The largest vehicle in the lineup, the 2014 CX-9 is a mid-size SUV that seemingly towers over its Mazda brethren in size and maturity, yet behind the wheel feels just as sprightly and acts just as juvenile as the rest of the Zoom-Zoom family. This is not a bad thing. Product upgrades for the 2014 model year for the seven-passenger, three-row mid-size sport utility vehicle include new color options, a new 20-inch wheel design and the availability of Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
“Mazda’s flagship SUV has always been a formidable segment competitor,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “A resilient mid-size SUV, the 2014 CX-9 continues to offer discerning consumers unrivaled driving dynamics, dependable safety and athletic design appeal.”
Unmistakably Mazda, the 2014 CX-9 has evolved into a dramatic yet refined design, like the grown-up in an expensive suit but sans expensive tie. Available in three trim levels – Sport, Touring and Grand Touring – CX-9 is not one to discriminate and offers all consumers a mid-size SUV that delivers on dynamics and content as well as provides all occupants a front-row seat to sophistication and comfort.
The KODO design language exudes aggression and grace, energy and poise, strength and elegance. Mazda’s most expressive design theme yet, KODO captures the fluidity of movement – while standing still. The unfiltered refinement of the CX-9 further vocalizes this with the precisely etched features in its front-end and rear-facing appeal. From the slight snarl of the five-point front grille and its chrome outline that points deftly and defined into eagle-eyed head lamps to the commanding calm of the rear taillights overseeing a masculine landscape that develops into the redesigned robust plateau of the rear bumper, no one said utilitarian had to be ugly.
The fog lights sync with the KODO-esque attributes of the front fascia as do the dual rear exhaust pipes. The overall stature of the CX-9 continues to be one of prominence and luxury with strong 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in P245/60R18 all-season tires fitting perfectly under brawny fender arches. For Grand Touring models, newly designed 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels dusted in a satin chrome finish are paired with P245/50R20 all-season rubbers.
The steeply raked windshield further accentuates the vehicle’s agile ability and continues the course into an expansive roofline that ostensibly dares you to load it with any amount of rooftop cargo. A number of optional roof rack systems can be had courtesy of the standard roof rails. A body colored rear spoiler is standard, too. The large-view side and rear windows form an open and modern greenhouse as well as provide outward visibility from all seating positions.
The 2014 CX-9 is available in six shades including Crystal White Pearl, Liquid Silver, Zeal Red, Meteor Gray as well as two new colors in Jet Black and Blue Reflex.
Well Crafted, Versatile Interior
Under the CX-9’s sleek exterior is an interior with the mettle to impress consumers who expect nothing less than spaciousness, functionality and premium content from every SUV on their shopping lists. Sitting on a 113.2-inch wheelbase, the CX-9 offers a lot of length for design minds to play and with an overall width of 76.2 inches comes a roomy interior for seven adults to reap the rewards. Its organized and efficient interior layout also is replete with richly crafted touch points.
Without a moonroof, passenger volume is a generous 139.4 cubic feet. Headroom is top hat-worthy at 39.6 inches in the front row with 39.0 and 35.4 inches available in the second and third rows, respectively. When moonroof equipped, the skylight reduces the space by 1.7 cubic feet to a still comfortable 137.7 cubic feet. The front row features a headache-free 38.4 inches of headroom. The second- and third-row dimensions remain unchanged. Legroom is measured at a stretchable 40.9 inches in the front row, 39.8 inches in the second and 32.4 inches in the third.