Towing with your CX-9

Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016
Best brakes how? Take a look at the EBC web site, pick a type of brake pad that sounds good to you, and look at the spider diagram. Not all manufacturers have this information available. shows several pad models and brands with their evaluations. I have had performance pads with great hot bite and poor cold bite--really had to press hard when cold. I won't get those again. Will it need rotors? If they aren't significantly grooved, try sandpapering the glaze off and wash with brake cleaner. About brands...Centric gets good reviews. For performance I've had success with Powerstop and EBC. There are other excellent brands out there. Grooved rotors seem to work better than drilled rotors if you think that added performance is useful. I had grooved rotors on my trailer-towing Tundra with good results.

I went through the EBC pad choice procedure. They recommend either of these
EBC medium dust fast street pad with 15% brake improvement
Capable of repeated heavy brake use without brake *Fall-Off*
Very minimal disc/rotor damage characteristics
Superb material for lighter model Asian and European sport compacts
Features red *brake in* surface coating for instant safe braking after install

Superb daily driver R90 type approved pad.
Features red *brake in* surface coating for instant safe braking after install.
New 100 % ECO friendly material with ZERO sulphides.
No shims for noise reduction needed.
More bite from cold.
Works in hot and dry climates as well as in cold.

I'd get the Ultimax2 for my driving. Look at the other fine brands as well.
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I just bought a 2019. Sold my 2014 VOLVO. BEST SETS IN THE WORLD WILL ME THAT. What hitch did you get and harness. I too have a board and jet skis
Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016
There are two aftermarket hitch receivers I know of, Curt and Cequent (DrawTite, Uhaul, Reese labels). Either works fine. I don't know who makes the Mazda-labeled receiver...probably one of these.

Is there any difference in the harnesses? My Cequent harness is fine. The hardest part is figuring how to get behind the interior trim panels to reach the plug Mazda provided.
2018 GT
I bought the wiring harness from mazda and a hitch online. Was very easy to install both, you do not need to take apart the side of the car like the mazda directions direct you to do. Will be so much easier the 2nd time around if I end up replacing my wrecked cx9 with the same. It towed my Jet skis like they were not even behind the car.
Im seeing a lot of rear end sag in some of these pics, albeit those are with heavier loads. Sounds like it drives and pulls not problem, but that sag concerns me. My old volvo had nivotmat rear self leveling shocks, sound like the new telluride has rear self leveling. Anyone notice any negatives to this rear sag or do anything to combat it?
Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016
The sag is a problem. The car won't handle correctly, and the weight on the rear may exceed limits. Reese (one of the Horizon Global...labels) offers a light duty weight distributing system to level the car. Reese #66557

"Light-Duty Weight Distributing system is especially designed for use with lighter weight trailers and pop-up campers. ... Works with any 2" receiver. "



2018.5 CX-9 AWD GT
I had U-haul install their hitch ( which us made by Curt I believe) and the receiver was so far under the bumper ( looks clean) but I needed to get an extended ball mount to clear the rear end properly. I
I have a 2019 CX9, and am planning on getting a camper for the upcoming summer. I am trying to decide between a tent trailer and a R-POD 172t.

When I was looking at some other vehicles, they had towing packages that included a transmission cooler. Has anyone installed one on their cx9?
Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016
The R-Pod will have greater wind resistance, and greater side windage in gusts, than the tent trailer. It is also over the car's max towing weight when loaded to the trailer's GVWR, 3760#. A weight distributing hitch as noted in post #26 above will level the car due to the trailer's relatively heavy tongue weight (think of a 376# guy sitting on the back of the open hatch). prudent when loading it and when towing at high speeds or in cross winds. You will also need an electric brake controller for a trailer with electric brakes.

Trailer brake requirements vary by the state you're driving in. Some are as low as 1500#. In any case, I'd want trailer brakes if the combined car and trailer loaded weight is greater than the CX-9's gross vehicle weight rating, 5816#.

I haven't heard about an additional transmission cooler added to a CX-9. A small one might fit somewhere...good luck finding the spot. My preference is the Hayden 696, their smallest of this type. These are sold under a variety of labels. The tell-tale regardless of brand label is their "internal bypass" to prevent cold ATF from being cooled even more. The Hayden 401 might be even smaller, but without the internal bypass. The last cooler I added I put on a manual 3-way valve to shut off the additional cooling when not towing...ATF needs to be normally warm for best transmission operation. Hayden's catalog assistance number is 1-866-502-0068.
I am looking at one of the earlier models of 172 or 176. The early ones have a dry weight between 2,200 and 2,400 lbs, with a tongue weight around 250 lbs. I am certain that based on how I pack, I will stay below the maximum towing weight for the vehicle

I plan to use trailer brakes and a weight distributing hitch.

Am I headed for trouble with this plan?
Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016
You're asking a tough question. I don't recall anyone posting about a car failure due to towing. Ask the dealership, and they'll either regurgitate what's in your owner's manual or just guess about something. Mazda USA will probably tell you to contact your local dealer. It would be good if Mazda USA would tell if they have an inordinate number of warranty claims related to towing, but if they have the info it won't be public.

We don't know the ambient temperature you'll tow in. Hotter is more problematic. We don't know the speeds you'll tow at. Faster is more problematic. We don't know the mountains you'll tow up & down. Steeper & higher are more problematic, uphill for drivetrain load and downhill for brakes and control. We don't know possible winds you'll encounter. Headwinds increase the load on the engine, transmission, and rest of the drivetrain. Sidewinds make the combination harder to control.
2016 CX-9 GT
I have a A-frame pop up, around 2800#. I have towed to Florida from NC and I have gone up and down the hills in NC and TN. I have not had any problems. I use a sway bar but not a weight distribution hitch.
I had planned to buy a bigger trailer this year, but I ended up being uncertain if campgrounds would even be open this year. By the time they opened, I decided to hold off, and instead did some repairs to my parents 1974 Trent trailer. CX9 did well, but this old trailer does not tow terribly well. In hindsight, I think the surge brakes were sticking occasionally.

Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016
"I think the surge brakes were sticking occasionally. "

Interesting thought. Surge brakes have the coupler floating on the trailer tongue. The trailer's hydraulic brake master cylinder is in this floating coupler assembly. A strong spring pushes the coupler forward to release the brakes. When the tow vehicle slows the momentum of the trailer pushes against the spring, the floating coupler moves on the tongue, the master cylinder actuates, and the brakes are applied.

The 1974 coupler might be due for some TLC...clean, lube as needed, be sure everything is as close to good as new as possible. Replace the brake fluid. Be sure the wheels' brake shoes and wheel cylinders move freely.
The problem occured mostly when going over bumps, as it seems that the bump causes the break to engage and stick for a moment.

I should have paid more attention to the brake system before leaving, thankfully it was not a very long drive.
Just installed a Curt hitch, and wiring. It was super easy to do following the instructions provided with the parts.

RE: the 3500 towing limit

I was wondering if anyone knew why these cars are limited to 3,500 lbs? Is it the engine or transmission, or the frame? Is it because the factory hitch option is only a class II? The curt hitch I installed is good for 4000 lb, but obviously I don't want to overide the factory limit without knowing the reason behind it.
I do not know what the weak link is regarding towing capacity. When I was looking into towing with mine, I found that in some other countries, the maximum towing capacity is 5000 lbs. I doubt there is any difference in engine or transmission between countries. I wonder if there are differences in the cooling system or suspension to allow this in other nations.

I often wonder what the true capacity is. Towing a 2000 lb loaded tent trailer, you can definitely feel the load back there. I do plan to try a larger trailer (3500 lbs or lighter loaded) with a weight distribution hitch yet, and I am curious how it will feel towing that.
Other markets do have an additional cooler, but I forgot what it is cooling exactly and can't find the source anymore. I don't remember if it is a transmission oil cooler or just an additional engine oil cooler.