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Thread: Who is towing with their CX-9?

  1. #1
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

    2013 CX9

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    Who is towing with their CX-9?

    Just curious what you are towing, how the SUV handles the load, and whether you have run into issues like uneven tire wear, overheating, etc. Also, post a photo if you have one!

  2. #2
    Biggie T Skinny helbigtw's Avatar
    CX-3, CX-5 & CX-9 Moderator

    08 CX-9 GT Fwd, Bose/Nav, BSM,Compass/Homelink, Pwr Lift,Tow

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    There are a couple photos of them in the photo section, including mine with a Uhaul trailer attached.
    Brakes don't do very well. CX-9 already has underpowered brakes to begin with.


    08' CX-9 GT FWD
    Gray Mica with Black Interior
    Nav/Bose/Sunroof/Bluetooth Phone/Rack&Crossbars/BSM/Pwr Lift/Homelink Mirror/Tow Pkg/All Weather Rear Mats
    K&N drop-in filter/Centric E-Coated rotors & Centric Posi-Quiet Ceramics /Yakima ForkLift Bike Tray / Weathertech front mats
    Tires: Nitto NT850+ CUV
    Oil: Mobile One Full Synth & Mobile One Extended Performance filter
    Problems to date: Blower motor relays replaced once, intake manifold rear brace was missing from factory build, headlamp motors are dying,
    windshield wiper plastic cap broken.
    Mileage: 94k Jan/2017
    Location: Lexington, KY
    Job: Auto Physical Damage Adjuster

    ...

    ... ...

  3. #3
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

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    Couldn't find the photo of the UHaul but did see a few others. I'm guessing the UHaul did not have trailer brakes. Any idea how much it weighed? I understand you are the moderator but saying the CX-9 has underpowered brakes without supplying this info is suspect to interpretation. The vehicle is not going to have brakes to support towing 10,000 lbs, that's a given, but I don't think Mazda would give a 3,500lb rating if it couldn't handle it. If you really want to talk about underpowered brakes you should take my truck (pictured below) for a spin with my camper attached.
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  4. #4
    Biggie T Skinny helbigtw's Avatar
    CX-3, CX-5 & CX-9 Moderator

    08 CX-9 GT Fwd, Bose/Nav, BSM,Compass/Homelink, Pwr Lift,Tow

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    The one I rented had some kind of assited brake device where the weight of the trailer coming forward would help brake the trailer...some kind of hydraulic device with a piston, but it still wrecked our brakes.

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  5. #5
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

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    Is that the 5x10 (1,250 lb dry weight) or 6x12 (1,920 lb dry weight)?

    What you described is called "surge brakes" which are common on rental trailers. The safety and tuning of surge brakes is highly suspect and often debated. They may actually be illegal in some states. They cannot be tested to ensure proper function. Having rented from UHaul in the past on numerous occasions and knowing their track record, I wouldn't be surprised if they were not fully functioning. Hauling over 2,000 lbs without properly functioning brakes on a vehicle like this could certainly put a ton of heat into your rotors. Even when functioning properly they often don't engage enough unless you are in a panic stop.

    I think for a 1500lb trailer they are a nice addition since most cars can handle that extra weight for a short trip. Hauling 2,000-3,500lbs, I'm not so sure. For that kind of weight you want the trailer to be stopping itself unless you're driving a full size truck. An electronic brake controller which utilizes a 7-pin connector (not compatible with UHaul trailers) can be tuned to ensure the trailer brakes are stopping the trailer while your vehicle brakes are stopping your vehicle. That's what I use on my truck and it only takes a few stops to dial it in. Too much brake boost and you'll feel the trailer pull back on the vehicle. Not enough and your brakes will feel inadequate.
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  6. #6
    Biggie T Skinny helbigtw's Avatar
    CX-3, CX-5 & CX-9 Moderator

    08 CX-9 GT Fwd, Bose/Nav, BSM,Compass/Homelink, Pwr Lift,Tow

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    Not sure, it was the biggest one they had. The problem is when you have a gradual downslope and you utilize both engine shifting and braking, the brakes are still applied continually for a long period and the 9's rotors are just too small to handle the job. My rotors on my 97' Passat VR6 were bigger than whats on my CX-9, it's a joke how small they are.
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  7. #7
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    I have to agree that the brakes are the weak spot on this vehicle. Even without towing they are barely adequate compared to the other vehicles I own. My other vehicles are German as well for what that's worth..

  8. #8
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

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    Really? Car & Driver really liked the brakes and I felt no issues on my test drive, keeping in mind the size and weight of the vehicle. Below are some numbers to compare with zee Germans.

    70-0 mph braking distance:
    2013 Mazda CX-9: 177ft
    2013 Audi Q5: 169ft
    2013 BMW X3: 180ft

    And a few numbers from full size pickups (which are more often used for towing):
    2014 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab: 178ft
    2013 Ford F150 Crew Cab: 189ft
    2013 Dodge Ram Crew Cab: 197ft

    So if you aren't happy with how the CX-9 brakes it is probably more a factor of brake feel (perhaps initial grip of the pads) than it is actual performance. Swap the pads, bleed the brakes and try different fluid and maybe you'll see an improvement. Maybe calling it the weak spot is a bit unfair too. The rest of the car behaves so sporty that you forget the size vehicle you are driving.

    References:
    http://media.caranddriver.com/files/...ver-evoque.pdf
    http://media.caranddriver.com/files/...nd-touring.pdf
    http://www.caranddriver.com/comparis...specs-page-5-1
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  9. #9
    Registered Member

    Mazda CX9 Grand Touring 2012

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    Just made the trek from Kansas to North Carolina with my CX9 towing my apartment furnishings and bike.
    Total weight is around 2000 to 2500 lbs.
    It did really well and this was the second trip like this last one was from Seattle to Wichita last year.
    Gas mileage sucks but that is to e expected. Got anywhere from 13 mpg to 16 mpg as it depended upon the terrain, hilly or flat.
    Acceleration was excellent as I had no problems passing while going up hills and such
    Very impressed with the handling of the vehicle while it is towing.
    Brakes worked fine for me but I also did not have to brake hard anytime during the trip and could see where going down hill could be a problem if the load would have been bigger or heavy then what I was carrying.
    The Trailer is a Kendon Dual Motorcycle Trailer weighs about 400 lbs.
    Motorcycle is a Suzuki Boulevard C109RT weighs about 900 lbs.
    On the trailer is two recliners, one dresser and one coffee table.
    A Queen Size mattress and box spring on the top of the car.
    Inside of car is fully loaded with all my other things.
    Here are a few pictures of the load I was carrying for over 1200 miles.

    tow3.jpg
    tow 2.jpg
    Tow 1.jpg

  10. #10
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

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    13-16 mpg with that giant mattress on the top isn't bad at all. I've traveled with bicycles on my roof and that alone cause my typical 25mpg to drop to 18mpg...and that's without a trailer in tow!
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  11. #11
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    I'm happy with the mileage as such, since it is something in this case I have very little control over.
    The mileage is not much better just pulling the trailer with one or two bikes on it.
    I tried to minimize the issue of the mattresses as much as possible. The box spring was on the top and the mattress was on the bottom.
    This allowed me to pull them in tighter to the roof and roof rails.
    The box spring on the bottom just started to float up as you drove because the curve in the roof rails does not allow the box springs to make good contact with the rails, the mattress is more flexible in this matter.
    Would love to find something to make them more aerodynamic and improve the mileage some as this will not be the last time I have the car setup this way.......
    I can see me going back across country sometime in the future and setting the car up this way again.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
    13-16 mpg with that giant mattress on the top isn't bad at all. I've traveled with bicycles on my roof and that alone cause my typical 25mpg to drop to 18mpg...and that's without a trailer in tow!

  12. #12
    TomB

    2007 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD

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    Towing with CX9

    2007 Wife's GT AWD tows, accelerates, maintains 60-70+ mph and handles and stops my 2009 3500lb StarCraft Travelstar 18RB travel trailer (W/brakes) perfectly, as well as 10 X 5 ft utility trailer (w/o breaks). Drive a tuned Audi A4 so appreciate vehicle handling and performance. A few photos of each enclosed. Agree with general comment, trailer brakes a must for heavier loads, long trips etc. But that's the norm for all towing.

    Of interest, from the internet CX9 AWD is rated for 2mt / 4400lb towing , 350lb tongue and GCVW of some 10400lbs in other countries including Australia so from my own experience vehicle handles these size trailers confidently.


    See 4000lbs/400lb 2" aftermarket Hidden hitch modified to fit in factory 1.25" hitch cutout along with full size 245-50-20 on matching 20" Mazda rim, also fits nicely with slight modification covered in another post. Nice to have full size spare when towing!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

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    Nice Tom! I was trying to hold out for a white one but I just closed on a Black 2013 AWD Touring, Certified Pre Owned. I'll have photos of it hooked up to my 16' Scamp (~2500 lb) as soon as the season starts. My wife said I was silly to hold out for one that matched the camper...but now seeing yours... Oh well I got a good deal and black will probably hold up a little better to New England winters.
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  14. #14
    TomB

    2007 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
    Nice Tom! I was trying to hold out for a white one but I just closed on a Black 2013 AWD Touring, Certified Pre Owned. I'll have photos of it hooked up to my 16' Scamp (~2500 lb) as soon as the season starts. My wife said I was silly to hold out for one that matched the camper...but now seeing yours... Oh well I got a good deal and black will probably hold up a little better to New England winters.
    Good deal Chuyler, Your Scamp 16 should tow better than mine due to (more powerfull 2013 3.7 liter vs 2007 3.5liter engine), much better aerodynamics, which means better gas mileage.
    I vary from a high of 12mpg at 59-60mph to 8mpg at 70mph. That's 50% difference so a low of 120miles per tank to right to high of 200miles per tank. Head winds kill you and with a good tail wind and I can run 70pmh in 6thgear (2200rpms), though don't recommend 6th for extended towing. I am using a 600lb weight distribution hitch, which helps transfer load to front axle. Noting with single axle trailer you can balance load accordingly. I have measured tongue weight with 1000lb Shearline scale and its around 310-330lbs. Trailer empty weight as stated with all options was 2880, leaving 620 lbs for miscellaneous. Mounted a spare 2gallon gas tank on trailer tongue next too battery, after a stressfull close call running out of gas late night in mid west Texas. Good for additional 20 miles or 40miles without trailer!! Enjoy! Tom

  15. #15
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

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    Gas next to the battery doesn't really sound safe...but I get it. I like to push things until the low fuel light comes on too.

    I'm building up an order at eTrailer. Can't decide about the WD hitch. A guy in the sales dept said they "could" void the warranty if they saw a class III hitch but I've also read a few messages about uneven tire wear while towing and transferring some weight to the front axle would certainly help with that.
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