2016 Mazda CX-9

300-mazda2016absolutely! AUTO REVIEW | By Steve Kursar –

The all-new 2016 Mazda CX-9 is the answer for a soccer Mom – or Dad – who needs the seating and the space to get the team to practice but can’t see themselves driving a minivan. This vehicle both looks and drives smaller than it is. The small but peppy engine also makes it more fuel efficient than others in its segment.

This 2016 model is only the second generation CX-9 that Mazda produced. The first generation appeared in 2006, and because Mazda was partially owned by Ford Motor Company at the time, the original CX-9 ended up sharing a platform with its Ford cousins, the Edge and Fusion. In 2008, Ford started to shed most of its interest in Mazda, and now, the Japanese company develops its own vehicles. The new CX-9 is built on a Mazda developed platform that is both longer and lighter.

With a base MSRP of $31,520, the Mazda CX-9 is only offered with one engine, the SKYACTIV-G 227 hp, 2.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder powerplant that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine is smaller than ones in competitive vehicles, which translates into some of the better fuel economy in its segment. EPA fuel economy estimates are 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

The CX-9’s exterior is sleek and stylish with the large Mazda grill, giving it a distinctive look. The interior is remarkably roomier than it looks from the outside and is designed to envelop the passengers so the dashboard wraps around to the rear seats. There is a third row, but it’s really only fit for small children. The fit and finish is spectacular, and the upscale Signature trim puts the CX-9 into the near-luxury category with Nappa leather and rosewood trim. There is an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation direction directly onto the windshield, allowing the driver no need to look away from the road.

New Mazda vehicles are definitely looking to attract buyers who want to drive a refined and stylish vehicle but aren’t willing to spend the premium to move up to a luxury brand, and the all-new CX-9 is an example of just that direction Mazda is taking. If you’re looking for a family hauler that will get you noticed in the carpool lane, then this one must be on your new car shopping list.

Follow Steve Kursar at KursarOnCars.blogspot.com.