). Take the time to do an extended test drive after really dialing in your seating position.

Honestly, I feel the seats are better in gen 2 over the gen 1. I think this goes to show that this is more subjective than the driving characteristics tend to be. However, keep in mind that we had a couple years in the Tacoma which had far worse seating than the CX-9. lol Anyways, the driver seat now has memory function...that was one thing my wife and I hated in the gen 1 (adjust a power seat and mirrors every other day was a PITA because it was so slow). Now, we just click a button that does it all for me before I even start the engine (except the rear-view mirror). I would also note that I liked the CX-9 seats over the CX-5 seats (which I drove for a full day while they installed my Android Auto upgrade). It wasn't much of a difference, but it was noticeable for me. Oh, yet another note is that my CX-9 was 1 year old when we bought it...so our seats may have already been broken in.

I also believe that the 2nd and 3rd row seats have been improved based on what I remember from our gen CX-9, but take that with a grain of salt since I basically never sat back there.

Hope that helps and I am glad that you are okay after your accident!


This is a good thread. I'm a 2010 CX-9 owner, trying to get one more winter out of it. (former Mazda 6 wagon owner too) I'm also a conflicted Tacoma owner ;) I know the Tacoma will last forever, but do I want to drive such an uncomfortable, noisy, rough riding truck forever ? :)

Anyway, we're looking at wagons to replace the CX-9 and haven't really considered the new CX-9. I wish Mazda would bring their Euro wagon to North America. I'm looking at VW-Audi Alltrack/Allroad, Volvo V60 and similar. I do like Hondas and the new 2019- RDX looks like a good choice in place of a wagon. Like has been noted here, Mazda offers great handling, elegant styling and nice interiors to compete with the luxury brands, at a more modest price. I'll definitely try the new CX-9.
 

GT4GT

2020 AWD GT, 2008 FWD GT
I know I'm late to the game given the OP's first posting, but perhaps this can help new buyers. I owned a 2008 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring FWD and last week bought a 2020 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD. I actually sold (to a private seller) and bought a CX-9 on the same day.

I echo what the other owners said. I loved the old CX-9's handling and trouble-free nature. Out of all the cars I've owned in the past (mostly Japanese), the CX-9 had the lowest maintenance and repair costs. It was just the right size for my family of 4 which needed the occasional 3rd row seats. I found it very difficult to give up my perfectly good 12 year old car and pony up the $40K+ for a new one that is essentially the same car. The 0% Mazda financing and a few rebates got me in the door.

As expected the handling, acceleration. noise level, etc. is better but certainly not $40K better. I had been spoiled by a lot of new technology in my 2017 Honda CR-V so I was looking forwarding to getting that in a CX-9. Many of the new Mazda features, I thought would be gimmicky and not a necessity, yet I've become a fan in only a week.

Pros:
1. Active Heads Up Display--Very convenient for seeing speed and navigation. Now I find it tiring to look at the actual speedometer. Looking down is so 2010.
2. Cooling seats--The weather just got warm here and the cooling seats have been surprisingly luxurious. I never realized before this that my back side needed cooling but apparently it does. I'm sure the heated steering wheel and seats would be much appreciated in cold climates.
3. The built-in navigation--it's quite detailed with street signs and lanes. Because of the 9" screen, it can present a lot more info than my iPhone navigation which I've been using for the last 12 years. It's nice to have an integrated Navigation.
4. The touchscreen--I love the mouse/dial in the center console rather than touching the touchscreen. It's faster, more precise and easier to reach than the touchscreen. I like the separate radio volume/on/off dial.
5. Interior ambient light--This is crazy that I'd even care about this (I didn't before) but the interior cabin lights that stay on (brightness can be adjusted) look cool--reminds me of a jet liner.
6. Apple Car Play--Nothing special about this since many cars have this but I haven't used it too much yet because the bluetooth integration with my iPhone is already really good combined with the Mazda navigation and music options. Even my iPhone address book and text messages are synced via Bluetooth.
7. 360 degree camera--It's not as high resolution as I would have liked, but it's been very helpful parking in tight spaces. I also have parking sensors that work in conjunction with the cameras. I get audio beeps as well as visual warnings on the 360-degree camera. When I back down my narrow driveway, my car sounds like I'm about to get missile-locked by an enemy mig.

Cons.
1. Middle floor hump in second row--This is the biggest disappointment. My 2008 CX-9 and 2017 CR-V have a flat floor in the second row. I thought humps were a thing of the past. Well this retro feature has been re-introduced to the second gen CX-9.
2. Hands-free trunk--Just swipe your foot under the trunk and it opens automatically but it doesn't work. I look like I'm kicking the air underneath the car or doing a swing "flick and kick" routine. The hatch opens when it deems itself ready. Or you can just push the button on the trunk.
3. No remote start--This was a included feature in my CR-V but the Mazda needs a separate add-on kit for this feature. Not a big deal for me, but given that the CX-9 has a smart remote, why wouldn't this be an included feature with a simple programming change?
4. Glove compartment light--With all the cool interior LED lighting, there is no light in the glove compartment. My 2008 CX-9 had one.
 
:
North of Toronto
:
2019 CX-9 Sig
I had been spoiled by a lot of new technology in my 2017 Honda CR-V so I was looking forwarding to getting that in a CX-9.


2. Hands-free trunk--Just swipe your foot under the trunk and it opens automatically but it doesn't work. I look like I'm kicking the air underneath the car or doing a swing "flick and kick" routine. The hatch opens when it deems itself ready. Or you can just push the button on the trunk.
Pulled out 2 things from this post, because for one, I have a 17 CRV and 2019 CX9. Too funny. Now if you tell me your CRV is white and CX9 grey I'd get a bit weirded out. The CRV does have great tech, works so well.

Second, I was kicking myself for not waiting for the 2020 when I learned it had foot trunk release. I was a late yr buy last yr. Interesting you note it's hit and miss.

I'll also add here I def cross shopped 2 rows with the CX9. I didn't want 3 rows, rarely use. But I had a CRV and nothing the mainstream brands have in that class are as nice a vehicle overall, and moving up to a Q5 or a RDX was too much $ similarly equipped. So the CX9 (was the sweet spot. Just my specific wants and needs I guess.
 
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