Mazda pumps up the new CX-9

Gor­geous three-row ve­hi­cle is fun to drive and priced right for a more high-end feel

StarMetro Vancouver - - DAILY LIFE - Sami Haj-as­saad

The three-row crossover seg­ment is al­ways a com­pet­i­tive one, and while some au­tomak­ers, like Subaru and Volk­swa­gen, are bring­ing out whole new mod­els, other com­pa­nies find them­selves re­fin­ing and per­fect­ing these fam­ily-friendly ve­hi­cles.

Take Mazda, for ex­am­ple: The CX-9 was a very good crossover when it was in­tro­duced just a few years ago, with an all-new de­sign lan­guage and pow­er­train for the Ja­panese au­tomaker. But it’s not enough any­more to just present a pretty and pow­er­ful car to fam­i­lies; you need to have more and more con­tent. So Mazda pumped up the CX-9 with more stuff.

What’s new?

Maybe the most an­tic­i­pated The CX-9 is an eye-catch­ing ve­hi­cle that’s been re­fined and up­dated with new tech­nol­ogy and fea­tures. change in the new three-row is the ad­di­tion of An­droid Auto and Ap­ple Car Play. For a while, Mazda’s in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem has been feel­ing a bit dated. Be­yond that ad­di­tion, the CX-9 also gets a new gauge dis­play on high trim level ve­hi­cles, which aug­ments the avail­able head-up dis­play as well.

Pretty but flashy

The CX-9 is gor­geous for a three-row ve­hi­cle. The more you see it, the less im­pres­sive the com­peti­tors’ bloat­ed­look­ing ri­vals ap­pear. Vis­ually, the Mazda comes away as a sleek, modern car with tidy pro­por­tions. I’ll ad­mit that it took a while to grow ac­cus­tomed to the LED grille ac­cents found on the Sig­na­ture Trim ve­hi­cle. It’s right on the cusp of be­ing too gaudy. As nice as the CX-9 is, it doesn’t need to be flashy. The in­te­rior of the CX-9 has high­lights but could be im­proved in some ways. It’s a beau­ti­ful de­sign with fan­tas­tic ma­te­ri­als, great fit and fin­ish and easy-to-use con­trols.

Re­spon­sive and ag­ile

It may not be the big­gest and most prac­ti­cal three-row, but it is quite good to drive. While the last CX-9 was also dubbed funto-drive, it could be a bit too stiff at times. Mazda has re­fined the sus­pen­sion this year to make the ve­hi­cle a bit more nat­u­ral feel­ing on the road.

The ver­dict

The gor­geous CX-9 is an eye­catch­ing ve­hi­cle that’s been re­fined and up­dated with new tech­nol­ogy and fea­tures. It’s fun to drive, and for the price, it seems quite high-end. There are a few small draw­backs to con­sider, but the whole pack­age is over­all quite strong.

SAMI HAJ-AS­SAAD/AUTOGUIDE

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