Mar
02
Mazda CX-9 Signature

2021 Mazda CX-9 Signature in Soul Red Crystal (a $595 option)

2021 Mazda CX-9 Signature

Class: Midsize Crossover

Miles driven: 295

Fuel used: 14.6 gallons

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB+
Power and PerformanceB
Fit and FinishA-
Fuel EconomyB
ValueB
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB-
Tall GuyB+
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs227/250-hp 2.5 liter
Engine Typeturbo 4-cylinder
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Drive WheelsAWD

Real-world fuel economy: 20.2 mpg

Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 20/26/23 (mpg city/highway/combined)

Fuel type: Premium gas recommended

Base price: $46,605 (not including $1100 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Soul Red Crystal metallic paint ($595)

Price as tested: $48,300

 

Quick Hits

The great: Upscale luxury-level ambiance inside and out; sleek styling; sporty driving personality for a three-row midsize SUV

The good: Respectable acceleration

The not so good: Some tedious infotainment controls; some three-row class rivals offer better overall interior space

More Mazda CX-9 price and availability information

 

CG Says:

Mazda’s CX-9 is one of the sleekest, sportiest, most-stylish three-row midsize crossovers in the mainstream-brand segment, and its line-topping Signature trim level even stacks up nicely when cross-shopped against some luxury-brand rivals. For 2021, the CX-9 lineup sees the addition of an upsized 10.25-inch infotainment screen as a standard feature on all trim levels, and a uniquely trimmed Carbon Edition model that receives Polymetal Gray paint, blacked-out trim elements, and a red leather interior.

The Signature model also gets a few updates for ’21 that heighten its upscale look and feel. The Signature-exclusive grille has a revised design, with a titanium gray finish that complements the existing LED grille accent lighting. The 20-inch alloy-wheel design is also new, as are larger dual-exhaust tips. Inside, there’s new quilting and piping on the first- and second-row Nappa-leather seats, and patterned aluminum trim accents on the dash and door panels.

Key Signature features that continue are standard all-wheel drive, Santos Rosewood interior accents, and second-row captain’s chairs (a feature added for the 2020 model year). Though they sacrifice one seating position, the captain’s chairs come with a covered console box, cup holders, and seat-heat controls that are a virtual match for those in the front row. It makes for a custom interior look with added personal convenience, and also provides a slightly less closed-in feel for third-row occupants (though that large center console prohibits walk-through access to the third row).

Not that you won’t pay for them, but the Signature comes with an impressive list of standard comfort and safety features. All-around materials and assembly are excellent, too. Thanks to Mazda’s focus on vehicle dynamics and behind-the-wheel feel, there’s a spark of athleticism to any CX-9, something rather unexpected in a mainstream three-row crossover. Rated at 250 horsepower (or 227 on regular-grade gas) and 320 lb-ft of torque, the 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine provides good standing-start acceleration and smooth highway-cruising power. For more details on the CX-9 Signature, check out our Quick Spin test-drive report here.

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