Here is a quick video review of the midsize crossover SUV offering from Mazda. The CX-9 is well-balanced and very nice overall. Among other SUVs in its class, I find that it ranks above average in most every category, though perhaps standing out in no particular category. There’s simply aren’t any major things most people will find objectionable about it, though I did manage to come up with my usual list of minor annoyances, if only for the sake of completeness. It’s among the larger midsize models, similar to the Honda Pilot and Buick Enclave we have reviewed. It handles pretty well for such a large vehicle, while at the same time having decent road noise and ride comfort qualities. That’s a trade-off some manufacturers never seem to balance well. The styling, both interior and exterior, are quite nice as well.
In terms of child passenger seating, the second row is just wide enough to fit three-across with careful selection of carseats. The middle seat isn’t quite as functional as the one in the Honda Pilot, but certainly more useful than the handy removable seat in the Toyota Highlander. The second row moves back far enough to allow for installation of a rear-facing seat and still leave some legroom in the front seats. The only issue I had in the second row was that the seatbelt buckle stalk for the passenger side seemed to get lost easily, making it hard for my son to find in order to buckle himself in a booster. The LATCH anchors are somewhat recessed and angled downward a bit, but shouldn’t be a problem for most carseats. That did make installation of the rigid LATCH Clek Oobr take a few extra seconds to install! Here’s an overview video; apologies for the windy Chicago weather on the audio!