The Mazda CX-9 arrived in its current generation in 2016 and began winning awards for its interior experience, design, and well-balanced drive dynamic. Six years later, all of those things still apply. The CX-9 has a beautiful interior, smart design, and good dynamic. But there are a few sacrifices made to get those things.
New for 2022 is the Touring Plus trim level, which fits smack in the middle of the CX-9’s model lineup. That lineup begins with the Sport, the Touring, and then the Touring Plus. After that is the Carbon Edition, the Grand Touring, and the Signature. This gives a few more options for customers to consider when buying the Mazda CX-9. We recommend staying at the low and mid-point for this vehicle. Past that, while the goodies are good, the price point starts pushing into the premium and luxury space.
Another new addition for 2022 is that all-wheel drive is now standard on all CX-9 models. To simplify the drivetrain for production and meet consumer demand (which greatly favors AWD), Mazda decided to drop the front-wheel drive option for this three-row SUV. We’re not surprised.
Beyond all of that, the 2022 Mazda CX-9 is just a well-done, well-balanced, comfortable sport utility with a small (kids only) third row that can be useful in a pinch. Cargo space is small for the segment, mostly due to that third row, and price tags vary between “good deal” and “shopping is hard.” Most buyers of the CX-9 will be in the $40,000 price range for a Touring or Touring Plus model. The Carbon Edition, which is a good option for those who prefer darker highlights, prices at about $44,000.
No matter which 2022 CX-9 is chosen, though, it will be powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that outputs 227 horsepower. Unless you also opt for premium fuel, which bumps HP to 250. A six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive finish off the powertrain. LED headlamps, tri-zone climate, a big 10.25-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and several other goodies are also standard equipment. That includes advanced safety and driver assistance gear like adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, blind-spot monitoring, heated front seats, and lane keeping assist.
Not too shabby for a crossover that is also balanced well, drives nicely, and that sports a premium-feeling interior. For anyone looking for a mid-sized sport utility with an occasional-use third row, the 2022 Mazda CX-9 fits the bill. It remains a solid favorite in the mid-sized SUV segment.
This review originally appeared on DriveModeShow.com.