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2014 Mazda CX-9

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/11/2014 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2014

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 gains two new exterior colors: Jet Black and Blue Reflex. A new 20-inch wheel design and rear cross traffic alert has also been added.

Vehicle Summary

The 2014 CX-9 is a seven-passenger crossover sold in three trim levels and in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. Its sole engine is a 3.7-liter V-6 making 273 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque paired to a six-speed automatic transmission.


The 2014 Mazda CX-9 remains one of the sportier seven-passenger crossovers on the market, offering an exceptional driving experience without sacrificing comfort. Its powerful V-6 engine provides good acceleration at the cost of fuel economy with front-drive models rated at 17/24 mpg city/highway and 16/22 mpg for the all-wheel-drive variant. The CX-9's driving dynamics are impressive and make it feel "darn near carlike in the handling and overall driving feel department." Additionally, its 37.4-foot turning circle is among the best in the segment.

Interior space and utility are notable in the 2014 CX-9 with a maximum capacity of 110.6 cubic feet and room for up to seven passengers. The upscale interior makes the cabin feel more premium than it actually is and a good value; the build quality and available features rival those of luxury offerings. However, the infotainment system is not the best in class with its small 5.8-inch touch screen, but its voice-command feature is responsive and easy to use.

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 has a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and received a good score on two of five categories that the IIHS has tested it in (good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

In 2008, the Mazda CX-9 won Motor Trend's Sport Utility of the Year award because it balanced sportiness, utility, upscale features, and value in a well-designed and well-built packaged. Since then, it continues to offer buyers a practical seven-passenger crossover that handles well and offers many convenience and tech features. Despite its aging powertrain and lackluster fuel economy, the 2014 CX-9 remains a viable choice because of its generous interior space, well-built cabin, and comfortable ride. In a 2013 First Test, we noted that despite its athleticism, "the CX-9's ride is never punishing," and has a "perfectly weighted and direct steering, and confidence-inspiring suspension" that is "befitting of a much smaller vehicle." However, the CX-9's infotainment lags behind the competition with a small touch screen with a low resolution and "frustrating controls" when entering addresses in the navigation system.

You'll Like

  • Great handling for a large crossover
  • Good value
  • Tight turning circle

You Won't Like

  • Lackluster fuel economy
  • Small touch screen
  • Finicky navigation controls

Key Competitors

  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Ford Explorer
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Kia Sorento


4 star


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