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Mazda cx9

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I'm looking for an SUV to replace my Ford Flex. Interested in either the Highlander or the Mazda CX-9. Anybody have an opinion on those two?

Priorities: Exterior styling / Interior styling / Handling

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider new cars only

Maximum price: US $ 35000

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Response from NormT

2:03 pm October 30, 2017

If you only need 5-seats I'd look at the GMC Acadia All -Terrain. It has twin-clutch AWD and is about as good as they come in this price range and wont overload like the ligjr duty Mazda. It also has a newer 3.6l V6 making 310 horsepower and will be faster than both the Highlander and CX-9. The Acadia matches the CX-9 Signature in handling but is much quicker than the CX-9 Touring in Motor Trend testing. From Motor Trend test of the Acadia:

"...Acadia All Terrain is also faster than the2017 Mazda CX-9Signature, which took 7.4 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph, or the Touring model, which took 7.5 seconds. And it beats the2017 Toyota Highlander, which took 7.2 seconds to hit 60 mph and 15.5 seconds to do the quarter mile."


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GMC Acadia

Response from LectroFuel

8:34 pm October 30, 2017

NormT is a GM fanboy; he doesn't talk about or suggest anything else, so he's not a credible source of information about any other car. The GMC Acadia is on Consumer Reports' 10 least reliable cars list. The Acadia All-Terrain can be optioned with 7 seats, not just 5. It is a mediocre SUV. The Acadia does not handle as well as the CX-9 as Car and Driver wrote, "The Acadia very nearly kept pace with the Mazda CX-9 in our cornering test, but it did so with far more drama than the buttoned-down Mazda...the steering feels strictly average." The fact was that the CX-9 barely beats the Acadia in facts, but the actual behind-the-wheel feeling is much better in the Mazda. The only things worth mentioning about the Acadia is that the infotainment system is good and it looks nice from the outside (if fake chrome is your kind of thing).The ride was overly firm and interior fit and finish was poor.

The CX-9 is a beautiful SUV. It's the most nimble and fun to drive 3 row mainstream SUV, more so than the Acadia and Highlander. Has very good driving dynamics and is comfortable. Fits your top 3 priorities perfectly. It is not as practical as the Highlander and is its only major drawback. It dropped significantly in reliability this year because of the infotainment system rebooting randomly, not because of mechanical defects. The CX-9 is on Car and Driver's 2017 10 best cars list. The 3rd row is cramped. Acadia: 25 mpg combined. CX-9: 28 mpg. Highlander: 26 mpg. It is not as good a value as the Highlander. The CX-9 takes premium fuel to get the optimal HP, but it is also fine with regular.

The Toyota Highlander will be the most reliable in the segment. It is more practical than the Acadia and CX-9 especially. Extremely boring to drive. It is more comfortable than the CX-9 and Acadia. IMO, exterior styling is average or better and interior is pretty nice. All active safety features are standard, which is a big deal. The 3rd row is cramped. It is a better value than the CX-9. It does not handle as well as the CX-9 and Acadia.

The Kia Sorento is a very nice-driving SUV. You should test drive one, although it goes against all your priorities. It has the longest powertrain warranty in the business.

If you want practicality and top-notch reliability, go for the Highlander. Your priorities say you want the CX-9. Personally, I would probably go for the CX-9. Good luck!


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Mazda CX-9
Toyota Highlander
Kia Sorento

Response from NormT

12:22 pm October 31, 2017

I'm not employed by a magazine that buys cars for me to test, I have to buy my own. I so I would choose one that that my dollar goes to the furthest.

Mazda has one of the lowest retention rates in the industry honestly, wouldn't even consider one as their engine tech and outputs are lowest in respective segments today. People are not returning to Mazda to lease again. And rhein sales show it.

I would choose a vehcle that had the best in class features that I would use. The Mazda CX-9 is small, smallest in class, and slow, again slowest in class. The CX-9 has one of the weakest AWD systems on market today and doesn't take much off roading or trail driving to over heat. It is clearly under engineered. And so is it's air conditioning which is one of the complaints about the CX-9.


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Response from LectroFuel

3:48 pm November 1, 2017

Interesting...where did you get the brand retention study? The VW Atlas, Dodge Durango V6, Nissan Pathfinder, and Ford Explorer NA V6 are all slower 0-60 than the 2.5T CX-9, which gets best in class EPA mileage in the segment only behind the Highlander Hybrid. I drove a VW Atlas and it was gutless. Not everyone lives in a place with rough winters and needs off-road capabilities as winter tires help more in snow than AWD in most situations. The OP didn't specify he/she needed AWD. Interior space, the infotainment system, and supposedly the AWD system are the only shortcomings I see in the CX-9. Some may prioritize those aspects higher than others, but the OP prioritizes styling and handling, the two things the CX-9 provides the most of. The AWD system is meant for snow, not 2 wheel rock crawling like in the video where it couldn't drive on two wheels. 99% of owners will not go off road in the CX-9.


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Response from NormT

7:38 pm November 1, 2017

Mazda retention was 39% where industry average was 53%.


Some of the AWD systems are a $2,000 option. They better work as such if the customer is paying for it.


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Response from LectroFuel

9:28 pm November 1, 2017

They have a low retention rates because they used to mainly have small and midsize sedans. They got rid of the Mazda2 and Mazda5 and replaced them with the CX-3 and CX-5. A majority of the people who bought those cars along with the Mazda3 move to crossovers because they are starting a family and crossovers are becoming more popular. Since they added crossovers to their lineup they have improved their retention rate.

The low retention rate is not because Mazda's cars are bad; it's because they didn't have a logical lineup of cars. Young adults buy the Mazda3 and eventually needed a small crossover, which Mazda didn't have until now, so they went to another brand.

I got that from here: http://www.autonews.com/article/20160418/RETAIL07/304189987/mazda-trains-dealers-to-lift-customer-loyalty

Mazda actually has a good satisfaction rating: https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/car-brands-ranked-by-satisfaction/


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Response from NormT

7:09 am November 2, 2017

"Yet it can't be encouraging for a brand(Mazda) with market share goals to see market share stagnatingone year after the brand's 2016 market share fell to a 10-year low..." thetruthaboitcars.com

The CX-5 is their biggest seller and have been returning off of lease this year but sales at Mazda are flat. This should be a big bump in sales right now and it is not. And the CX-3 is not competitive amongst the Buick Encore which has owned half of the aegment, Chevy Trax, and Honda HR-V.

They are no different Redbull, a market ok ng company with a drink to sell with rotary, compression ignition, and diesel in the news but no time line for delivery. That is why they are in Toyota's back pocket for when the downturn comes.


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