2022 Mazda CX-9 review highlights:
- 2022 Mazda CX-9 ($35,380 – $47,210)
- Best residual value – J.D. Power
- Pros: Luxury comfort, standard AWD, engaging ride
- Cons: No touchscreen. Taller people may want more space.
The 2022 Mazda CX-9 incorporates everything you love about these near-luxury SUVs in a slightly larger package. If the Mazda CX-5 is too small for your family, then the CX-9 provides the extra space you need with a third row.
Thanks to athletic handling and a premium interior, this family SUV doesn’t feel like a typical lumbering SUV. It’s the family option for driving enthusiasts who like to have fun and feel relaxed while running errands.
However, it does have limited cargo space compared to competitors like the Kia Telluride. Also, critics quickly point out that the third row is reserved for kids. But options like the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer don’t have third-row seating for adults either.
Which 2022 Mazda CX-9 trim level is best?
There are six different Mazda CX-9 trims to consider, providing buyers with a variety of different options to fit their individual needs:
- Sport – $35,380
- Touring – $37,430
- Touring Plus – $41,660
- Carbon Edition – $43,580
- Grand Touring – $44,440
- Signature – $47,210
The Mazda CX-9 Touring incorporates plenty of premium upgrades without increasing the price too much. It’s a convenient way to gain luxury features such as a power liftgate, leather seats, and keyless ignition/entry.
My tester was the top-spec Mazda CX-9 Signature trim, and it’s difficult to resist the premium quilted leather upholstery with piping, real wood interior trim, an exclusive grille design with LED lighting, and second-row captain’s chairs with a center console.
2022 Mazda CX-9: What’s new?
The Mazda CX-9 doesn’t have many updates for 2022. It’s part of the second generation that was introduced back in 2016. On an exciting note, all-wheel drive is now standard across the lineup, and the Touring Plus trim level was added.
How does the Mazda CX-9 drive?
The 2022 Mazda CX-9 comes equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque with 87-octane gas. With 93-octane gas, you get 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
According to Edmunds track test, the CX-9 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.6 seconds. It has a peppy acceleration and is quick off the line with responsive steering and athletic handling.
The brakes are a bit soft but are easy to get used to. The CX-9 corners well and provides plenty of grip around curves. The turning radius could be a little tighter, but this SUV doesn’t feel large or lumbering.
Thanks to smooth transmission shifts and the 360-degree camera view, driving the Mazda CX-9 on a daily basis is a seamless experience. It’s easy to maneuver through tight city areas, and the AWD system is perfectly tuned for inclement weather situations and light off-roading.
Honestly, I was happy to have errands to run during my week with the CX-9. Getting groceries, stopping by the bank, taking the dog to the pet store, and more suddenly became exciting adventures.
With the quick switch of a button, you can switch between Normal and Sport driving modes. The Normal mode had a smoother ride and a quieter interior.
Sport mode tightened up the suspension and response times for a more engaging experience. You could feel more imperfections in the road for a more connected experience, and you can hear the engine roar upon hitting the gas pedal. Plus, the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters only increase the fun.
How comfortable is the Mazda CX-9?
Every time I think about how comfortable the 2022 Mazda CX-9 is, heavenly music plays in my mind. The front seats are well-padded and supportive for long drives. There are plenty of controls for adjusting the lumbar support and finding the perfect seating position.
The second-row seats are a bit smaller but still feel plush and comfortable. At 5’1″, I found the third-row seats to be comfortable as well. They have a nice back-rest angle with the same level of support as the other rows.
In the third row, my knees sat at a high angle, but they didn’t hit the back of the second row. There’s enough space to be comfortable during shorter trips. Kids or your short friends around 4’9″ or under won’t have any fuss back there. Taller folks may want more space in each row.
The CX-9 has a buttery smooth ride over impacts on the road. Deep impacts and potholes are absorbed with ease. Plus, the interior is peacefully quiet, except for the occasional engine roar. It also felt confident and well-controlled on gravel and dirt roads.
You can’t beat the ventilated seats in Mazda SUVs. They provide the fastest relief from the heat. The climate control system is easy to use and efficient. You can quickly warm up during cold mornings and cool off during hot afternoons.
Does the CX-9 have a nice interior?
Yes, the CX-9 has a near-luxury crafted interior that’s both comfortable and durable. Soft-touch covered surfaces and leather upholstery are paired with pops of genuine rosewood for an upscale feeling.
The layout is well-planned, and everything you need is easily within reach with physical controls. The large windshield provides plenty of visibility, but the rear window is a bit on the small side. Also, I found myself longing for a larger sunroof to allow more natural light to fill the cabin.
Both the front and back doors have wide openings, making it easy to enter and exit the vehicle. However, I’m used to climbing up into taller options like the Toyota Tundra or Ford Bronco, so I did hit my head once while getting in the driver’s seat.
Does the Mazda CX-9 have advanced tech?
For the most part, the 2022 Mazda CX-9 integrates advanced tech for a seamless experience. The 10.3-inch infotainment display has sharp graphics and quick response times. It’s easy to use too.
However, it doesn’t have a touchscreen. You flip through different menus with a rotary dial system. You can quickly master the system once you take to the time to learn how it works, but it doesn’t feel as convenient as touchscreens.
The head-up display presents crucial information at the bottom of the windshield, such as the speed limit and the lane-assist system. Plus, it includes traffic sign recognition. The 360-degree camera makes it easier to park, plus you can access front and rear views at any time.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, and you can opt for the wireless pad and built-in navigation. The Bose audio system is crisp and clear with premium audio. You can also connect your devices via Bluetooth.
While wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are missed, at least the CX-9 provides plenty of USB ports for everyone’s devices. You can even add USB ports in the third row for your kids or short friends.
How much cargo space does the 2022 Mazda CX-9 have?
You can access 14.4 cubic feet behind the third row of the Mazda CX-9 and up to 71.2 cubic feet total. This is a little lacking compared to rivals.
For example, the Hyundai Palisade offers 18 cubic feet behind the third row with up to 86.4 cubes total. The third-row seats fold flat with the pull of a lever, but they aren’t power folding.
There are plenty of storage trays and cubbies for storing personal items. The trunk area has two useful cubbies integrated into the sides of the vehicle.
Plus, the door pockets are deep, and the cup holders are adequate. The center console felt a bit shallow, but the glove box compartment is pretty deep. Car seats are easy to install in the second row.
The Mazda CX-9 can tow up to 3,500 lbs if you need more space. Rivals such as the Kia Telluride can tow up to 5,000 lbs.
How safe is the Mazda CX-9?
The 2022 Mazda CX-9 is incredibly safe. It has a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+.
It received a ‘Good’ rating during each crash simulation, which is the highest score possible. But it got a Marginal rating for the child seat belt reminders because the volume isn’t loud enough. Also, the CX-9 received an excellent score because child seats are easy to install.
Standard safety features include:
- Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go
- Forward collision mitigation
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Lane-keeping assistance
How reliable is the Mazda CX-9?
According to Consumer Reports, the 2022 Mazda CX-9 has a predicted reliability rating of five out of five. This score is based on issues that owners of previous model years have reported. The 2016 model and older options seem to have the most reports of problems.
Fewer issues have been reported for the 2017 – 2021 models, indicating that the issues may have been corrected.
With the proper care and maintenance, the Mazda CX-9 can make it to about 200,000 to 250,000 miles. It can last between 13 to 17 years with an average annual mileage of 15,000 miles before breaking down and needing serious repairs.
It costs about $539 to maintain a Mazda CX-9 on an annual basis. This is great compared to the average annual cost of $651 to maintain other vehicles.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2022 Mazda CX-9 an expert rating of 8.3 out of 10
MotorBiscuit editors award the 2022 Mazda CX-9 with an overall score of 8.3 out of 10. The Mazda CX-9 is a fast, comfortable, and luxurious competitor in a growing three-row segment. It provides plenty of value, including standard all-wheel drive and tons of standard features.
However, some critics suggest that it could use more horsepower, despite having a Sport mode and paddle shifters to turn up the fun. Also, it lacks passenger and cargo space compared to its main rivals.
We wouldn’t change much about the interior, but a touchscreen and a larger sunroof would be welcome additions. It seems like it’s time for the Mazda CX-9 to receive a significant update unless it’s replaced by the larger Mazda CX-90.