The people who test cars for a living really love the Mazda CX-9 crossover. While many three-row SUVs are lumbering, wallowing beasts, the CX-9 is responsive and fun to drive. That, of course, is why car testers love it. And it is also why you may or may not love it, depending upon what is important to you and your family. When it comes to choosing a family vehicle, performance and handling might not be as high on your list as cargo space or seating accommodations.
With the CX-9 there are some tradeoffs you have to make to reap its performance rewards. And there are interesting contrasts of opinion that are indicative of the tradeoffs. The leading consumer reporting nonprofit, for example, gave it a low score for reliability but also gave it an above-average mark for owner satisfaction. That’s the dual nature of the CX-9.