While the long-terming Limited variant was in for routine maintenance last week, I got a chance to drive the base GS for a while. Admittedly, you will not miss the difference in the overall ambience and materials used when you jump into the GS straight from the fully-specced top trim. However, having spent a couple of hours behind its wheel, I can tell you with conviction I was right about this being a real value for money proposition.  The driving experience is the same, albeit with a few less driver aids and features. As an added advantage, especially in this weather, it comes with fabric seats, which are equally supportive and comfortable.

So if your budget for a three-row SUV is just about Dh125,000, the CX-9 GS is arguably your best bet.

This week, I noticed a few negative aspects of our long-termer though. The first is fuel consumption. When we received it, the figure was around 11 litres per 100km. It has been steadily going up, with the gauge at 13.6 litres per 100km this week. For a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, this is not a good figure at all. And mind you, the car isn’t always in bumper-to-bumper traffic. This average is from a good mix of highways and city commutes.

The other minor, though nagging issue is the front wheel arch curving right into the footwell, making it difficult to find a proper resting position for your left foot on long cruises. A minor ergonomic flaw, nevertheless I thought it’s worth highlighting.

Apart from these few points, we’re still loving this Mazda, and not liking the fact that next week is its last here. 


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