Buyer's Guide

2020 Mazda Cx-9
Select a Different Model (7 Available): Grand Touring AWD
Fair Market Price $ 46265
Zero to 60 7.1 seconds
MPG (EPA) 20 CTY /26 HWY
Cargo (Std/Max) 14/71 cu.ft.
See All Specs
Free Price Quote From a Local Dealer
2020 Mazda CX-9 MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Drives as good as it looks
  • Quiet, comfortable cabin
  • Active safety tech now standard

Cons

  • Not as spacious as most competitors
  • Hesitant six-speed automatic transmission
  • Lower-trim headlights don't project far ahead enough

What's New

  • Engine retuned to deliver more torque
  • Driver-assist tech now standard on all trims
  • Available second-row captain's chairs
  • Optional hands-free power rear liftgate
  • Off-road traction mode on all-wheel drive models
  • Available third-row USB ports

2020 Mazda CX-9 Overview

Mazda's flagship is the CX-9, a three-row SUV with seating for six or seven. Like all Mazda vehicles, exterior styling and upscale interior appointments are emphasized. The CX-9 has good reflexes and turbocharged power to keep its driver smiling, too. It's not as spacious as some boxy competitors, but it aims for a more stylish, comfortable, and even slightly sporty driving experience.

A full slate of upgrades and features are added to the CX-9 for 2020. Most notable is an increase in torque (when using 93-octane fuel) across the whole range. Entry-level trims get driver-assist features that were previously optional. The family-hauler can now be had with two captain's chairs in the second row, or a three-across bench. A power-operated liftgate with hands-free functionality is available, and high-end trims get two USB ports in the third row. CX-9 models equipped with all-wheel drive get an off-road traction mode.

What We Think

Every driving enthusiast grows up eventually. For many, that means letting go of a beloved machine to make space for a family hauler. But buying a three-row family SUV need not be a condemnation to boring motoring—just get a Mazda CX-9. The automaker seems to have infused some Miata character into its largest SUV.

Handling, therefore, is a CX-9 strong suit. Steering is very linear, nicely weighted, and provides good feel. The suspension is tuned to be firm yet still compliant, and keeps the chassis well composed over rough for winding roads. These make the CX-9 a fun SUV to toss around.

Low-end torque delivery from the turbocharged four-cylinder engine is strong—perhaps too strong for FWD models; it's easy to chirp the front tires away from a stop. However, the CX-9's six-speed automatic transmission feels somewhat outdated in this era of eight-speed and higher gearboxes. It keeps revs low in freeway cruising, but doesn't always downshift eagerly, requiring more planning to execute overtaking maneuvers. We found the headlights to insufficiently illuminate the road ahead.

The cabin is pleasantly insulated from the outside world, and the new availability of second-row captain's chairs makes the CX-9 more comfortable for adults—up to a certain size. Mazda's largest vehicle isn't among the largest vehicles in the segment, which benefits driving ease at the expense of outright interior volume. Subsequently, passenger and cargo capacity are relatively limited.

Regardless, the interior is smartly designed and places everything the driver needs within easy reach. Materials are mostly nice—optional leather and wood trim feels high-end but the gloss black plastic panel around the shifter quickly starts to show wear. Available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are welcome enhancements to freshen up the infotainment. Driver-assist features are appreciated standard inclusions too, but we hope Mazda relaxed the hyperactive automatic emergency braking system we experienced in earlier CX-9s.

All told, the CX-9 isn't the most capacious, rugged, or versatile three-row SUV out there. But it is among the best-looking and best to drive, while still doing well to function as an SUV should.

Performance and Fuel Economy

All Mazda CX-9 models are powered by a 2.5-liter turbo-four engine. It's rated to produce 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque on 87 octane gasoline. However, fill the tank with high-zoot 93 octane and output rises to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft. Whatever the case, the engine is joined to a six-speed automatic transmission. FWD is standard, while AWD is optional.

MotorTrend's previous all-wheel drive 2017 Mazda CX-9 Touring long-term test car accelerated from 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds.

The EPA rates 2020 CX-9 fuel economy at 22/28 mpg city/highway for FWD models, and 20/26 mpg for AWD models.

Safety

When fitted with its available upgraded LED headlights, the 2020 CX-9 earns a 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick + designation. Regardless, though, it earned top Good crashworthiness scores across the testing regimen. Its automatic emergency braking system (now standard) avoided collisions in both the 12 mph and 25 mph tests.

The NHTSA gives the CX-9 a five-star (out of five) overall safety rating, comprised of four-star frontal crash and rollover scores, and a five-star side crash score.

Mazda's full i-Activsense suite of driver-assist features is now standard across the CX-9 range. It includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Utility (Cargo Space and Interior Room)

With all three rows upright the CX-9 offers 14.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Folding the 50/50 split third row expands that to 38.2 cubic feet. With the 60/40 split second row folded, cargo capacity measures 71.2 cubic feet up to the front-row seatbacks.

Headroom and legroom in the front row measures 39.3 and 41.0 inches, respectively. In the second row, it's 38.5 and 39.4 inches. Third-row riders will have to squeeze, with just 35.4 inches of headroom and 29.7 inches of legroom.

Technology

The entry-level CX-9 model has a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen mounted on top of the dashboard, which is also controllable by a dial on the center console or voice commands. Bluetooth and HD radio, plus two USB ports, are included, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren't available. Those smartphone connectivity features only come on trims above the entry-level, which also increases the infotainment screen size to 9.0 inches. These models gain additional USB ports for second-row passengers, and two more ports for third-row passengers on the two highest trims. The two highest trims also come loaded with GPS navigation and a 7.0-inch information display in the gauge cluster. A six-speaker sound system is standard, and a 12-speaker setup is available.

Trim Levels

2020 Mazda CX-9 Sport: Mazda manages to keep the CX-9 feeling premium on entry-level Sport trim. It rolls on 18-inch gray alloy wheels, and, like all models, has chrome trim on the grille and side window surround. The lower body cladding is simple black plastic, but there's a body-color rear spoiler and dual exhaust outlets. Inside, seats are cloth-trimmed, but standard niceties include heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, rain-sensing windshield wipers, one-touch up/down power windows, three-zone automatic climate control, front-row seatback pockets, and push-button start. Remote keyless entry, steering wheel-mounted controls, and the 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen are standard.

2020 Mazda CX-9 Touring: Touring trim adds auto on/off functionality for the LED headlights. The more premium theme continues inside, particularly by way of leather-trimmed seats in the first and second row, power-adjustable front seats, frameless rearview mirror, and illuminated visor mirrors. The larger 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The three-wide second-row bench seat is standard, but the captain's chairs are optionally available.

2020 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring: The CX-9 Grand Touring trim's exterior can be distinguished by upgrades like LED fog lights, chrome-accented lower body cladding, chrome roof rails, and 20-inch alloy wheels. The windshield wipers gain a de-icer function for those frosty mornings, side mirrors have power-folding functionality, and the rear liftgate gets hands-free power operation. Inside, a moonroof is added, front seats are ventilated and heated, the steering wheel is heated, and real aluminum trim pieces plus LED accent lighting brightens up the cabin. Technology enhancements include GPS navigation, USB ports for the third row, a 360-degree view parking camera, digital gauge cluster display, and a head-up display. Second-row captain's chairs are also available on Grand Touring trim.

2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature: Range-topping Signature trim is denoted by trim-specific dark silver wheel finish, available Soul Red Crystal exterior paint, and LED grille accent lighting. All-wheel drive is standard equipment. Second-row captain's chairs are standard and are heated on this trim level only. Signature models also get a uniquely stitched steering wheel design, rosewood interior trim, and the 12-speaker audio system.

Key Competitors

2020 MAZDA CX-9 SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl Turbo 2.5 Liter SKYACTIV-G
Transmission Name
Transmission, SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode
Trim
Grand Touring AWD
Class
Full-Size Utility
Horsepower
227@5000
Standard MPG
20/26
Body Style
SUV/Crossover
Drivetrain
AWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
7/6
Package Invoice Retail

2nd-Row Captain's Chairs

INCLUDES: Head Restraints; Rear Seats, Captain's; Seatbelts, Rear; Seating, 6
N/C N/C

Cargo & Side Storage Nets Package (PIO)

$80 $100

Engine: 4-Cyl Turbo 2.5 Liter SKYACTIV-G

Std Std

Transmission, SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode

Std Std

Exterior Color, Deep Crystal Blue Mica

N/C N/C

Exterior Color, Jet Black Mica

N/C N/C

Exterior Color, Machine Gray Metallic

N/C N/C

Exterior Color, Snowflake White Pearl Mica

N/C N/C

Exterior Color, Sonic Silver Metallic

N/C N/C

Exterior Color, Soul Red Crystal Metallic

N/C N/C

Brake Assist System

Std Std

Brakes, 4 Wheel Disc w/ABS

Std Std

Electronic Brake Distribution

Std Std

Hand Brake, Electronic

Std Std

Air Conditioning: Three-Zone Climate Control

Std Std

Apps Control

Std Std

Bluetooth®

Std Std

Cargo Hooks

Std Std

Coming Home Device

Std Std

Connection To External Entertainment Devices

Std Std

Cruise/Speed Control, Adaptive

Std Std

Cup Holders, Front, Rear and 3rd Row

Std Std

Engine Start Button

Std Std

Garage Door Opener

Std Std

Hatch/Trunk Closer, Automatic

Std Std

Media Control with Wheel, Touch Screen

Std Std

Memory Adjustment

Std Std

Multi-Function Display Screen, 7.0-Inch with Wheel

Std Std

Navigaion Via Mobile Phone

Std Std

Navigation System, with SD Card and Traffic Info

Std Std

Power Locks, With Passive Access (Card Key)

Std Std

Power Outlet, 12v: Cargo Area(1), Front(1)

Std Std

Power Trunk/Hatch Pull-Down

Std Std

Power Windows

Std Std

Secondary Ventilation Controls

Std Std

Smart Card/Key

Std Std

Telematics

Std Std

Text To Speech / Speech To Text

Std Std

Trip Computer

Std Std

Trunk Release, Foot Operated

Std Std

Trunk/Hatch Release, Remote

Std Std

Ventilation System With Micro Filter

Std Std

Voice Activating System, with Radio Settings, Phone, Navigation System

Std Std

Autonomous Drive Active Lane Control (Level 2)

Std Std

Axle Ratio, 4.411

Std Std

Compass

Std Std

Electrical System, 12v

Std Std

External Temperature

Std Std

Fuel Tank, 19.5 Gallon

Std Std

Torque Vectoring Differential

Std Std

Traction Control, Electronic

Std Std

Drive: I-Activ Full and Part-Time Four-Wheel Drive with Automatic Selection AWD

Std Std

Bumpers, Front and Rear Body-Colored

Std Std

Chrome/Bright Trim, Window Surround Body Side

Std Std

Door Handles (Exterior), Chrome

Std Std

Doors, Front-Hinged Front and Rear

Std Std

Mud Flaps

CONTAINED IN: [SGB] Splash Guard Front/Rear (PIO)
Grp Grp

Privacy Glass

Std Std

Rear Door, Lifting Gate with Hands-Free Release

Std Std

Roof Rails

Std Std

Splash Guard Front/Rear (PIO)

INCLUDES: Mud Flaps
$120 $150

Spoiler, Roof

Std Std

Sunroof, Glass Power

Std Std

Window, Rear

Std Std

Windows, 3rd Row

Std Std

Windows, Rear Side

Std Std

All-Weather Floor Mats (PIO)

$160 $200

Armrest, Front Seat Center

Std Std

Blinds, Side

Std Std

Cargo Mat, Carpeted (PIO)

$80 $100

Console

Std Std

Floor Covering, Carpet In Passenger And Load Area

Std Std

Floor Mats

Std Std

Illuminated Doorsill Trim Plates (PIO)

$460 $575

Light, Cargo Area

Std Std

Luxury Trim, Alloy On Console And Instrument Panel ; Leather On Doors; Alloy & Leather On Shift Knob

Std Std

Main Dashboard Display

Std Std

Retractable Cargo Cover (PIO)

$260 $325

Steering Wheel: Heated Leather-Trimmed, Tilt Telescoping Steering Wheel

Std Std

Vanity Mirror: Illuminated Driver And Passenger Vanity Mirror

Std Std

Interior Lighting Kit (PIO)

$280 $350

LED Lights: High Beams, Daytime Running Lights, Rear Lights, Brake Lights, Low Beams, Side Indicator, Front Fog

Std Std

Reading Lights, Front

Std Std

Body-Color Heated Driver And Passenger Power Door Mirrors With Turn Signals

Std Std

Foldable Mirrors

Std Std

Rear View Mirror, Automatic

Std Std

Machine Gray Metallic Paint

$258 $300

Paint, Mica

Std Std

Snowflake White Pearl Mica Paint

$172 $200

Soul Red Crystal Mica Paint

$512 $595

Airbag, Front

Std Std

Airbag, Side

Std Std

Airbag, Side Curtain

Std Std

Airbags, 6

Std Std

Collision Warning System, Advanced Smart City Brake Support (Advanced Scbs)

Std Std

Dynamic Stability Control (Dsc)

Std Std

Front Fog Lights

Std Std

Head Restraints

CONTAINED IN: [1CC] 2nd-Row Captain's Chairs
Std Std

Headlight Control, Speed Dependant Dusk Sensor Active Headlights

Std Std

Headlights, LED

Std Std

Hill Holder

Std Std

Isofix Preparation

Std Std

Lane Departure Warning System

Std Std

Lights, Daytime Running

Std Std

Low Tire Pressure Indicator

Std Std

Overtaking Sensor, Blind Spot Monitoring

Std Std

Parking Camera, 360 Degrees

Std Std

Parking Distance Sensors, Front, Rear and Side 360 View Monitor Camera and Radar

Std Std

Passenger Assist Handles

Std Std

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Radar

Std Std

Roll Stability Control

Std Std

Seatbelts, Front

Std Std

Seatbelts, Rear

CONTAINED IN: [1CC] 2nd-Row Captain's Chairs
Std Std

Theft Deterrent System

Std Std

Windscreen Wiper/De-Icer

Std Std

Windshield Wipers, Automatic Intermittent Rain Sensor

Std Std

Driver Seat, Ventilated 10-Way Power Heated Bucket with Memory; Passenger Seat, Ventilated 6-Way Power Heated Bucket with Memory

Std Std

Rear Seats, Captain's

CONTAINED IN: [1CC] 2nd-Row Captain's Chairs
Pkg Pkg

Rear Seats, Split Bench Electric Reach 2-Way Power Heated Split Folding

Std Std

Seat Upholstery, Leather

Std Std

Seat Upholstery/Color, Black Leather

N/C N/C

Seat Upholstery/Color, Sand Leather

N/C N/C

Seat, Third Row Split Bench

Std Std

Seating, 6

CONTAINED IN: [1CC] 2nd-Row Captain's Chairs
Pkg Pkg

Seating, 7

Std Std

Audio System, Mazda Connect™ AM/FM Radio, Digital/Satellite Radio with Color Touch Screen

Std Std

Remote Audio Controls

Std Std

Twelve Bose® Speakers Subwoofer and Surround Sound

Std Std

Power Steering

Std Std

Suspension, Front Strut/Rear Multi-Link w/ Coil Springs

Std Std

Spare Tire, Limited Use w/Steel Rim

Std Std

Tires, P255/50VR20 All Season BSW

Std Std

Wheel Locks (PIO)

$52 $65

Wheels, 20" Alloy

Std Std

Wheels, Single Rear

Std Std
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
60000
Full Warranty Miles
36000
Powertrain Warranty Months
60
Full Warranty Months
36
Roadside Assistance Miles
36000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
none
Roadside Assistance Months
36
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$0 0.9% Financing availble for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 63 Months - Mazda announces APR rates on select models. 03-02-2020
$0 2.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Mazda announces APR rates on select models. 03-02-2020
$500 Mazda announces a Bonus Cash offer for active duty Military personnel. 03-31-2020
$360 Mazda announces a Lease Bonus Cash offer for a Special Lease through MCS. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 03-02-2020
$500 Mazda announces Customer Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 03-02-2020