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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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