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2014 Mazda CX-9 – Family Comfort & Vehicle Dependability

by TerriAnn
2014 Mazda CX-9 7-Passenger Family SUV Review #Cars


2014 Mazda CX-9 7-Passenger Family SUV Review #Cars

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 grows on you, well, at least it did on me. If you’re familiar with Mazda’s cars and their reliability, then you’ll be happy to know the CX-9 feels just like that . . . only bigger. This 7-passenger SUV has just the right amount of head, hip, and leg space in all three rows BUT it still manages to maneuver like a compact sedan.

2014 Mazda CX-9 A Worthy Contender

From the outside, the CX-9 is tasteful yet unassuming. If you have older family members, they’ll love that the doors open SUPER wide and they don’t need to climb to get in or out. Hey, even this aging body mine appreciates that!

2014 Mazda CX-9 7-Passenger Family SUV Review #Cars

Can you please an almost 6′ adult man can fit fine in the most rear row of seats? With only two seats built into the third row and a cleverly angled second row, it’s actually pretty comfy even with two adults there.

This was kind of hard to photograph though and we had plenty of strange looks from people passing by thinking, “Why are two adults sitting in the back row of a car with no driver and all the doors open?!” Out of all the SUVs we’ve tested, I think this was the one we were most impressed with size-wise.

2014 Mazda CX-9 7-Passenger Family SUV Review #Cars

The cargo area is very spacious with the third row collapsed. It has some nice cubbies and is complete with a variety of tools in case of emergency. It’s also the home of a very sweet Bose subwoofer. Any audiophiles in the family?

2014 Mazda CX-9 7-Passenger Family SUV Review #Cars

The instrument cluster above the steering wheel? It’s just so pretty to look at. The white, green, blue, and reds are refreshing, especially compared the blaring neon colors some cars light up with.

2014 Mazda CX-9 7-Passenger Family SUV Review #Cars

The rest of the interior finish is equally as nice but I wouldn’t call it luxurious at all. This is actually a good thing. When you are toting around your family, things that are too fancy tend to feel over-the-top and get ruined pretty quickly.

Speaking of controls, everything is easy to identify and get to. This seems to be common among non-US cars – why is that? Are just used to having an over-abundance of options that we can’t fit 5 functions into one button? Anyway, Mazda also makes the functional features nice to look at. Frans loved the simplicity of pressing the defrost button, which automatically switched the A/C on and activated the upper vents. It just made so much sense!

A Sad Oversight

The only exception is the MONSTROUS middle console in the front. Something must have gone wrong in the assembly line because this does not seem to belong in this car. The height alone can be a bit cumbersome while driving but you do get used to it. I only wish the space was used better here, maybe for wider seats or more wiggle room. It also has a weird split top that knocks your arm if left open. At least they have some nice tech options and rear ventilation included.

2014 Mazda CX-9 7-Passenger Family SUV Review #Cars

When it comes to the ride, it’s pretty good overall. The engine does seem a bit sluggish when accelerating but there’s definitely some kick when you need to punch it. The turning radius is great and, as I mentioned earlier, it’s as easy to handle as a car half its size. Parking is a breeze with the CX-9. Again, there’s no room for pets in the back when the third row is up. However,  I don’t think they’d mind riding shotgun anyway.


The 2014 Mazda CX-9 is really great contender as a mid-priced family SUV. It handled great on a 2-hour trip to Yuba City and back. If it wasn’t for the oversized middle console and slow acceleration, it’d be two thumbs up from me all around.

For more reviews & car-related tips, visit my automotive site for women & families, DrivingMamas.com.

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Penelope Guzman (NYC Blogger) January 30, 2014 - 10:49 am

This is easily one of my favorite cards, and I’m deciding with this and the Kia for our family SUV

Theresa @ Faith and Family Reviews January 30, 2014 - 3:11 pm

Sounds like a great car, I love the color and my husband would love the subwoofers!

Ty @ Mama of 3 Munchkins January 30, 2014 - 8:29 pm

This car looks amazing and I love how much space it has!

Robin Gagnon January 30, 2014 - 9:13 pm

I like a center console, but yeah, this one does look a little big

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell January 30, 2014 - 9:13 pm

That’s a really thorough review and it’s good that you checked out the back seat size and legroom like that. It’s an easily overlooked thing but is super important.

Tammy January 31, 2014 - 11:58 pm

Great perspective to check out the seating in the third row with adults. I’m really tiny so sitting in the rear is not usually an issue for me, but my husband is also 6′ and has long legs and usually finds it squishy sitting in any vehicle in the back.

Becca @ Mama B February 2, 2014 - 6:59 pm

SUCH a swoon-worthy car!

Toni February 2, 2014 - 7:41 pm

That’s a really luxurious car!

Mickey February 2, 2014 - 8:09 pm

This looks a lot roomier than I would have thought. Very nice!

Lolo February 2, 2014 - 10:47 pm

We have an older model and love it. My only complaint is the fabric on the seats are not easy to clean.

Shell Feis February 3, 2014 - 2:06 pm

We used to have the CX-7, which is pretty similar, We liked it but I think this one is prettier!

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