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2021 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD Review by Mark Fulmer +VIDEO

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A Classy Midsize 3 Row SUV with a Punch

By Mark Fulmer
The Auto Channel

The 2021 Mazda CX-9 Signature offers family drivers duality: (1) an upscale family-mover with tech and comfort features for weekend drives as well as long hauls, and (2) a fun going-on errands experience for drivers who prefer some sporty zip. The CX-9 is powered by a .5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine creating 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include adaptive cruise control (your new best friend for long commutes and trips), heated front seats, triple-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, and push-button start.


New standard features include a driver-attention monitoring system, quilted Nappa leather seats, Santos Rosewood interior trim, rear-automated emergency braking, and update grille and wheel designs. The 10.3-inch display and upgraded user interface includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility and comes with a wireless smartphone charging pad, paddle shifters and an upgraded exterior camera system (one of the best things to ever happen for those moments in a parking lot or parking garage where the spaces are flat-out too small.


Safety is one of the CX-9's strong points. It gets five out of five stars in NHTSA crash tests. The safety systems not only include traction/stability control, anti-lock brakes, and a full complement of airbags, but also a suite of drivers aids: low-speed collision warning and avoidance and pedestrian detection (at up to 19 miles per hour), Smart Brake Support with forward collision system that works at highway speeds, adaptive cruise control with stop/go, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning/lane-keeping assistance.


The driving experience during full family jaunts is superior: precise steering, a quiet cabin even at highway speeds, and smooth cornering and suspension allow the young ones to fall asleep and thankfully stay that way during long trips. The Sport mode is enhanced via smart exhaust management provides that wonderful spring out of the starting blocks as well as confident passing performance.


The family car shopper who is looking for function and fun in the same vehicle needs to include the 2021 CX-9 on their list of test drives.




Front head room 40 "
Rear head room 39 "
Front shoulder room 58 "
Rear shoulder room 58 "
Front hip room 57 "
Rear hip room 57 "
Front leg room 41.0 "
Rear leg room 39.4 "
Luggage capacity 14.4 Cu.Ft.
Maximum cargo capacity 71.2 Cu.Ft.
Standard seating 6


Length 199.4 "
Body width 77.5 "
Body height 67.6 "
Wheelbase 115.3 "
Curb 4,409 Lbs.
Gross weight 5,822 Lbs.


Fuel tank capacity 19.5 Gal.
EPA mileage estimates 20 City / 26 Hwy


Base engine size 2.5 Liters
Base engine type I-4 Horsepower 227 Hp Horsepower rpm 5,000
Torque 310 Lb-Ft.
Torque rpm 2,000
Maximum towing capacity 3,500 Lbs.
Drive type All-Wheel
Turning radius 19.4 ''