The Mazda CX-9 SUV Crossover isn't quite a sport utility vehicle, but it's also not a car. It is a uniquely shaped vehicle that offers the convenient cargo space of an SUV and the fuel economy, handling and passenger comfort of a large sedan. As an alternative to an SUV or a minivan, the CX-9 is a welcome option for families who want the space without sacrificing the style, and the fact that it offers three rows of seating makes it a fierce competitor in its class.
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The CX-9 does not skimp on features, with even the base model offering everything you would expect from an SUV. The build quality is superb, and all three rows of seating offer enough room for adults. The rear cargo boasts an impressive 101 cubic feet of cargo capacity, and everyone knows you can never have too much space. The passenger cabin is well appointed and upscale, and the driver's seat offers a seating position more reminiscent of a luxury sedan.
The Mazda CX-9 SUV crossover is first and foremost made for hauling people, and this it does very well. With seating for seven passengers, the third row was designed for adults and not the kid friendly seating found in most third rows of SUVs and minivans. The seating is arranged to provide pass through from the middle row to the third without climbing; another adult style consideration.
The Mazda CX-9 is not just about comfort and style though, it also excels in performance, and with a sporty driving feel and enthusiastic road manner that responds well and handles like a car half its size, both passengers and driver alike will enjoy the ride. The excellent performance is from the 3.7-liter V6 engine that delivers an impressive 273 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. What this means for the driver is response that feels more like a smaller sports car, and the get up and go when you need it. In fact, when tested, the 2012 Mazda CX-9 accelerated zero to 60 mph in only 7.4 seconds, which is fantastic. It can brake as well as it accelerates too, as it can stop from 60 mph in a short 123 feet. This finely tuned 24 valve power plant is designed by Ford, and built in an American plant, shipped to Japan to be dropped into the CX-9. The engine is available only in a six-speed automatic, but you have the option for front or all-wheel drive.