Flash Drive

2023 Mazda CX-9

Model Tested: 2023 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD

The Mazda CX-9 is a handsomely styled mid-size SUV that looks good from all angles.

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

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

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

Base Price: $48,460

As Tested: $50,455

With excellent driving characteristics the Mazda CX-9 is at home on all types of roads and weather conditions.


Standard AWD

Smooth highway ride

Better driving dynamics than most SUVs

Firm but supple suspension

Very good cornering control

Console switch for Sport mode

Reasonable fuel economy–our best was 24.6-mpg

Acceptable acceleration but best in Sport mode


Comfy, well-appointed interior

The CX-9 Signature model has a second row with luxurious Captain’s Chairs and a large center console.

Supportive seats

Stretch-out front legroom

Driver and front passenger power lumbar support

Heated and ventilated front seats (3 temps)

Excellent range for tilt/telescopic column

Medium thick slightly contoured heated leather wheel

Auxiliary controls better than most Mazda steering wheels

Head up display

Third row access is aided by sliding second row seats but the row is best suited to children.

Deluxe second row heated Captain’s Chairs

Excellent second row legroom

Second row HVAC controls

Tight third row seating


Big flat cargo area

Wide opening no lift-over

Wide storage bin under cargo deck

Small to medium console bin

Non-locking medium size glovebox

The hands free power rear lift gate is a handy feature.

Large sun visors

Double seatback storage pouches

Deep second row console bin with slide out drawer

WOW Factors:

Handsome, sharp styling

High quality interior materials

Limo-like second row Captain’s Chairs


Engine buzzy when pushed

Small sunroof

Folded Captain’s Chairs limit cargo capacity

Front row space, comfort and controls access are all excellent.

Bottom Line:

The 2023 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD is the largest and most luxurious iteration of the excellent Mazda SUV lineup. It features the crisp relatively timeless Mazda styling that makes its age hard to pinpoint which is a resale plus. The second row Captain’s Chairs provide limo-like room and comfort but third row seating is best for kids. The standard equipment list is long and comprehensive with excellent safety features. The luxury content and execution of the Signature Edition is competitive with many higher priced SUVs.