Mazda is at a crossroads. On the one hand, it has spent years building a reputation as a zoom-zoom performance brand, one supplying fun-to-drive character in everything it builds. On the other hand, the automaker’s divorce from Ford coupled with demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles has forced Mazda to develop its new SkyActiv engine technology to maximize fuel economy and meet future efficiency regulations. As a result, its current lineup is split between vehicles developed with the goal of achieving the former, and of achieving the latter.
The 2013 Mazda CX-9 is a 3-row, 7-passenger crossover suv meant to be fun to drive. It is updated this year, equipped with new styling, new features, and other minor upgrades. However, it would appear that Mazda has not addressed two of the family SUV’s more significant flaws with this 2013 re-boot, which makes it a tough sell to its primary audience: parents looking for value in a crossover.