On the hunt for a new 7 to 8 passenger SUV has been fun! It’s also been time consuming. If there was a machine that would just build the perfect automobile for me, grabbing features from various car manufacturers, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But alas, there is no such machine, so I must take the time to really test drive, research and strategize on just what the best car is for my family.
Mazda trusted me with a 2017 Grand Touring CX-9 for a whole 7 days. This particular trim has a MSRP of $40,470 starting out the gate. When I got home from work, there was a beautiful, sparkling white full size SUV sitting in my drive way. I couldn’t wait to run inside the house and grab the keys. Upon first inspection, this car was BAD, and I mean that in a good way. The silver trim accented on the snow white exterior was top notch. I thought I’d get a darker colored version, because I wanted the red clay tan leather interior that I’d seen in other models, but the light tan leather in this white version made it feel even more light and airy. I loved it. When I looked at the interior, I knew it would take a bit to get used to. As with other Mazda’s in the CX series, the cockpit was something like a star ship enterprise. The buttons and dials were centered around the driver, giving them more ease of use.
Once I was acclimated with the inside of the SUV, I took her for a ride. Yep, it’s a her, I looked under the hood! 😉
Now, I’m not a professional race car driver, but my husband claims I am auditioning to be one every time I get on the road. I can’t help it. I like speed. So I was more than happy when I pulled off my driveway and realized what I’d be working with. This car has some real get up! I actually looked forward to merging on to traffic because I knew I’d be able to zip right on to the road. There was no hesitance, no choking, not noticeable gear shift change, just “pewwwwwwn”. I hope that is technical enough for you.
Once I was back home, I threw in the baby’s car seat and we cruised the beltway. The next day we had to take my daughter to camp. This was the perfect opportunity for me to see how it stacked up with other SUVs in it’s class. I had to pack all 6 members of my family AND pack her luggage and other various items. Would this car hold up to the test? Yep! It did. The kids fit in perfectly. While the 3rd is not as large as I need for my older two kids, it definitely was enough space for my 7 year old. She had no complaints about the spacing in the back row. Plus the 2nd row tilting and sliding made it a breeze for the kids to access the third row easily.
I used the navigation system to get us to the camp site, which included some off road terrain. I put the address into my phone as well, using the WAZE app to see if the SUV would give me a similar route. The navigation gave me a better, more direct route. That’s impressive!
There were a few areas of improvement that you don’t realize until you have kids, but they wanted their voices heard, so here are things they’d like Mazda to consider:
We can’t charge our phones/tablets!
⦁ More USB ports; particularly in the back
⦁ Mazda has placed second row USB ports in the arm rest of the second row. With my kids occupying the entire second row, accessibility was an issue
It’s hot in here!
⦁ Auto start; my kids are spoiled and don’t like waiting for the car to cool down
⦁ Mazda does offer this option for mobile devices with their Mazda Mobile Start program. This does require a subscription….and a smartphone.
⦁ Air vents in the ceiling; more vents for the third row. My 7 year complained every time that she couldn’t feel the air conditioning
We can’t watch SpongeBob!
⦁ Unfortunately, the 2017 CX-9 does not offer an entertainment package. That means no DVDS for the long car rides. Our suggestion is to stay charged up and bring a few tablets to keep the kids occupied. Or play the license plate game!!
All in all, this car was really great to drive. I’ve had a few parents recommend the CX-9 to me, as they know I am searching for a new vehicle. I’ve always told them I didn’t think it would work for our family because of its size. While it may not work completely because of the 3rd row seat, I honestly couldn’t find too much else wrong with it. This car was also husband approved!
Have you tried the Mazda CX-9? What did you think?
One notable thing I’d like to mention is that Mazda is currently providing gift cards to charities of your choice, by way of the Mazda Drive For Good program. You can donate them to the charity of your liking. I was given a $25 gift card when the car was delivered, and I found it so fitting considering my daughter was headed off to a camp geared towards kids with type 1 diabetes. Her camp works tirelessly to collect funding for the camp each year. They provide scholarships to the kids that can’t afford to attend, and out of the very few diabetic camps in the area, this one is my daughter’s favorite.