2017 Mazda CX-9 AWD (Tour­ing) William Walker

Motor Trend (USA) - - Update | Long - Term Test -

Af­ter count­less road trips, photo shoots, and week­end er­rands and with al­most 27,000 miles on the odome­ter, my time shep­herd­ing our longterm Mazda CX-9 will soon be end­ing, and I find my­self re­flect­ing back on some of the less ex­cit­ing and ad­ven­tur­ous parts of my year of “own­er­ship.”

Dur­ing my 11 months with the CX-9, I’ve taken the ve­hi­cle in for ser­vice at my lo­cal dealer, South Bay Mazda in Tor­rance, Cal­i­for­nia, three times. At each of these ser­vices, the CX-9 has had its oil changed and tires ro­tated. Dur­ing the sec­ond ser­vice, the cabin air fil­ter was re­placed and a mi­nor is­sue with the sun­roof seal was re­paired (the lat­ter Ser­vice life 11 mo/26,345 mi

Avg CO2 0.93 lb/mi

En­ergy cons 160 kw-hr/100 mi

Un­re­solved prob­lems None

Main­te­nance cost $228.11 (2-oil change, tire ro­ta­tion, in­spec­tion; 1-air fil­ter) Nor­mal-wear cost $0 Base price $38,710

As-tested $41,105

“Ap­proach­ing the end of our year­long loan, the CX-9 still has a lot to like about it.”

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AV­ER­AGE FUEL ECON 20.8 MPG

due to user er­ror). In the course of my chap­er­on­ing pe­riod, I also picked up a nail in the CX-9’S tire, which had to be patched. All in, not in­clud­ing self-in­flicted wounds, I’ve spent $228.11 on ba­sic main­te­nance. The ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tives at South Bay Mazda have al­ways worked quickly; I would never make an au­to­mo­tive pur­chase based on my ex­pe­ri­ence with any one deal­er­ship, but it def­i­nitely helps lessen the sting when it comes to spend­ing your hard-earned money on main­te­nance.

When I hopped into the CX-9 af­ter an ab­nor­mally long stretch of out-of-state and in­ter­na­tional travel, I no­ticed that the in­te­rior was hold­ing up pretty well. For the most part, the CX-9 looks as good to­day as it did when I first got the keys 11 months ago. The leather and other soft sur­faces have with­stood the abuse a ve­hi­cle takes when it cov­ers 27,000 miles in less than a year. The one glar­ing ex­cep­tion, though, is the heav­ily scratched pi­ano black fin­ish on the cen­ter con­sole and door arm­rest. As good as pi­ano black may look in a de­sign sketch, it just doesn’t make sense to use it on a sur­face that takes so much pun­ish­ment. I would rather have more durable but less at­trac­tive tex­tured black plas­tic on those sur­faces than for it to look like a cheap pair of road-worn sun­glasses that flew out of some­one’s car onto the high­way.

With only a month or so to go with the CX-9, I’ll con­tinue to en­joy my time with it. I don’t know yet what my next long-term test ve­hi­cle will be, but what­ever it is, I hope it will pro­vide me with as much en­joy­ment as the Mazda has.

Now that it’s le­gal to buy pot in Cal­i­for­nia, I fig­ured I should give it a try. I’m re­ally not sure what the big deal is; couldn’t you al­ways buy these?

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