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2015 Mazda CX-9: What You Need to Know

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/14/2015 Stefan Ogbac
2015 Mazda CX-9© Mazda 2015 Mazda CX-9

New for 2015

The 2015 Mazda CX-9 is unchanged.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Mazda CX-9 is a three-row crossover available in front or all-wheel-drive configurations. The only powertrain offered is a 3.7-liter V-6 with 273 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is acceptable at 17/24 mpg city/highway in front-drive guise and 16/22 mpg with all-wheel-drive, but is lagging behind competitors that have been refreshed with new, more fuel-efficient powertrains.


Acceleration is strong in the 2015 Mazda CX-9, with the V-6 never feeling underpowered when performing passing or merging maneuvers. Handling is good for such a large crossover, with great steering feel and a taut suspension that inspires driver confidence. Ride quality remains excellent despite the crossover's driving dynamics, making it a viable for long drives.

Interior space in the 2015 CX-9 is good for the first and second rows, while the third is cramped for adults and best reserved for children. Cargo room, on the other hand, is generous with up to 110.6 cubic feet of volume with the second and third rows folded. The infotainment system is easy to use and logical while the optional Bose audio system provides good quality sound. However, the car's TomTom based navigation system is slightly frustrating and feels dated with its small 5.8-inch touchscreen and is locked out when in motion, leaving voice command as the only way to control it.

The NHTSA gave the 2015 Mazda CX-9 a three- star frontal crash and a four-star rollover safety score (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS evaluations, the 2014 model earned a good rating on two categories, marginal on roof strength and head restraints and seats, and poor in the small overlap front test (good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

Despite its age, the 2015 Mazda CX-9 is a viable choice with a spacious cabin and surprising driving dynamics for such a large vehicle. In a 2012 First Test review, we said that the car has plenty of power from its V-6 engine, and has little body roll thanks to a taut chassis that allows it to "glide around corners." Where the car falls behind is in-car technology due to its dated infotainment system with a touchscreen that is on the small side. Additionally, in a 2013 First Test review, we noted that the available navigation system can get frustrating to use and can only be operated using voice command while on the move.

Years ago, the Mazda CX-9 was the Motor Trend 2008 SUV of the Year.

You'll Like

  • Good handling for a large vehicle
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Cavernous interior

You Won't Like

  • Cramped third row
  • Dated infotainment system
  • Poor fuel economy

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Highlander
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Ford Explorer
  • Dodge Durango
  • Hyundai Santa Fe


3 star


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