More spacious than the Mazda3 I drove on a romantic getaway with my husband in April, the 2013 Mazda CX-9 that we took on our road trip to Colorado Springs last month was ideal for a family of four. Sleeker and with many more bells and whistles than my Toyota Sienna minivan, the Mazda CX-9 is the type of crossover SUV that I could picture myself driving — at least as long as I have children living under my roof. Here are the highlights:
Like a minivan, but not: The Mazda CX-9 fits seven passengers — that third-row seat is so key for carpooling kids around town! The second row of seats (with seatbelts for three) slide forward and the split seatbacks can be pushed forward as well, so the kids who are relegated to the third row (room for two passengers) have plenty of room to climb back there.
Lots of cargo room: For our long-weekend road trip, we put the third row of seats down to create a cavernous space for storing a ridiculous amount of bags. (Hey, when you road trip, you can pack heavy!)
Blind-spot monitoring system: Every car should have this safety feature. When I initiate a turn or signal to pass a car on the highway, and there’s a car in my blind spot, a “warning chime” (ding) will sound, and a little icon is illuminated in the side-view mirror. I think this is a brilliant invention!
A few other things I really missed when I had to return the Mazda CX-9 after a week’s use include the rearview camera (projected on the TomTom navigation in-dash touch screen); this feature allowed me to back-up the car in a much safer way than craning my neck to make sure nothing was behind me. I also thought the car was quite powerful — not only did I feel sporty (not stodgy) zipping around town in a sleek, comfortable SUV, but the vehicle definitely handled well on steep and curvy Independence Pass over the Continental Divide (see photo at top).
The 2013 Mazda CX-9 with standard equipment has a MSRP of $36,375. Learn more the car and its many other cool features at www.MazdaUSA.com.
I enjoyed the use of the Mazda CX-9 for a week for purposes of editorial review.