Personal Review: Mazda CX-9

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TheWeasel, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. TheWeasel

    TheWeasel Guest

    Yesterday a friend and I went to test drive a Mazda CX-9 as we had forms to get a $25 Circuit City gift card for trying one (we also went to a Ford dealers next door to test drive a Focus for a $50 Best Buy gift card but they didn't want us to put miles on it if we weren't gonna buy and they were busy so they just signed our forms and we headed to the Mazda dealership). After filling out a test drive form the lady gave us the key card for a fully loaded CX-9.

    The throttle was jumpy off the line with a decent amount of get up and go but the 3.7 liter V-6, 273 hp/270 lbs-ft engine struggled in passing maneuvers. The AWD was horrid and I put the entire thing totally sideways and almost crashed it into a ditch on a snowy driveway in the woods after giving it just a little gas around a corner. The ABS sucked big time and the entire vehicle slid about 50ft after slamming on the brakes at just a bit under 20mph on a snow covered driveway. The 6-speed auto shifted fine in normal mode but in sport mode it shifted really hard and slowly when pushed. Lots of body lean when changing lanes and the 20" rims and tires didn't help that and it rode like a boat. The vehicle felt like a real pig and was a bit hard to see out of when changing lanes. Gas mileage wasn't great for a V6 at 22 highway and 15 city.

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    All black with black leather interior. The seats were decently comfortable but the passenger seat only had 4-way seats and the drivers seat only got the added tilt setting (no lumbar support control either). Window controls couldn't be reached without leaning forward in my seat (I'm 5'10") and you really had to lean for the side view mirror controls which makes adjusting them really difficult. Dash gauges were fairly easy to read but everything became very hard to read and dark when you turned on the headlights during the day even with the brightness turned all the way up. Steering wheel felt good and fit and finish was pretty good. The vehicle has one of those cards that you keep in your pocket to start the car but you still have a key like area to turn to start it. Why couldn't they just have a press button start which would be much easier and classy. It was hard to rest your elbow on the door rest or center console while holding the wheel (just the tip of my elbow reached on either side) which wasn't very comfortable. The driver didn't have much foot room although the passenger side did. The large center console (which did have an aux input and power connection inside it) didn't leave much knee room which would really suck on long trips. The rear power lift gate was nice as was the 3rd row fold down seating which was fairly easy to access as the 2nd row seats tilted forward and slid forward but there wasn't much room for adults in the 3rd row.

    The model we test drove was the Grand Touring and had all the options including the navigation system, BOSE sound system and rear-view camera. The navigation system voice commands didn't work well and the graphics were worse then my old cell phone's GPS (3 year old phone) and looked like crap. The volume knob on the radio is a big reach for the driver (although it does have steering wheel volume) as are the buttons on the passenger side of the navigation display. The climate control info is shown on the display at the top but is too tiny to be easily read at a glance while driving and a the climate controls were complicated. The BOSE sound system sounded like crap with way too much treble even with the bass turned up and treble turned down. Rear view camera was decent quality but poorly aimed and didn't have a very wide viewing angle.

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    2008 Mazda CX-9
    Base price: $29,400; price as tested: $40,240
    Engine: 3.7 liter V-6, 273 hp/270 lbs-ft
    Transmission: Six-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
    Length x width x height: 199.6 x 76.2 x 68 in
    Wheelbase: 113.2 in
    Curb weight: 4312 lb
    Fuel economy (EPA city/hwy): 16/22 mpg
    Safety equipment: Dual front, side and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control
    Major standard features: Three-zone climate control; leather interior trim; power windows/locks/mirrors; cruise control; 18-inch wheels; tilt/telescoping steering wheel; AM/FM/CD player with MP3 capability; Bluetooth hands-free interface

    Full specs can be found here.

    Summary: Decent vehicle but not worth the $40k at all. MAYBE $30k but likely less.
     
  2. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    So, basically what I'm getting from this is you don't know how to fucking drive. You gassed it around a corner on a snowy driveway and the traction control couldn't compensate? You stomped on the brakes in the snow and the wheels locked up? Are you retarded or something?

    ABS and traction control only work if at least one wheel is gripping the ground properly, because that wheel becomes the reference point for the computer to tell how fast the car is actually moving. When you combine road tires + snow + dumbass maneuvers, all of the wheels are going to lose traction at once and the ABS and traction control systems will simply think you've come to a quick stop or you've picked up a lot of speed.

    The mentality you brought to "test-driving" that car is the same mentality that I see on the roads where I live, namely that all-wheel-drive = invincibility, and just like them you did stupid shit and (in this case, almost) smashed your new ride. If you're going to go gung-ho in snow, YOU HAVE TO HAVE SNOW TIRES. There's a reason tire companies make them. This is not complicated.

    - - -

    I will give you this, though, Mazda has no business making mid-size SUVs. It's not their forte. They only made this one because Ford owns a controlling share of them and they didn't have a choice. Until they get the ergonomics worked out, slide your seat forward; if you can't wrap your fingers around the top of the steering wheel while keeping your back pressed against the seat, your seat is too far back.
     
  3. TheWeasel

    TheWeasel Guest

    We were going less then 20mph when I gave the vehicle just a bit of gas around the corner. Any normal vehicle should have held the ground and kept on it's path but this thing spun. The braking was a test to see how quickly it stopped. The ABS didn't function well and took much longer to stop the vehicle then others I've driven in the category (RAV4, Highlander, Cayenne Turbo). I understand the reason for snow tires and I've run them on all of my cars for years. Point is that the "all-season" tires that come on a vehicle from the factory should be decent enough to not get the driver killed should there be a little snow on a road.

    In the seating position I was in, I could easily wrap my fingers around the top of the steering wheel. That still didn't change the fact that I could hardly wrest my elbow on the door or center console (the steering wheel was much closer to my chest then I normally care for too).
     
  4. LA02MAX

    LA02MAX New Member

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    My God, I don't think I've ever seen someone so negative.
     
  5. TheWeasel

    TheWeasel Guest

    I will say that it was better then the new CR-V.
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Stock tires are almost always crap. Not saying I agree with that approach, but that's the way it is. As for the car's performance, I'd almost rather the car run like complete shit in snow, so the driver will harbor no illusions at all about what will happen if they do something even slightly careless. I don't care if you're driving a tank; you can still skid and kill someone in snow, and the better the car handles up to that threshold where the tires break free, the less the driver will expect it and the more likely they'll be to panic when it does happen. AWD is for rain, mud, and gravel; nothing short of studs will really keep you safe on snow and ice, and people need to stop expecting AWD to do what it can't do.

    Whatever the case may be, I guess the CX-9 isn't your kinda car.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2008
  7. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    Its not even in the same class as a CR-V. That's like comparing a new Cobalt to a new Malibu.
     
  8. TripleLindy

    TripleLindy New Member

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    What is a good comparison is the CX9 Vs. the Dodge Journey.

    Journey has better extras, higher mpg, and more reasonable price ranges.

    Not that the CX9 is bad, but the Journey is its smoothest competitor.
     
  9. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    dodge :greddy:
     
  10. IslanderOffRoad

    IslanderOffRoad Do you even lift kit? OT Supporter

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    :rofl: how about the Toyota Highlander? Nissan Murano?

    The Journey is the same shitty Dodge components in a warmed over wrapper.
     
  11. TripleLindy

    TripleLindy New Member

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    What? Get outta town!

    Most people are Dodge haters because of their mom's brown 1992 grand caravan - the Journey is a pretty stylish crossover with tons of useful features, too. Oh - and its priced better.

    Sounds like this CX9 didn't handle well at all :wiggle:
     
  12. TripleLindy

    TripleLindy New Member

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