Summer vacation was a little bit extra special this year. We were super lucky to be able to borrow a new Mazda cx 9 for our annual road trip. This post really should have been titled “Mazda cx 9 – the car you didn’t know you wanted”. We’re not in the market for a new car. But now the whole family wants a new cx 9. Mazda is a well-known car company and I had been lucky enough to spend some time with their design department at a recent conference. But until I got the chance to drive one for a week, I didn’t know the cx 9 was missing from my life. And now I want one. I was given a car to test drive for a week in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are mine.
Every summer we head up to the high sierras to vacation in a small lakeside town, called June Lake. While we have a mid-size SUV, there is never enough room to pack all our things for a week-long vacation. So this year, I decided to try out the 3 row, 2017 Mazda cx 9. We kept both kids in the second row and used the third row and trunk area to pack. It was still pretty tight but we could see out of the back window which has never happened before.
2017 Mazda cx 9 Signature Edition with All Wheel Drive
You guys. This car is NICE. The exterior color was Machine Gray Metallic and it’s gorgeous. The interior was Auburn and while I didn’t love the reddish color, is was so nicely made inside. You could tell a lot of thought went in to each trim and finish, like the Nappa leather, used in the car. This car features a Turbo engine, which means it is powerful and makes driving really fun. Plus this car comes with tons of safety features, and functions that make the care super comfortable.
This car fits 7 people (the 3rd row should be saved for little people if possible, but I rode in the back and it was fine just not extra roomy). The driver’s side has seat memory with 2 positions which my husband and I would totally use if this was our car. He hates to bash his knees when he gets in a car I’ve been driving. And call me crazy but I like to be able to reach the pedals. The front seats are heated (which we don’t really need in California but it is a nice luxury to have – and I do use them). Having been in a car accident while heading to this same vacation a few years ago, feeling safe in the car is a big deal for me. The predictive all wheel drive helps the car to know when road conditions have changed and help make sure the car is driven as safely as possible. Since our accident was in the rain and involved hydroplaning, the fact that this car delivers optimum traction is music to my ears. And a power lift gate is always a plus for busy moms with full hands.
What Dad thought of the Mazda cx 9
My husband drove the 6 hours to June Lake and had the first driving experience with the car. At first he didn’t love the projections on the windshield, which I think they call the Active Driving Display. But that turned out to be one of our favorite features by the end of the trip. I couldn’t get a good photo of it, but very basic info is projected just below eye level, right in the windshield. It tells you how fast you are going, if you drift in to the next lane, and if you are using navigation, the next direction. Instead of having to take your eyes off the road to see the dashboard, you just shift your eyes down a little. I thought it was awesome.
While he doesn’t make a habit of it (basically because of my car anxiety) passing slower cars was super easy with fast acceleration and powerful engine. He used the Adaptive Cruise Control almost the whole drive there and back. He loved that it was easy to use and made safety decisions for him. It detects how fast the car in front of you is going and slows you down automatically. It’s a pretty cool feature. The driver’s seat was super comfortable for him and had lumbar support. We both loved the great sounding Bose speakers and listened to Sirius XM the whole trip.
My husband did have a few complaints about the car, though. The rear lift gate was just a bit too short for him. At 6’1″ he hit his head loading and unloading the car. He also noted that the GPS maps were outdated. Luckily, the only streets that were missing were new roads around our area and not in our destination where we heavily relied on the navigation system. And some of the chrome finishes on the center console reflected the sun in your eyes.
What the kids liked about the Mazda cx 9
The kids LOVED the Mazda cx 9. Of course it’s always fun to be in a new car. But this year, I wanted an extra row of seats so we could explore more with our extended family. In years past, we’ve either had to take multiple cars or leave people behind when we want to go off on an adventure. The 3rd row seats were awesome for vacation, and taking the cousins around with us. They’d be amazing for everyday life too. I think instantly my kids started thinking about all the places we could go with friends and our local family if this car was ours for good. And I did too.Of course, they loved the USB ports in the center console. That made charging and playing their electronics in the car super easy. They were so happy to have their own controls for the air conditioning in their zone. The 3 zone system ensures that everyone is comfortable, no matter where they are sitting in the car. And even though the back seats have tinted privacy windows, the sunshades were perfect for our road trip. They were easy to put up or down and really made the ride enjoyable for the kids. As we would go through stretches with the sun blazing in to the car, they could easily pull up the shade and be comfortable.
The reclining back seats were also a favorite feature for the kids. Being able to put the seat back, even just a few notches, made falling asleep and even just riding in the car, so comfortable. This was something I hadn’t even thought about, but seeing it in action made it real. I know how uncomfortable it can be to sit in a straight-backed seat for a long period of time. So the fact that this is now available in the back seats is awesome!
And now mom wants a Mazda cx 9
Uh oh. Like I said before, we’re not looking to buy a car. But this car was so hard to give back. We all truly fell in love with it! It makes me kind of sad. Because we truly loved the car we have. But then, after driving the cx 9, we all found a new love. The dashboard on the car is super user-friendly. The radio and navigation system are super easy to use. The 8″ color display deftly shows the navigation and radio info but also is the screen for the rear camera. The back up camera also uses colored guides to show you exactly where your car is aimed. It makes everything so easy and safe. We had a few drops of rain on one of our afternoon drives and I got to experience the rain sensitive wipers first hand. I loved that I didn’t have to go searching for how to turn them on but they just knew when they were needed. I had just been telling my mom all about how smart the car was when they came on the first time. Other smart features that I loved were the brake assist, which helps you stay aware of the traffic speeds in front of you and the lane departure warnings that keep you from veering out of your lane.
My current car has huge, terrible blind spots, so the blind spot monitoring is one of my all time favorite features. A small light lights up on the side mirrors if a car enters in to a blind spot. If you try to move in to that lane, the lane departure warning shows up and a beep is heard to warn you from making that move. SO COOL!And even though my kids are older and we no longer need car seats, the Mazda cx 9 comes with the Latch system to help keep the whole family safe. We’re so grateful that we got a chance to try out the new cx 9. Mazda really knows how to make a great car! This vacation was unlike all the others. The cousins got to hang out and experience new lakes and highways together for once. They made memories they will cherish forever. And they now probably expect that we’ll bring a bigger car with us every year. Driving this car was SO fun! The Turbo engine made it feel sporty and powerful. We had no trouble passing cars or going up hills. None of us wanted to give it back. The Mazda cx 9 is perfect for families. Driving this car for a week really opened up my eyes to the other cars that Mazda has to offer! I’m already trying to dream up reasons why I need to review the others…Driving the Mazda cx 9 on vacation was such a fun experience. If you’ve been thinking about getting a new car, I couldn’t recommend the cx 9 enough! Head to your local dealer and test drive one for yourself. Take a minute and head to the Mazda website and build the car of your dreams! There you’ll be able to find out more about pricing and learn even more about their safety features.
I am so grateful that Mazda let us borrow the cx 9 for our vacation this year.
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