The CX-9 is a stylish mid-size "Crossover" from Mazda. The sleek design is a carryover from 2007, shown here.
The 2008 CX-9 offers full size SUV features in a generally smaller package. It comes in three trim levels; Sport, Touring, and the Grand Touring, like our test car.
Each trim level includes the same up-swept front-end treatment, large rounded wheel openings and sculpted rear lift-gate. The top of the line Grand Touring model adds such touches as chrome body accents, fog lamps and Xenon headlights as well as 20 inch alloys wheels.
The power train, a sport-tuned 3.7 Liter, 273 horsepower V6 drives either the front wheels or all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
The EPA rates this power plant at 16 City/22 Highway for the front wheel drive model and 15 City/21 Highway for the All Wheel Drive setup.
Braking is provided by 17-inch ventilated ABS discs at all four corners supplemented by Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.
One of the principal reasons for owning an SUV is its passenger/cargo carrying capability. With its second and third row seats in the up position, the CX-9 can seat as many as 7 passengers. Fold down the split rear seats and you have a generous 100 plus cubic feet of cargo space.
Our Grand Touring CX-9 came with the leather trimmed interior that also included the multi-function adjustable steering wheel, power adjustable front seats, power moon roof and up-rated Bose 10-speaker sound system as well as the optional DVD based navigation system.
The '08 Mazda CX-9 offers plenty of safety features. Interior passengers are protected by a full compliment of airbags including 2nd and 3rd row side curtain air bags and roll-over protection.
MSRP for the Base Front Wheel Drive Sport trim level is $29,400 with the Grand Touring All Wheel Drive model carrying a base sticker of $34,655 Mazda warranties the CX-9 for 3 years or 36,000 miles.
If your automotive requirements include substantial passenger and cargo carrying capability in an all-purpose SUV, the Mazda CX-9 Crossover should be on your short list.