Review - 2022 Mazda CX-9

By Alexi Falson on 08 Mar 2022
image for Review - 2022 Mazda CX-9 The flagship of Mazda’s SUV lineup, the CX-9 is billed as Mazda’s largest, most luxurious and most practical vehicle designed to meet the needs of Australians demanding a comfortable and spacious platform for their growing families.

In its second generation, Mazda is packing more equipment than ever before into its CX-9 as it hopes to win the hearts and minds of buyers that have a number of options in the large SUV space. These options include rivals like the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Sorento, Toyota Kluger, Nissan Pathfinder and the Hyundai Santa Fe.

In the ever-competitive world of seven-seat SUVs, Mazda is hoping that it can outperform its rivals when it comes to sleek styling, safety equipment, space and practicality, as well as increasingly generous features lists to win over buyers.

Just how effective has this recipe been? Let’s find out.

Starting Price: $45,990

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Mazda CX-9 - SPORT (FWD) Specifications

Model Date 2022
Model CX-9
Series CX9M
Variant SPORT (FWD)
Transmission 6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive FWD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 2488
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 5000 / 2000
Cylinders T4
Torque 420
KW 170
Fuel tank size 72.0
Fuel usage specs 8.4 / 0.0
CO2 197
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Mazda CX-9 car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Mazda CX-9 lineup kicks off with the front-wheel drive CX-9 Sport, which is priced from $45,990, while the all-wheel drive variant will cost you $49,990. The CX-9 Touring in front-wheel drive format is priced from $53,490, while the all-wheel drive variant will set you back $57,490. From here, the range moves to the CX-9 GT variant, which in front-wheel drive configuration costs $62,990, AWD is priced from $66,990, while the CX-9 GT SP front-wheel drive costs $63,490 and the AWD version will set you back $67,490. 

The range then moves to the CX-9 Azami which is priced from $66,190 for the front-wheel drive version, and $70,625 for the all-wheel drive variant. Finally, the Mazda CX-9 flagship vehicles come in the form of the CX-9 100th Anniversary Special Edition and the Azami LE all-wheel drive, which are priced from $72,575 and $73,875 respectively. 

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What Features Does the Mazda CX-9 Have?

Mazda’s entry-level CX-9 Sport comes with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, automatic wipers, adaptive cruise control, reversing camera with parking sensors on the rear, push-button start, 7.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+ radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite navigation, six-speaker sound system, three-zone climate control, head-up display for the driver and off-road traction system for all-wheel drive variants. 

Stepping up to the CX-9 Touring means you’ll get a larger 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, keyless entry, heated front seats, parking sensors on the front, leather interior upholstery, LED fog lights, wheel-mounted paddle shifters, power-adjustable driver and passenger seats and a centre armrest in the rear of the cabin with built-in USB ports. 

The CX-9 GT variant comes riding on a set of larger 20-inch alloy wheels, as well as being packaged with a 10.25-inch infotainment system, wireless smartphone charging, powered boot lift, 12-speaker Bose sound system and a heated row of seats in the rear of the cabin. The CX-9 GT SP comes riding on a set of black 20-inch alloys, and receives a deep red leather upholstery finish, red interior highlights, a black finish for the mirrors, and a dark finish for the front grille. 

The flagship CX-9 Azami adds adaptive LED headlights, nappa leather upholstery, wood interior trim, surround-view camera, heated steering wheel, 7.0-inch driver’s display, ventilated front seats, ambient lighting package and a heated windscreen. The Azami LE adds a set of powered, heated and ventilated seats in the rear of the cabin, as well as some storage in the centre console. 

Mazda CX-9 Range Features:

  • 18-inch alloys 

  • Automatic LED headlights 

  • Rear view camera with rear parking sensors 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Push-button start 

  • 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB+, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • Three-zone climate control 

  • Head-up display 

  • LED fog lights (Touring & above) 

  • Keyless entry & start (Touring & above) 

  • Heated front seats (Touring & above) 

  • 9.0-inch infotainment system with sat-nav (Touring & above) 

  • Leather upholstery (Touring & above) 

  • 20-inch alloys (GT & above) 

  • Panoramic sunroof (GT & above) 

  • 10.25-inch infotainment system (GT & above) 

  • 12-speaker Bose sound system (GT & above) 

  • Powered boot lift (GT & above) 

  • Adaptive LED headlights (Azami)

  • Surround-view camera (Azami)

Mazda CX-9 Colours

The Mazda CX-9 is available in a range of colours, including: Machine Grey Metallic, Polymetal Grey Metallic, Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, Sonic Silver Metallic, Titanium Flash Mica, Deep Crystal Blue Mica, Jet Black Mica.

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

While it might have some pretty lengthy proportions, Mazda has done a great job in designing the CX-9 to be approachable and user-friendly for all types of drivers. Typically, as a vehicle gets larger, the ride quality can suffer from body roll and bogging down from all that added weight. 

In the CX-9, however, the driving dynamic is remarkably smooth, and goes to prove that large people-movers can be exciting, too. Most notably, the 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine offers 170kW/420Nm of torque, which is more than enough to get you off the line and up to speed, with the six-speed automatic providing a silky-smooth driving quality. 

Around town, the CX-9 remains every bit as easy to pilot as a midsize or even compact SUV from Mazda’s lineup. This is down to the sturdy suspension system that manages to minimise body roll while ironing out severe bumps on the road, and the lightweight steering rack that makes low-speed manoeuvres and parking a simple task. 

In base form, the CX-9 feels and drives well beyond its price tag, and the more expensive variants feel right on par thanks to the sophisticated and high-quality ride on offer. When you’re up and moving, the CX-9 feels surprisingly planted, and while it’s no doubt a heavy car, it does a great job at holding on through the corners for something of this size, and is a testament to Mazda’s exceptionally high level of design and execution.  

It will take some time getting used to the sheer size of the CX-9 - it’s just over 5-meters long - when you’re in car parks and tight traffic situations, but the car redeems itself with just how relaxing and easy it is to pilot in all other driving conditions.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Designed exclusively for large and growing families, the Mazda CX-9 excels when you put its space and practicality credentials under the microscope. Thanks to its sheer size and Mazda’s clever interior packaging designs, the CX-9 is unphased by a load of seven people and their belongings, making for a perfect companion for large families. 

Up front, the driver and front passenger are treated to a wonderfully-designed cabin that asserts Mazda’s spot at the top when it comes to interior designs. The seating position tucks you into the centre of the car while maintaining a great view out of the windshield, while offering a huge amount of flexibility for drivers of different sizes. 

Entry-level models receive cloth upholstery and smaller infotainment system, while mid-tier variants get a sophisticated leather touch for the seats and larger touchscreen. 

Practical elements in the front of the cabin include storage in the door bins either side, as well as underneath the folding armrest and a small tray behind the gear lever for smartphones and loose items, and a pair of cup holders. 

Move to the second row of the cabin and you’ll find a heap of space available behind the driver, with absolutely no issues in terms of leg or headroom for adult passengers, meaning you won’t hear a peep from any kids in the second row. The second row reclines for added comfort, and  also gains its own set of climate control vents, sun shades on the windows and a large folding armrest with in-built storage cup holders. 

The second row and third rows of the Mazda CX-9 also feature a pair of easily-accessible ISOFIX anchors for those looking to install child seats, making it one of the few seven-seat SUVs with ISOFIX points in the third row of the cabin. 

Speaking of the third row, there’s a generous amount of space for anyone in the sixth and seventh seat of the CX-9, and while adults will rarely find themselves back here, it is possible to sit somewhat comfortably for a short trip. For kids, the third row of the CX-9 is exceptionally spacious and makes for a genuinely impressive seven-seat SUV experience. 

Finally, the Mazda CX-9 has a boot rated at 230L with the third row standing, which expands to 810L with the rearmost seats folded down flat, which is pretty impressive and adds to the flexibility of the whole package. 

Is it Safe?

The Mazda CX-9 has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 35.87 out of a potential 37. 

As standard, all members of the CX-9 family come packaged with front and rear autonomous emergency braking with day and night-time pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assistance, traffic sign recognition and curtain airbags around the cabin. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

The front-wheel drive Mazda CX-9 range is rated at 8.4L per 100km on a combined cycle, while the all-wheel drive variants are rated at 9.0L per 100km. For a vehicle of this size, these figures are pretty impressive, albeit slightly thirstier than some of the diesel alternatives on the market. 

Our Verdict: Is the Mazda CX-9 Worth it?

The Mazda CX-9 is proof that families don’t need to make any major sacrifices when it comes to opting for a seven-seat SUV. Featuring some sleek styling inside and out, Mazda has designed the CX-9 to make each and every journey comfortable and refined, and as a complete package, it performs flawlessly. 

The CX-9 ticks the important boxes of space, practicality, safety, entertainment features and comfortable driving dynamics, all in a stylish package that any Australian would be proud to put in their garage. 

As a result, we can’t help but insist that you add the CX-9 to your shortlist while shopping around for large, comfortable and practical seven-seat SUVs. On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited KM warranty 

  2. Five-star ANCAP safety rating 

  3. Seven seats with 230L of boot space; expands to 810L 

  4. Fuel economy between 8.4 - 9.0L per 100km 

  5. Turbo-petrol engine fitted across the range 


  • Class-leading interior design and packaging 

  • Comfortable suspension with smooth powertrain

  • Real-world space in the second and third row of cabin 

  • ISOFIX mounts in the second and third row 


  • Compact infotainment system for base variant 

  • Front-mounted parking sensors reserved for mid-tier variants 

  • Lack of hybrid or diesel option 

OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10

Mazda CX-9 Competition

Mazda CX-9

Hyundai Palisade
Toyota Kluger
Kia Sorento
Hyundai Santa Fe
Nissan Pathfinder


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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