For me, a crossover SUV is more than just a pretty face.
With the kind of hauling I have to do when everyone in the family is around for Thanksgiving, a three-row crossover with raw power and yet silent enough to let the baby sleep can never be too much to ask for.
With that as an entry point, of course, it should not be much of a surprise that I would pick the Mazda CX-9 Signature, just for the velvet smooth ride and low decibel revs from the power plant under the hood.
For me, this subtle monster has every “wow” factor an SUV lover would want.
Mazda promises a quicker and more responsive drive train that will add to a quieter drive and smoother ride.
Let us look what is packed in the Mazda CX-9 Signature that brings all the boys to the yard.
Mazda CX-9 – Interior
I start here because no one will be sitting on the hood or roof while driving or being driven.
There is so much luxury, the kind that is hard to come by in your average entry-level luxury model.
The leather seats feature two-tone Nappa leather; which is also what has been used on the door panels, console and steering wheel.
The seats are so comfortable I wanted to have my board meeting in the car.
Your tall passengers still get ample legroom regardless of where they seat. Second-row seats have climate control and pull down shades to keep the sun at bay.
Two adults can sit comfortably in the third row, but I would advise leaving that part of the car for children.
Right behind the third row comes your cargo space, 14.4 cubic feet of it; fold the third-row seats and you make 38.2 cubic feet which is quite roomy.
The one touch lift-gate gives you ample time loading everything you need for the weekend, however you want it.
The Mazda Connect infotainment system sits smug at the dashboard’s center allowing the driver and the front passenger to interact with the system with minimum strain.
The simplistic infotainment system offers everything from a map to a navigator and a host of audio streaming apps.
There is also the USB and Bluetooth connectivity that allow you to have even more variety since there is no CD player; which is something that most of us don’t need anyway.
What is also visibly missing is a car integration system for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Why is it quiet again?
With an already noisy world, a quiet ride is more like having the coolest water when you are smack in the middle of the wilderness of Sahara.
The Mazda CX-9 Signature features lightweight construction methods than the previous generation. There is the acoustic glass to start with that slashes wind noise significantly.
There is also about 54 pounds of sound deadening right between the floor of the SUV and the carpet to reduce the noise coming from the road.
Mazda CX-9 – Engine
Under the hood, the model is powered by the turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine that punches 310 lb-ft of torque at 2000rpm while belting 250 horsepower on 93 octane gasoline.
This puts the vehicle’s thirst at 28mpg in the highways and 22mpg in the city.
The engine is coupled with a six-speed automatic gearbox available in front wheel drive or the i-ACTIV all-wheel drive.
Mazda’s largest vehicle is a stunner, to say the least. The drive performance, handling, and fuel economy of the Mazda CX-9 Signature is one that puts the vehicle in a class of its own.
The automaker has made it clear that they have the capacity to build a big and spacious Sports Utility Vehicle with all the trappings of comfort.
The bold futuristic exterior is attractive, says much of the luxuriously quiet feeling you get on the interior.
Since nothing is without its flaws, the missing Android Auto and a highly set armrest are the undoing of the Mazda CX-9 Signature.
This exceptional full-bodied SUV isn’t keen on wringing your wallet dry. Drive off the entry level sports trim starting from $31,250.
The top trim Signature model will set you back $44,015 without the $900 destination charge.
There is no reason anyone with a large family wouldn’t go for this whip.