The CX-9 has always been one of our favourite three-row SUVs. We have found the Mazda to dynamically better than competitors like the Honda Pilot and the Ford Explorer. The six weeks that we spent with the long-terming SUV has served to strengthen this opinion. We can conclusively say the Mazda CX-9 still remains the most engaging vehicle to drive in its class and price range.

It looks strikingly good, is very well-appointed inside, comfortable and good to drive. The steering is light and easy, and the turning radius is good for a vehicle of this size. It is a great mix of elegance and practicality and proves great for office commutes as well as weekend getaways. A turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, good for 230bhp and 420Nm, takes the place of the more powerful yet less torquey 3.7-litre V6. While throttle response is better, the new engine has a slightly coarser note that seeps into the cabin, especially when you accelerate. And as I mentioned in the last report, the downsizing does not seem to pay dividends in the form of fuel savings.

But all that can be forgiven when you consider the host of features that the CX-9 offers. These include radar-based adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and prevention, correction, adaptive headlights, smart brake support, front, side and curtain airbags, rain-sensing wipers, and a head-up display, among others.

As the CX-9 leaves the wheels garage, I reiterate what I said about it back in 2016. It’s one of the best looking seven-seater SUVs around, and deserves to be at the very top of your list of prospective family SUV choices. 


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