Disclosure: Thanks to Drive Shop for giving me the opportunity to drive the 2018 Mazda CX-9 for 7 days. No compensation was exchanged. Opinions expressed here are always my own.
A couple of weeks ago, I drove with my mom and kids to Kalahari in the Poconos. Feeling a bit embarrassed and nervous about my current minivan status, I was ecstatic when the chance to review a 2018 Mazda CX-9 coincided with this trip. I was incredibly relieved that we would be able to ride in style. I didn’t know how much I would love the look, feel, and ride of the 2018 Mazda CX-9 until I was sitting in the very cool driver’s seat.
The look of the Mazda CX-9 I drove was like driving around a real live piece of eye candy. The Soul Red Crystal Metallic exterior was sleek and people kept stopping me to inquire about the actual name of the color. Some wanted to call it a cool cheery, others a candy apple. Either way, it was a true joy and pinch worthy experience to travel around in this beauty mobile for the week. I also wanted to make sure that my mom would be comfortable and cozy on our 2-hour ride up to Kalahari in the Poconos.
When my mother first saw the car upon her arrival at LaGuardia Airport, her face was lit up with complete approval. You know how it is with parents, even if you are a parent yourself.
Since we’d be traveling with my 3 kids, we needed plenty of comfort and space. This car was completely cozy and compact on the inside. When you are a very loud and expressive family, a roomy second and third row is essential. It was no problem for the child in the third row to climb in and out without assistance.
Since it was my first time driving to Kalahari in the Poconos of Pennslyvania, I was a bit (actually very) nervous about getting lost and huge, curvy inclines. I actually had both my Waze and the Mazda CX-9 navigation system on at the same time. This was easy to use and integrated nicely with the endless stations in the 2018 Mazda CX-9.
Since the kids brought along their own devices and ear buds, my mom and I enjoyed listening to some old time favorites like the Simply Sinatra channel on Sirius XM. Even if we were ready for a change of music, my mom took to the middle knob located between us and selected other options. There was absolutely no skimping on the Mazda Sound capabilities. The 12-speaker Bose® Centerpoint® 2 Surround Sound System transported songs in live concert level sound. I had fun singing along to my favorite 80s songs while waiting in crazy LaGuardia traffic when my mom left. It didn’t matter at all, I felt like I was at my very own concert. There was no need at all to stretch or lean with the MAZDA CONNECT™ infotainment system to switch channels at any time. This is such a great feature.
The ride to Kalahari was smooth and uneventful. The weather was absolutely gorgeous (thank you G-d) and we opened up the shade of the sun roof to take it all in. The road up to the Poconos was curvy and increased with altitude. The sturdy feel of this car met each curve with ease, and it was fun too. The thick steering wheel was easy to manage, not too tight or too loose. The power of the brakes was both subtle and strong.
Even when we ran errands or picked up the kids up from school, the Mazda CX-9 fit perfectly into tight and small parking areas with ease. My mother was even impressed with my ability to park between two cars on the street. I have to admit, the full-color touchscreen display was amazing, and showed me what was behind me and front of me.
If you are a big apple person (as in the iPhone sort) this car does not have Apple carplay nor Android auto. We were just fine without it.I would say that the pricing for the 2018 Mazda CX-9 is well worth it, starting at $33,000 for the Sport and up to $46,000 for the near-luxury Signature model.
The Mazda CX=9 is an incredible car, whether you have to drive 2 hours, 10 hours, or just want to sit and sip coffee with a friend listening to music. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to both drive and review the 2018 Mazda CX-9. Have you migrated from your minivan and see yourself now in a SUV?