The CX-9 is Mazda’s flagship three-row midsize utility, and 2022 saw a big enhancement across the lineup.

Like the CX-5 we recently tested, the CX-9 adds standard i-Activ all-wheel drive this time around. Unchanged is the CX-9’s single powertrain, a 2.5-liter Turbo 4-cylinder. It rates 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque on premium gas; 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft on regular grade. The drive was quiet and smooth, partially thanks to the six-speed automatic. The suspension was a little loftier than we expected, but still agile and very comfortable. It drove a tad smaller than it was, making for calming commutes.

And we were more than happy to spend time in our Signature-grade model. This is the highest trim available, packing Nappa leather seating in the first-two rows. The second-row captain’s chairs did kick total occupancy down from seven to six, but the heated surfaces and useful center console made for a plush passenger experience.

A new mid-grade Touring Plus trim adds ventilated front seats and a memory driver’s seat, a frameless rearview mirror, and gloss black elements on the outside. Second row captain’s chairs can be equipped as a no-cost option, total starting price around 43-thousand.

Classy as the Signature trim may be, we were pleased with the CX-9’s standard amenities. That includes the 10-and-a-quarter-inch infotainment screen, smartphone integration, and three-zone climate control. The rear liftgate opens up to 14.4 cubic-feet of storage, expandable to 38.2 and 71.2 cubic-feet with the third and second rows folded respectively.

Our Signature’s price starts just under fifty-thousand dollars, but an entry CX-9 Sport starts near forty-thousand dollars. Even at its entry level, the 2022 Mazda CX-9 covers a lot of ground in the segment.

And we’ll have more Quick Spins… soon!