“Indulge personal desires while satisfying rational needs for a practical, all-weather vehicle.” This is the core of Mazda’s stated values for the CX-9 SUV. Well, I know there’s a lot of incongruence in that sentence. Indulgence, rationality and practicality don’t generally coexist. Or at least that’s what a common man’s humdrum life teaches you. However, Mazda seems to believe these attributes can go hand in hand. Apparently, their flagship SUV has been designed and developed around bringing about this unlikely union in one vehicle. The values are based on four essential principles. These are Personal Aspiration, Effortless Transition, Easy Parenting, and Couple’s Retreat.

As we often encounter in today’s world that’s run by marketers, such stated values often end up being tall claims that aren’t backed up in the end product. This week we look at how well the CX-9 lives up to these core principles. The first one, Personal Aspiration, is defined as a “gratifying self-expression that’s as nice to look at and sit in as it is to drive.” I don’t need to tell you how good looking the CX-9 is. It’s a design that has drawn universal praise and attracts attention like no other non-premium SUV does. It’s well-appointed inside, comfortable and good to drive, especially considering its relatively large dimensions. So the first box is checked without a problem.

The second one, Effortless Transition, seeks to offer ease of switching between “personal, family, and professional endeavours.” With its superb turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, excellent utility features, and sporty yet elegant styling, the CX-9 meets all the criteria that each of these three separate roles could demand.

Now, anyone who has raised at least one child will agree that Easy Parenting is a myth. That concept simply doesn’t exist. Mazda would like you to believe easy third row access, and flexible second row seating will make parenting easy. While it’s true that these features are available, the CX-9 does not bring anything new or groundbreaking to the equation. It’s only as good as most of its rivals in the segment. And if there is one vehicle that actually makes parenting a bit easy while on the road, it is the Honda Odyssey. And despite its versatility, the CX-9 doesn’t do that as well.

The last value, Couples Retreat, is vague at best, stating that an “intricate design, indulgent interior ambience, and fine craftsmanship” help the CX-9 offer an atmosphere parents can enjoy. This seems to be just reiterating the other three values. Although it appears redundant to me, it nevertheless checks that box!

The CX-9 does succeed to a great extent in living up to the promises the brand’s marketers have made. Whether you care for its values or not, the CX-9 is one of the best models in its class.