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Thread: how is 2019 CX-9 AWD performance

  1. #16
    Registered Member

    2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring / Deep Crystal Blue / Sand leather

    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Montanaman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by norsairius View Post
    I think Honda tunes their AWD systems differently depending on the vehicle. It makes sense that a truck like the Ridgeline would have its AWD engaged more or at least send more power to the rear wheels more often. I believe the system found in the Pilot, and now the Passport, is an evolution of the simpler setup they used to use on vehicles like the CR-V.

    My experience with the CR-V or even the non-SH-AWD RDX they made for model years 2013-2018 on the other hand, had noticeable delays between when the front wheels would slip and the rears would engage. That said, it wasn't exactly slow, but it was noticeable and it was ALWAYS reactive.

    Honda has two different AWD systems that they use. The CRV and the HRV get the more basic clutch operated unit much like Mazda's and others. The Pilot, Passport and Ridgeline get the much more sophisticated i-vtm torque vectoring system that mimics the SH-AWD found in Acura products. Very different set up and results.

    If the Passport had been out when we got the CX-9 I may have gone that way just because of the superior AWD system. We will never use a 3rd row so the Pilot would never have been a consideration as it really does feel like a mini-van but still that AWD system makes it handle better than it has a right to. Just watch a few reviews on line. The CX-9 blows away the Pilot and Passport in the looks department both inside and out and the steering feel and ride is just better in my opinion. The other thing in the CX-9's favor is the 9 speed in the Honda products is not as good as Mazda's trusty 6 speed even though they re-tuned it after a horrible launch a couple years ago. Thankfully my Ridgeline has the older Honda 6 speed auto and it's perfect for that vehicle.

    I was at the Mazda dealer here in Arizona for service and looked at and talked to a sales guy about what changes Mazda might make in the near future. Since they are the "driving matter's" brand I'd like to see them upgrade the AWD system for on road handling and it's time for a new engine of some sort. He said they are working on a new in-line 6 cylinder which would be awesome in a totally new CX-9. One can dream.
    That makes sense with regards to Honda's AWD systems. I admittedly hadn't taken the time to confirm it. Like you, it's possible I would've gone for the Honda Passport if it were out when I was shopping for the CX-9. It's not quite as big as the Pilot, but it's also bigger than the CR-V or a CX-5 and has a better overall AWD system. I've used the third row a bit, but not enough to justify it.

    I agree though that the CX-9 looks better and probably overall drives better (I haven't driven a Pilot or Passport) but it could still use a bit more power. I'd also like to see more of a full-time AWD setup, but I understand that would hurt gas mileage too, or at least have the rear wheels always engaged until cruising speed is attained or something as a compromise rather than always defaulting to FWD and only AWD when needed.

    I'm pretty excited about the rumors of the inline-6 that Mazda is working on because I really miss my BMW 335, but I'm almost certain it'll come too late for me as I'm looking for something else after my lease on the CX-9 ends in the spring of 2021. I might consider an AWD Mazda 6 as a stopgap if that somehow comes out in time, but if not, it's looking pretty likely (at least for now) that I may leave the Mazda brand.

    The CX-9 has been great and I still like it a lot, but I very rarely need the third row (less than a handful of times a year) and I want something with a bit more "go" to it. I just got too spoiled by the 335 (in terms of power but also xDrive) and it doesn't help that my wife got an SUV and we don't have much reason to have two.
    Last edited by norsairius; Yesterday at 09:36 AM.
    Current Car: 2018 Mazda CX-9 GT w/Deep Crystal Blue exterior & Sand leather interior
    Former Car: 2011 BMW 335i xDrive Sedan

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