With around 10 car reviews under my belt, I have pretty much tried them all, but had yet to test drive an SUV. When I was asked to try the 2017 Mazda CX-9 I was more than happy to give it a test run. The timing of having this car just happened to coincide with my husband needing to take a couple trips back and forth to the Detroit area to get his truck driver training in. So when I say I took a test drive, I REALLY took a drive, quite a few actually. This beautiful car had under 2k miles before I gave her a workout. Out of all the cars I’ve reviewed over the last 5 years, this Mazda is BY FAR my absolute favorite. This is a 3 row car, the 3rd row being stowed under the cargo area.
I test drove the signature model, which is the top package, fully loaded. I always love and hate driving the best versions because I fall in love with the cars and then I can’t exactly buy them (This model starts at $44k) but it does make me want to strive to work hard to earn one someday! There are some safety features I will get to in a minute that make this car number one in my book for a family. But first I want to touch a few points.
- Luxury – The signature model is trimmed in Napa leather and wood. I felt like a rich person in this car. The craftsmanship on the trim is stunning.
- Navigation – Along with the dash installed touch screen (instead of in the center console), the car projects your speed, the posted speed limit AND navigation up onto the windshield.
- Sound – The Mazda CX-9 has TWELVE speakers.. BOSE speakers to be exact. To say you can really crank up the noise is a complete understatement. In the last few minutes that I had this car in my possession, I invited a fellow bass loving friend to sit in the car with me and listen to music to check out the system. For someone who knows cars and great systems, IT BLEW HIM AWAY. I mean he was floored with the power and bass. But what he didn’t expect was when he stepped outside of the car. Mazda engineered the interior with extra material to reduce the noise from the outside. This means while I can crank the stereo almost to the point of my own deafness inside, from the outside it isn’t that loud. Genius!
Okay now to the safety things I was telling you about. Along with the display in the windshield, this car, the things that distract you like volume knobs and touchscreen options etc., are located in places that are designed to keep your eyes on the road. Instead of reaching for a volume knob, it is located comfortably by the gear shift or in the steering wheel. When driving you can’t use the touch screen as easily (safety!) so you just use the large knob to scroll through the menus and then push the center to make a selection.
Another feature this car features is when using the cruise control. The car has several sensors (including blind spot) but when you are cruising and the car in front of you slows, this car automatically will slow down too so not only are you not hitting the brakes all the time, but you also don’t have to keep setting the cruise control. Let me tell you, driving the interstate to Detroit and back a few times, this feature comes in handy.
Stay in your lane! This car has lane detection, and when you go over either line, you get a warning and the car will vibrate to tell you that you need to fix your lane position. This feature, along with the controlled cruise control feature really saved me one night when I was tired and had to drive back from Detroit. I wasn’t a danger but knowing that the car was seeing better than me gave me a feeling of being secure.
Lastly the car also features automatic wipers AND headlights. They really mean it when they say they want your eyes to stay on the road. Having all these features, along with airbags and a solid build, makes this care the top pick for safety for my family, hands down.
I know what you are thinking.. How can an SUV have power. I will tell you, this car features a turbo charged engine with up to 227 HP. What this means is this “large” car has a whole lot of get up and go. So much that it would reach the speed limits on highway and interstates in a flash. We always felt like we weren’t going as fast as the speedometer said. The car has SkyActiv, this means when you press that gas pedal it reacted exactly how you wanted it to.
So basically, the safety, handling, SOUND, and pure harnessed energy that this car gave me made me fall in love. Everyone who got to ride in the car was immediately amazed at how fast it came to speed on the interstate and how great it handled.