Now that I've driven the car for another week, I have to add two more cons: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.
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.
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.
5. Gen 2 has 12V accessory outlet in the passenger foot well (and cargo area). The Gen 1 had it in the center console which I think is a better placement. Why not put a 12V outlet in both places? Even my 1994 MItsubishi had two 12V accessory outlets in the first row.
6. I could roll down all 4 windows and sunroof using my smart key in my Gen 1. This feature seems to have been deleted in Gen 2. This feature has been common in cars for the last 20 years so it baffles me that Mazda decided to omit it.