Mainstream mid-size SUV segment is packed with offers in the US, and fact that it barely eaxists in Europe doesn’t seem to bother it at all. From brands offering two (Hyundai) to the ones with even three products (Ford), from the stuff that accelerates in the same realm as supercars (Trackhawk) to the stuff that no nature can overwhelm (Wrangler), and from things that looks berserk (Murano) to the ones completely dull (Atlas). So, how could an SUV make itself visible among endless stream of rivals? Well, by nailing almost every aspect that you could cherish on your transportation device. That is exactly what 2018 Mazda CX-9 does.
2018 MAZDA CX-9 EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR
First of all, largest Mazda’s SUV carries enough elegance and sophistication in its posture that almost none of the rivals can match. Sure, if you are more into masculinity, Grand Cherokee or Durango are the better fit, but as far as visual tastefulness goes this Japanese SUV checked the box big time.
Interior just follows the suit. Level of fit and finish, quality of used materials and sense of the refinement surpass the belonging segment, putting CX-9 somewhere halfway toward where premium badges reside. 7 or optional 8-inch infotainment system is easy to use, responsive both to touch and knob controller, but sluggish in response and still in lacking Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The cabin is spacious as long as you don’t wonder all the way at back, making that only nagging flaw in otherwise almost perfect SUV. Third-row bench is as small as it can get for the segment, mid row captain’s chairs are not an option and boot comes as inferior compared to most rivals.
2018 MAZDA CX-9 SPECS
If you expect us now to talk about naturally aspirated V6, you’ll be wrong. Japanese maker chose a different approach and offered turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Of, fine, turbo L4 are becoming more and present in the segment lately, but Mazda decided to offer nothing above in the case of CX-9. Foolish decision? Not so much. Mentioned petrol unit produces 250 hp and 310 lb-ft at fairly low 2000 rpm and paired with the 6-speed automatic it takes 7.1 seconds to 60 mph (with AWD).
That puts it in the middle around V6 powered rivals, but 24 mpg combined of fuel efficiency evidently surpass them all. Furthermore, turbocharged mill delivers power in linear fashion and turbo lag is hard to find, leaving little room for “lack of cylinders” sorrow to develop. But, now we come to the best part. CX-9 can pull 0.83 g on the skidpad and it stops from 60 mph in just 129 feet. Still, figures tell only half of the story. This fairly large SUV is by far most agile, precise and most determined crossover in its segment when confronted with any type of straight road’s deviations. Driving pleasure is hard to find on these premises, yet this thing offers it in bulks.
|2018 Mazda CX-9 Specs|
|Dimensions And Weight|
|Engine And Transmission|
|Power/torque||250 hp/310 lb-ft|
|0-60 mph||7.1 seconds|
|Top speed||113 mph|
|PRICE RANGE: $32k – $44k
|Competitors:Honda Pilot,Toyota Highlander 2.7,Toyota Highlander V6,|
WRAPPING IT UP
So, this is one of the best-looking specimens existing there, “the” best handling (non-luxury) mid-size SUV, vastly superior to most of the rivals with cabin’s luxury appointments, and at the end decently frugal once at the pump. If all this praise cause forgetfulness about the space issues at the far back, please allow us to put another layer of the cream atop of it. G-Vectoring control is standard fare for 2018, making already light-footed SUV even more nimble, along with no-cost automated emergency braking (just for low speeds), rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring, which usually asks extra cash or push you into higher trims. 2018 Mazda CX-9 starts at $32k, while top Signature trim doesn’t break the bank with $44k while letting you indulge in gorgeous Nappa leather and genuine Rosewood veneers.
Written by Djordje (George) Mijatov ([email protected])