Mazda CX-9 – 2007 Review: While some would argue the validity of evolution as a human condition, there is no denying its role in the world of automobiles. As long as there have been large families, there’s been a need to move them from place to place. As a result, the station wagon was born, followed by the sport-utility vehicle, and most recently the crossover. Along the way, these people haulers have become more comfortable, more capable, and as the 2007 Mazda CX-9 proves, more engaging. Traits such as sloppy handling and drab styling have worked their way out of the gene pool, replaced with the responsiveness and sleek lines desired by today’s drivers, even those who spend equal time shuttling as cruising.
What We Drove
Fun to Drive
2nd Opinion – Buglewicz
Ford really needs to take a closer look at how its Mazda subsidiary does things. Drive the CX-9 and Lincoln MKX that was in our offices at the same time back to back and you’d never know they were related under the skin. I’d much rather spend my time and money on this Mazda. At $40,000 it’s not cheap, but the CX-9’s mostly high-quality interior appointments and superior driving experience make it much more satisfying than its Ford-branded brethren. Like many crossovers, making the body stiff results in thick, view-obstructing rear pillars. The structurally similar MKX has the same problem, but CX-9 uses a backup camera to help reversing, a feature not even available on Mazda’s supposedly premium Lincoln cousin.
2nd Opinion – Wardlaw
Comfortable, communicative, and quiet, Mazda’s CX-9 is big inside but drives like a smaller vehicle. It’s got a light and lively feel that belies its size, athleticism uncommon to the crossover class but perfectly in line with Mazda’s “zoom-zoom” brand image. Our decked-out Grand Touring’s almost $40,000 sticker dismayed given the fake wood, ersatz metal, stiff leather, and hard plastic decorating the cabin, but the interior is nonetheless visually pleasing. My problem is with the CX-9’s compromised rear seating. The second-row is too low for comfort, and the third-row inhospitable to adults. Sadly, personal insecurity and image trump the practicality and utility of a minivan, which is what people choosing the CX-9 for its maximum passenger capacity really should buy.