Written by Marco Carvajal
2023 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD
I am test-driving the top-of-the-line 2023 Mazda CX-9 Signature, a large and stylish midsize all-wheel-drive SUV with three rows and seven seats, with a very good price range from $38K to $48K.
The top of the line, CX-9 Signature, only available as AWD, is ready for any adventure in the city or off-road. This SUV is elegant, it has a large capacity with 3 rows, and it is very well-designed inside and outside with the characteristic stylish touch of Mazda.
The CX-9 is a beautiful SUV at a very good value price, offering tons of standard features and premium details.
The elegant CX-9 family SUV is very attractive and it feels premium. This large SUV is produced in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, surprisingly it is built in Japan but is not sold in Japan as it exceeds the Japanese government’s size regulations, and the engine displacement forces a large annual road tax bill. Instead in Japan Mazda sells the CX-8
The CX-9 was released back in 2006, and from its creation until the 2016 model, the CX-9 was built on the Ford CD3 platform shared with the Ford Edge and Ford Fusion, using the same 3.7 L V6 engine. Later in 2016, the CX-9 model had a remarkable redesign and now is no longer based on the Ford lineup.
Driving the Mazda CX-9 Signature
For the new 2023 car year model, there are only 5 trim models available, one model was removed from the previous 2022 lineup. The one I am driving, the CX-9 Signature is the top-of-the-line priced around $48K.
Mazda always knows how to produce stylish beautiful cars, especially on the exterior, and the new sleek and modern styling, makes the CX-9, one of the most attractive SUVs you can buy.
The modern style, performance, value, and practicality, make the 2023 Mazda CX-9 a beautiful and upscale three-row midsize crossover SUV that most families or large groups will love to drive. The new CX-9 includes technology and styling upgrades.
This CX-9 comes with a wonderfully large space, performance, and handling. Mazda has shown that it can build a spacious and large SUV, with a comfortable and sporty ride. The new CX-9 SUV has plenty of interior space with three rows and seven seats to bring all the family on board.
The new 2023 enhanced CX-9 received the latest-generation technology features that started in 2022, good style, and several premium features.
The CX-9 Signature includes premium heated second-row captain’s chairs and a center console with an armrest storage compartment similar to the one in the first row. Convenient access to the heated seat buttons and cupholders makes the second row one of the most comfortable and practical second rows on any SUV.
If you want to buy a large 3 rows SUV with great cargo capacity then the Mazda is a great choice. The CX-9 is responsive and powerful. It includes excellent drivability, attractive design, and an interior that exceeds expectations. Mazda’s designers and engineers worked hard to make the redesigned CX-9 a great SUV with design, refinement, and driving performance.
Competitors of the CX-9 include the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Kia Telluride, and Hyundai Palisade among other mid-size 3-row SUVs.
The premium Nappa leather interior for the first and second-row seats is available in either Deep Chestnut or Parchment.
The first and second-row seats have unique quilting and piping that add to the elegance of the CX-9 Signature.
The CX-9 Signature trim model includes is beautiful on the inside with Santos Rosewood interior trim, patterned aluminum on the dash and door handle bezels, and unique stitching on the steering wheel.
The exterior of the Signature trim model upgrades includes hands-free power liftgate, 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels with a brilliant silver finish, a titanium gray metallic finished front grille with LED lighting accent, larger dual exhaust pipes.
The CX-9 Signature interior cabin is enhanced with Napa leather and features a larger 10.25-inch center display producing a premium first-class atmosphere on the inside.
When you are inside the cabin of the Mazda CX-9 you can feel that every material is top quality. The Signature top trim version goes further into the luxury field, with a sleek new grille, accent details, and quilted leather seats. A standard 10.25″ very large center display with the latest-generation Mazda Connect infotainment.
The 2nd-row captain’s chairs provide the ultimate comfort, while new patterned aluminum trim accents, with elegant details like the new quilting and piping on seats. The second-row captain’s chairs and the modern center console produce a premium experience.
More interior details like an armrest storage compartment, heated seat buttons and cup holders, Napa leather seats, Santos Rosewood interior trim, and unique steering wheel stitching.
Modern technologies like Mazda Connected Services, via the MyMazda App, give you more control over the CX-9 functionality, you can remotely start the engine, lock or unlock your doors, access vehicle status reports, and other advanced features.
The Mazda CX-9 comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 227 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque and 250 horsepower, with standard AWD, with a 20/26 city/highway miles per gallon fuel economy
A six-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels, and all-wheel drive is on all models.
The Mazda CX-9 is considered one of the safest Mazda cars. This SUV includes a powerful off-road traction assist. The system sends torque to wheels that have traction in slippery conditions. The CX-9 is strong and it can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
The top-of-the-lineup trim level CX-9 Signature offers all of the appealing and driving dynamics including the standard i-Activ all-wheel drive. It is fast and powerful.
The Skyactiv-G 2.5 Turbo engine equipped on all CX-9 models delivers a robust 320 lb-ft of torque and 250 horsepower on premium gasoline or 310 lb-ft of torque and 227 horsepower on regular gasoline.
This turbocharged engine is paired with a fast and smooth quick-shifting, six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmission and has standard G-Vectoring Control Plus.
Mazda’s predictive i-Activ all-wheel drive with off-road traction assist is standard in all trim models.
Trim Models and Pricing for the 2023 Mazda CX-9 SUV
For 2023, the advanced i-Activ All-Wheel Drive is now standard in all CX-9 models, making the CX-9 more powerful and agile.
Pricing for the CX-9 continues to be low with great value from $38K all the way to $48K, however, there has been a small increase since the last 2023 model with approximately an $800 increase depending on the selected trim model.
Most other cars in the market increased by more than $2,000 compared to last year’s model, keeping Mazda as a great deal and value by maintaining low pricing as much as possible.
- 2023 Mazda CX-9 Touring, $38,750 Starting MSRP
- 2023 Mazda CX-9 Touring Plus, $41,350 Starting MSRP
- 2023 Mazda CX-9 Carbon Edition, $44,830 Starting MSRP
- 2023 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring, $45,690 Starting MSRP
- 2023 Mazda CX-9 Signature (the one I am driving), $48,460 Starting MSRP
The new titanium gray metallic finish front grille design creates a very bold design combined with the LED grille accent lighting. The new amazing exterior design marks a milestone for Mazda, with an exceptional full-size SUV that everyone can love.
Mazda offers a very attractive exterior design in several of its models and the CX-9 is not the exception to this great look.
A new 20-inch brilliant silver finish aluminum-alloy wheels and larger dual tailpipes round out the elegant and exciting styling.
Mazda safety suite I-Activsense safety features are standard in the CX-9, including Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and go function, Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist, and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.
Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Day and Night-time Pedestrian Detection help detect vehicles and pedestrians in the path. If an impact on an object or person is predicted, the system will warn the driver and, if necessary, apply the brakes to stop the CX-9 and prevent an accident.
Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go maintains a set speed and minimum following distance from the traffic ahead.
Highlights of the Mazda CX-9 SUV
- 26 MPG highway
- 250 horsepower
- 320 pound-feet of torque
- 2.5 Dynamic Pressure Turbo engine
- I-ACTIV AWD all-wheel-drive system with Off-road Traction Assist
- Six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmission
- 3 rows of seating for up to 6 passengers
- 20″ aluminum-alloy wheels with a Brilliant Silver finish
- LED overhead accent lighting
- Napa leather seating and trim
- 2nd-row captain’s chairs with center console
- Genuine aluminum trim with a unique design
- Genuine Santos Rosewood inlays
- 10.25″ large center display
- Mazda Connect infotainment
- Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go
CX-9 Mazda Warranty
Every new Mazda comes with a limited warranty that provides coverage in the unlikely event a repair is needed in the first 3 to 5 years or 36,000 to 60,000 miles, of ownership. Mazda also provides Roadside Assistance for specific warranties. There is also a Breaks warranty and High-Performance Replacement Battery Warranty
- 3-year/36,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty
- 5-year/60,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty
- 3-year/36,000-mile1 24/7 Roadside Assistance Program
The new CX-9 mazda luxury SUV with 3-rows for 7 passengers starting at $38K offers excellent drivability, attractive design, and an interior that exceeds expectations, making it one of the best SUVs in its segment.
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