A few weeks ago my family had the chance to thoroughly check out the 2014 Mazda CX-9 Crossover SUV. This was a great road test for a mini-van family (for over a decade). Could we make that switch easily and comfortably?
For over 10 days we had the chance to take the Mazda CX-9 Crossover SUV to the store, carpool to school, take it to work, and on a long road trip from the San Francisco Bay area to Anaheim, California. While it did take some getting used to, especially the mini-van automatic side doors for instance, I have to say that I'm an SUV "convertee" - that is, someone who can now see making the switch from a mini-van to an SUV. That's big for me. It's an image make-over.
The CX-9 is Mazda's stylish and practical vehicle entering the segment known as "CUV" or crossover SUV, a vehicle that can hold 7 adults. It used to be only mini-vans could carry that many people AND a fair amount of luggage. This Mazda can carry 7 people with room for luggage for a road trip. It's equipped with a 273-Horsepower 3.7 liter V6 with automatic, 6-speed transmission. What makes this a winner over a mini-van is the front wheel drive, making it a much better, all-weather vehicle than a mini-van could ever be.
7-passenger seating is standard on this model. When the back row is laid flat you have much more room to carry cargo and still have room for a family of 4.
What I liked best was the smooth driving experience and the safety features including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and rear parking sensors. Other options we loved include Bluetooth, the 6-speaker stereo and climate control.
SUVs are undergoing new safety standards and improving their structure constantly. A new crash test bumped a few SUVs off the Consumer Reports safety list. These tests only prove to serve the consumer well as manufacturers prepare to build better and more reliable features to erase any of these concerns in future models.
All in all this was a great driving experience. I did not miss my old mini-van one bit and thoroughly enjoyed the smooth, tight road handling of the Mazda CX-9.