The 2020 Mazda CX-9 is an excellent compromise SUV available in four levels: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature. The sharp handling and the thin turbocharged four-cylinder engine help channel the Mazda’s lightweight sports car while transporting the kids or taking groceries from the supermarket. A suite of driver support features is standard, and a display infotainment screen provides access to media, maps, and more. However, it does come with some compromises, as the 2020 CX-9 has one of the least spacious third-row seats and smaller cargo capacity than the average. As a result, the Mazda CX-9 recently kicked off the pedestal on which we were placed by the Kia Telluride and the Hyundai Palisade.
Features include automatic foot detection emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic warning, customizable cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane assistance. The front seats are also now standard with driver power adjustments, rain sensor wipers, automatic headlights, and heated exterior mirrors. Touring, Grand Touring and Signature models now feature a larger 9.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a new key-fob design, and power-adjustable second-row seats.
2020 Mazda CX-9 Interior
The cabin has dashboard controls that are logically arranged and easy to use, and the infotainment screen has vivid graphics. However, learning the system menus may take some time. In addition, some infotainment features on the touch screen are difficult to identify or inaccessible when the car is in motion.
The standard features in the CX-9 include the Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, voice recognition, and Internet radio integration with the Pandora, Aha and Stitcher apps. Options include a 7-inch LCD driver, a 9-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, second and third row dual USB ports, navigation and a 12-speaker Bose Centerpoint surround sound stereo.
2020 Mazda CX-9 Engine
The 2020 CX-9’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine is quite a powerhouse. The 227 horsepower rating may not seem like much, but the CX-9 is no slowpoke. Acceleration is quick to stop, and the highway passing is easy. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and most critics agree that it is a good fit for this engine. However, some people also note that an eight-speed automatic transmission, which offers many opponents, will improve the CX-9’s acceleration. The CX-9 has some of the best mid-size SUV fuel economy: 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
2020 Mazda CX-9 Safety
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Mazda CX-9 an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. It earned five stars in sideways crash tests and four stars in the leading collision and rollover evaluations. For 2020, Mazda makes the i-Activsense driver assistance bundle standard in all models. This range of safety features includes automatic pedestrian emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic warning, customizable cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane assistance. A rear camera, a road sign recognition system, and windshield wipers are also standard.
The Safety Insurance Institute gave the 2020 CX-9 the highest rating of Good in all six crash assessments, calling it a Top Safety Pick. The available adaptable headlights of the CX-9 earned Good the highest rating for how well they light the road ahead, while the standard lights received the second-lowest rating from Marginal. The IIHS has a different scale for rating active safety features. The 2020 Mazda CX-9 received the highest score from Superior for its standard vehicle-to-vehicle incident system, while the standard vehicle-to-pedestrian system received the second-highest rating from Advanced.