Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

2012 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD Review

Full-Size Family SUV

A three-quarter front view of a 2012 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD

In short: A smart and spacious 7-passenger crossover.

This seven-passenger vehicle is great for families — although performance-minded parents will also get a kick out of the CX-9's sporty demeanor and smooth handling. Featuring direct response steering, this full-size crossover is super easy to drive. And with an athletic 3.7-liter V6 that generates 273 horsepower, it's surprisingly fun, as well.

Inside, the Mazda CX-9 provides plenty of practical features like middle-row seats that slide independently, allowing owners to maximize space. There is also a great DVD entertainment system for those sitting in the second row, keeping kids entertained and parents happy. Those in search of top-of-the-line safety features will appreciate the Mazda CX-9's three-row curtain side airbags and blind spot monitoring system, even though rear visibility is good. Unfortunately, we were less than impressed with this sporty-but-thirsty crossover's fuel economy. During our time driving the CX-9 around town, we earned just 14 mpg — slightly less than the EPA's 16 mpg estimate. However, if you can get past the hefty gas consumption, the Mazda CX-9 nonetheless makes for a fun, family-friendly vehicle.

Related Content:
Mazda CX-9 Sport
Watch a video of the Mazda CX-9
Top 10 Crossovers

Warranty/Service: 36-month/36,000-mile "bumper-to-bumper" warranty; 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty; 24-hour roadside assistance

Base Price: $34,780 / As Tested: $40,850

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, all-wheel drive, 7-passenger, 4-door crossover
Engine: 3.7-liter V6 engine
Horsepower: 273 hp @ 6,250 rpm
Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with sport shift mode

Curb weight:
4,546 lbs
Wheelbase: 113.2 in
Length/Width/Height: 200.2/76.2/68 in
Turning circle: 37.4 ft

Brakes: 4-wheel disc brakes; ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist
Suspension: independent MacPherson strut front; independent multi-link rear
Traction: dynamic stability control with traction control; roll stability control

Top Speed: 118 mph (governor limited)
0-60 mph: 7.8 seconds

EPA City: 16 mpg
EPA Highway: 22 mpg

Safety: driver and front passenger front airbags; side-impact airbags; side-impact air curtains with rollover protection

Likes: pleasing all around

Dislikes: price getting up there; mpg


Check out other Mazda models
See all of our Automobile Reviews
Visit the Mazda website

Photography: AlphaMedia

PNW111411 (Updated: 12/06/11 NW)

The kinds of movies made for foodies, including classics such as Like Water for Chocolate and newer releases like Chef and Ratatouille.

We taste-tested several brands to help you find the best kombuchas on the market and the results are delicious. Bottoms up!