Vehicle Research

Mazda CX-9 Zoom-Zooms with More Room

August 2007, Automotive Fleet - Feature

by Cindy Brauer - Also by this author

The 2007 seven-passenger Mazda CX-9 is not simply a lengthened version of the CX-7, according to the automaker. With one of the longest wheelbases in the segment (113.2 inches), Mazda’s newest crossover SUV model combines sports car styling with flexible interior passenger seating and cargo capacity.

The crossover is the second of three all-new Mazda vehicles designed and engineered specifically for the North American market. The CX-7 debuted last year.

The CX-9 offers Mazda’s new 3.5L V-6 engine with 263 horsepower. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard on the CX-9, a feature that’s been exclusive to premium-priced SUVs, according to Mazda.

The new crossover is available in FWD or AWD. The all-wheel-drive version features Mazda’s advanced active torque AWD system that senses and applies torque to those wheels most able to provide solid traction, depending on road conditions. EPArated fuel economy is 18 city/24 highway with the FWD and 16/22 for the AWD. Roominess Enhances Utility

In the CX-9, both passengers and cargo find plenty of room. The 60-40 split second row carries three passengers while offering five inches of fore-and-aft slide travel and a reclining backrest. In the 50-50 split third row, seating position and leg room are both class-leading in measurement. With both second- and third-row seats folded flat, cargo capacity reaches all the way to the back of the front seats, 100.7 cubic inches. An optional power-operated liftgate provides one-touch opening and closing access to cargo. Technology Aids Safety

CX-9 models offer as standard a wide range of safety features, including roll stability control, anti-lock brakes, dynamic stability control, traction control, and side-curtain airbags with threerow protection. The front headrests incorporate new design features to reduce neck injuries during rear impacts.

Offered in three trim levels — Sport,Touring, and Grand Touring — all CX-9 models include three-zone climate control,power windows, mirrors, and door locks with remote keyless entry, cruise control, and a choice of black or beige interior hues.

In both exterior and interior styling, Mazda rejected what it calls the “utilitarian look” of many mid-sized crossover SUVs, opting for a “sophisticated appearance” with a flowing silhouette, prominent wheels and tires,“muscular” fenders, and a steeply angled windshield and backlight. Industry Notes Performance

On Southern California freeways, the CX-9 provided comfort and a nimble responsiveness,connecting solidly with the road. Mazda deservedly touts the CX-9’s top performance against more expensive crossover SUVs in a Motor Trend magazine three-vehicle comparison. The publication noted the CX-9 driving dynamics, space and utility. The CX-9 is available starting at $29,035 retail price.

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