We’re well acquainted with Mazda’s three row crossover, the CX-9. A 2015 model spent 14 hard driving months and 28,000 miles in our Long Term fleet. And now,  a new generation CX-9 has arrived, so this 2016 model is both familiar and progressive.

Starting with the exterior, where it now falls in line with the rest of Mazda’s offerings and adheres to their sleek “Kodo” Soul of Motion design. That includes the sharp lines in the grille work and throughout the body. But, our biggest gripe with the old CX-9 was its outdated interior. It’s now quite luxurious, very modern, again favoring other Mazdas, with far more hi-tech features, like a head up display, and a big 8 inch infotainment screen.  

Space inside has grown overall, with 2.2 inches more wheelbase. Yet, overall length is down by 1.2 inches. The second row seats slide and recline, and there’s easier access to the 3rd row. But, legroom there is reduced to child size.

Still, the number one bullet point on “what’s really new” is the powertrain…

BRIAN ROBERTS: “So the biggest news of the all-new CX-9 is that there’s no 6 cylinder offered anymore. What is available is a 2.5 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder. Now it doesn’t make a ton of horsepower, but it doesn’t really need to. What it does have a lot of is low-end torque. It really reminds me of a diesel engine.”

JOHN DAVIS: This new four, the first to use turbocharging in Mazda’s SKYACTIV line, delivers 250 horsepower on Premium fuel. But its 310 lb-ft of torque is the most impressive part. It’s 6-speed automatic, with paddle shifters, channels that grunt to front or all-wheel drive.

Safety hi-tech highlights include lane keeping assist and automatic braking.

On sale now, the 2016 Mazda CX-9 starts just under $33,000.


  • Engine: 2.5 liter
  • Price: Starts just under $33,000
  • Horsepower: 250