2017 Mazda CX-9: Three-Row SUV With Real Driving Pleasure Built In

You need a new vehicle and it has to be bigger. You have many people and lots of stuff to carry around. You have ruled out a minivan because that’s just not you. What’s left is a three-row SUV of some type. But what if you’d like your new ride to be an attractive, well-designed and responsive vehicle with good handling, and not a big, heavy truck? If this sounds like you, your prayers have been answered!

The 2017 Mazda CX-9 is something totally different in the three-row SUV category. Introduced in 2016 as an all-new vehicle, the 2017 CX-9 continues as a stylish three-row alternative to run-of-the-mill SUVs. In terms of upscale features and appearance, it compares very favorably to the three-row SUVs from luxury brands like Infiniti and even Audi.

Skyactiv Technology: The Mazda Way
The 2017 CX-9 is the latest example of Mazda’s unique Skyactiv philosophy of vehicle design. Skyactiv is Mazda’s brand name for a series of technologies that increase fuel efficiency through design changes to major systems of each vehicle. These start with new Skyactiv engine designs running higher compression ratios, unique fuel injection strategies, and specially designed exhaust systems. 

Skyactiv transmissons produce improved efficiency and reduced weight. Skyactiv body and chassis design allows for the proper packaging of all these components, including the longer-than-usual exhaust systems that are an essential part of the Skyactiv engine’s efficiency. The result is a unique approach to increasing fuel economy and cutting weight throughout each Mazda vehicle. 

Four CX-9 Trim Levels To Select From
The 2017 CX-9 comes in three different trim levels: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature. The entry-level Sport’s standard equipment includes LED headlights and taillights, fabric seats, 18” alloy wheels, a rear backup camera, and MAZDA CONNECT infotainment with 7” color display.

The CX-9 Touring adds Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Smart City Brake Support, leather seating surfaces, Keyless Entry, power liftgate, power front seats, and an 8” MAZDA CONNECT touchscreen display. The optional Touring Premium Package includes navigation, a premium 12-speaker BOSE audio system, rear backup sensors, and a sunroof.

The next step up is the Grand Touring model, which gives you Adaptive Front-lighting System, 20” wheels, aluminum interior trim, a heads-up instrument display, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Smart Brake Support.

The CX-9 Signature is the top of the line, with standard all-wheel drive, auburn-colored Nappa leather seats, rosewood trim from Japanese guitar-maker Fujigen, and LED signature accent grille lighting.

The Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims are available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The Signature comes with all-wheel drive standard.

A Unique Approach To Three-Row Power
The 2017 CX-9’s standard and only engine is not a big, gas-swilling V6 or V8. Rather, it is a Skyactiv turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder, tuned to provide 250 horsepower on premium fuel or 227 on regular. The big news is the 310 lb.-ft. of torque that it provides on any type of gas. This gives you quick response when starting from rest and accelerating, while still providing good fuel economy. 

The CX-9’s engine is mated to a Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2017 CX-9 is 22 MPG City and 28 MPG Highway for front-wheel drive models, and 20 MPG City and 26 MPG Highway for all-wheel drive models.

The 2017 Mazda CX-9 Is A Different Type Of Three-Row SUV
If you are looking for a three-row SUV that hasn’t forgotten the importance of the driving experience, take a closer look at the 2017 Mazda CX-9. It combines luxurious surroundings, driving pleasure and utility into a very pleasing overall package. Starting at an MSRP of $30,125 and topping out at $44, 615 with every option, the CX-9 has a sophisticated, upscale feel while being priced in the mainstream.

About The Author

Stephen Fogel

Stephen follows the global automotive industry on a daily basis, including new model announcements, new technologies, sales trends, and the latest in "green" cars.