Flash Drive

2021 Mazda CX-9

Model Tested: 2021 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD

The 2021 Mazda CX-9 is handsomely styled and loaded with excellent comfort and safety features.

Engine: 2.5-liter I-4, 227 horsepower, 310 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 6-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive

EPA Rating: 20-mpg city, 26-mpg highway, 23-mpg combined

Base Price: $46,605

As Tested: $48,200


Strong, smooth turbocharged engine

Excellent fuel economy—our best was 27.5-mpg highway

Smooth, compliant, but not mushy highway ride

Front row space, comfort and amenities are all excellent.

Seamless engine and transmission

Smooth downshifts

Sport mode adds extra gusto

Rain sensing wipers

Excellent safety features


Excellent interior quality and comfort

Spacious front seat room

Very supportive, comfy seats on long trips

Quiet, upscale interior

Heated and cooled front seats (3 temps)

Second row seating in the Signature trim is as luxurious as the front row with Captains chairs and a large center console.

Power lumbar both front seats

Very nice, slightly contoured, smooth leather steering wheel

Good auxiliary controls

Deluxe second row seating with Captains chairs

Heated second row seats

Rear doors have pull-up sunshades


Third row seat folds flat

Limited cargo space behind third row

Small, shallow storage bin under cargo

A power lift gate leads to a flat cargo deck with good capacity when the third row seats are stowed.


Power liftgate barely clears tall people

Wide opening for cargo area

Medium non-locking glovebox

Medium size front console bin

WOW Factors:

Strong highway fuel economy for its size

Spacious, comfortable interior

Handsome, upscale styling

Great head up display

Big console/bin between second row Captains chairs

The Mazda CX-9 is an excellent touring SUV as well as a great daily commuter.

Lots of great safety features


Third row seats best for kids, not adults

Infotainment controls not very intuitive

Second row console affects cargo when seats are folded

Bottom Line:

The 2021 Mazda CX-9 is a high-content, luxurious three-row SUV that’s also an excellent value proposition. The driving dynamics are excellent. The ride is just athletic enough to be fun, but not harsh or unpleasant on long trips. The CX-9 is an excellent vacation vehicle that can

The Mazda CX-9 looks sharp from all angles.

handle a wide variety of conditions easily. The exterior styling is clean and functional, not cluttered or forced. The 2021 Mazda CX-9 is a great three-row SUV.