B1 Intermediate 634 Folder Collection
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(quiet piano music)
- The more and more I do car videos,
the more I'm surprised at what viewers wanna see.
In my height I thought,
"Well, everybody is gonna wanna see Ferraris,
"or just pure sports cars like the Chevy Corsica," but no.
Over and over again, this has been requested,
the Mazda CX-9.
(quiet piano music)
Believe it or not, the CX-9 is on the same architecture
as the CX-5 and the Mazda 3.
You would never guess because this thing looks immense.
It's wider, longer.
It's just more beefy.
Now when you talk about exteriors,
everybody has got a different opinion.
When you look at that, I almost got in a fist fight
over that grille with Turbowski.
Straight on, I think it's one of the best integrations
on any Mazda car, but when you get to the side,
it looks like you drove it into a wall,
and that's what he said.
And the more I look at the car from the side,
the more I feel the same way.
So let's talk about the front.
You have the LED accents in the headlights,
much like all the new modern Mazdas,
but you also have LED low beams and high beams,
which are a really nice touch.
The light output is excellent at night on this car.
Coming along the side of the CX-9,
this is where you start to see that up-sizing effect
that I spoke about earlier.
The lines work really well on this vehicle specifically.
It doesn't look awkward
like it does on some of the smaller cars.
One of my favorite parts
are these gunmetal-ish 20 inch wheels,
and yes, I know, the tires are gonna cost
a ridiculous amount for this car, but it looks so good here.
But where this falls apart,
and we talked about this in the shop, is this.
These plastic, non-painted panels all over the car,
and it just is a total distraction here.
And then on top of it,
they stick this chrome finishing accent on it,
and it just, you know what?
I actually would take this
and I would have a body shop paint all of it.
I just don't like it.
The back of the CX-9, I can just describe it
really in one way, and that is streamlined.
The lines are really clean.
There's just not an overuse of anything.
I'm not a huge fan of the chrome,
but the taillight design is compact,
the center lines are compact.
It just looks really clean and efficient.
Now unlike the CX-5, this has a power lift gate,
which is just like every other power lift gate.
It's way too slow.
You really don't have much manual control over it.
So for a vehicle like this, of course,
you're gonna have an electronic liftgate.
I couldn't see them doing a manual one.
It's just too big.
Here's what's good about the back end of the CX-9 is
everything is manual back here.
To flip down the seats,
the actual headrest goes down automatically
when you pull this lever and you push it down.
Now, pulling it back up is a little bit of a stretch,
and I'll be honest, I don't like it at all.
I have longer legs.
If you're really short,
this is probably gonna be a pain in the ass for you.
The second thing I don't like is these handles here,
these release handles.
They feel so cheap.
They feel like I could literally break them off
in probably a hundred times of pulling this,
especially if you're really reaching and in a hurry.
I don't know how they're gonna hold up,
but I'm just saying, try them out for yourself.
The next thing is, there is a ton of room
when you fold down all these seats.
Now the other negative here is
there is a huge gap in between,
and I noticed that right away
when I threw my tripod in the back.
It would always get stuck in between the seats,
and god, does it piss me off,
because I can't reach it from the back.
I have to go in the back door, dig it out, and pull it up.
And I can't move these seats back,
the frontal seats, to close that gap,
and I'm not sure if there's something I'm missing here,
but it's definitely something to note.
(dramatic tones)
So we are under the CX-9,
and what we've learned about this
is that for the most part, the architecture underneath
is shared with the CX-5 and the Mazda 3.
So a lot of all this has been reused.
Now in terms of suspension components, linkages, bushings,
tie rod ends, all that type of stuff
is all unique to the CX-9 and has been up-sized
because this is a much larger vehicle, but you can tell
with the frame structure and the sub-frame structure
how much room is in this suspension,
and the wheel wells on this
because they moved things outward.
And obviously it's nice,
because you can actually see in here for once.
The front part of the underbody is like identical
to the other Mazdas we've seen.
You have the front aerial panels,
all of this is covered up for air flow purposes.
There is strategically mounted drain holes
and holes all over the place.
- There are a very large amount of holes.
We should count 'em.
- It would probably take a week
to count all these holes under here.
But you're no stranger to counting holes, so.
We do have a service panel
to get to the oil drain cock and the filter.
- Why do they have two screw type fasteners here
and two push-in type fasteners here?
- I don't know.
- Why not just go all four of these,
'cause these are gonna break
or some yahoo is just gonna throw 'em out.
- Right.
- It's gonna fall off anyways.
- I don't like it.
Strut-based front suspension.
No adjustability for alignment aside from tow.
But something you noticed right away
that's different from the other Mazdas.
- What's that?
- The rubber isolators.
- Oh yes.
- Vibration dampers.
They have them strategically placed on this car.
You have one on the lower control arms,
and you noticed some other ones, too.
- [Scott] Two on the struts.
- Yeah, two on the actual struts themselves in the uprights.
And the actual wheel wells are coated
with a material to reduce road noise.
It's a felt-like fabric that reduces tire and wheel noise,
tire road noise, whatever.
So that's really about it on the front, Scott.
So as we get to the back and the middle of the vehicle,
this is an all-wheel drive model,
and I cannot believe they offer
a front wheel drive only for this
because of the torque output at low RPMs,
but these on-demand systems
in most all-wheel drive cars or SUVs of this type
are primarily front-wheel drive biased.
Now the drive shaft is always spinning while it's driving,
and this whole rear end is activated
via an electromagnetic clutch
which is controlled electronically.
So when the computer decides
that it needs to send power to the rear, (snaps fingers)
it sends voltage, locks that clutch,
and can slip the clutch as well
to send power to these rear wheels
to balance out the power split front to rear.
Now this is not any different than all the other systems
from Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, all of that, it's the same.
Now where Mazda differentiates
where they talk about this all the time
is their use of sensor data.
They wanna make this as proactive as possible,
which means it looks at ambient temperature.
It looks at steering angle sensors.
It looks at g-force, yaw rate,
so it knows if you're on a hill.
If you're on a hill, obviously,
it wants to send the power differently.
It knows when it's super cold out, potential snow,
when your windshield wipers are on, it knows when it's wet,
so it can always adjust the power before you get slippage.
It can react faster than you can.
So that's their big thing.
They spent a ton of time with that.
Now in terms of the actual drive train,
from talking to Dave, or I've emailed Dave some questions,
this is almost identical to the CX-5.
The differential is identical.
They haven't really up-sized it here.
Most everything is shared from the CX-5,
and actually in the CX-5 during the planning
they knew they were gonna build this,
so a lot of it is very similar.
This is the way of the future, bro.
- The big wheels and big grilles.
- Yep.
How much are these?
- 200 bucks.
What's the tread life?
- I didn't even look at that.
I was afraid to look at that.
- Pertinent information, 300.
- God.
Okay, so you're gonna pay,
for a really crumby set of tires on here,
about 165 is gonna be about the lowest you're gonna find.
These are 200 and you can go all the way up to about 289.
Winter tires are about 180 for this.
So it's something to note in terms of consumables,
and you'll probably get what,
two years out of these, three years?
- Depends on who's driving.
You're driving it, a year.
- Yeah, with all the torque in the front,
at least you can rotate 'em, 'cause I think
you're gonna be tearing up the fronts
if you're driving hard.
You said this hood is almost as long as that, what?
- 1963 Bonneville.
This is, what did I say?
48 inches from the metal to here.
That's 52.
- [Mark] The Bonneville is 52 and this is 48?
- [Scott] Yeah, and that has a proper engine
and a proper layout.
- What's not proper about this?
- Just look at it.
My God.
- Okay, so let's talk about this,
because this is a big deal.
A lot of people that are
huge Mazda fanatics or fans in general
have been waiting a long time for this 2.5 liter,
to have a car that makes some horsepower and torque,
so here it is.
- They should've built a V6
instead of did this to a four cylinder.
- They didn't want a V6.
That's why they built this,
is to avoid having to do V6s and V8s,
because they feel they can get
the same effect out of a turbo four as a V6,
have it more powerful and more efficient--
- And 10 times more complicated.
- It is complicated, I'll give you that.
I would not wanna work on this car.
We looked at it front to back,
and compared to the regular two liter and 2.5,
this is vastly more complicated.
So let's talk about what makes this special
and why they did it the way they did,
because this is much different
than a lot of the other turbo applications
that are out there.
For one, it still has a high compression ratio.
- Why didn't they just do a diesel?
- That's what this feels like driving it.
Because diesel has more problems with emissions,
and they do have a diesel in Europe,
but they can't bring it over here
because they can't get it certified
to pass California emissions, all the emissions nonsense,
so that's why they're doing this.
So the first thing that they attempted to do
was create a turbocharged motor
that has almost no turbo lag.
And to do that, they've had to custom make or custom design
a head with three exhaust ports instead of four.
So your outside cylinders have their two exhaust ports.
Your middle two cylinders share one exhaust port.
And they've done trickery
with the way they get the exhaust gas out
to help pull the exhaust gas
out of those middle two cylinders
so all the exhaust gas is coming out efficiently.
So one of the ways they've done it
is to build a exhaust manifold connected to the head,
and the turbo is right after it.
So you have head, exhaust manifold and butterfly valve,
and your turbo sandwiched together.
And that middle butterfly valve
allows the actual valve to close
on those three exhaust ports,
and what it does is it routes exhaust gas upward
to three smaller exhaust ports,
which it creates a highly more compressed air flow
to spool up that turbo almost from idle.
So they're using a trickery through the head design,
through this exhaust manifold with a butterfly valve,
to reroute the gas, to spin up the turbo fast,
and when that turbo gets going, they open up that flap,
all the exhaust gases flow out at full speed
for higher RPM action.
So what it gives 'em is the ability to have no turbo lag
at the lower RPM, provide consistent, linear power.
That's what this is all about.
The next, so we've got a couple other things to talk about.
The EGR system is cooled, well that's what this has,
an EGR cooler, and the whole idea is
to cool that exhaust gas that's going back
into the intake or into the engine
to reduce cylinder high temperature,
high compression, higher risk of knock,
they wanna reduce the risk of knock.
Really, there is so many tricks in this engine.
In terms of head design, they've taken measures.
I asked about carbon buildup.
That was the big thing.
Now that they have a turbo on this,
how are they gonna deal with intake valve carbon buildup
from the direct injection?
And Dave--
- It won't have it.
- Yeah, that's what Dave's answer was.
They're not gonna have to deal with it on here because--
- 'Cause the air blows too fast past intake valves
it can't ever stick.
- Right, well no, it wasn't so much
about the speed of the air.
- I know.
- It was about the temperature, that they're able to control
the combustion and the ignition temperatures
and all of that in the cylinder head
to prevent the carbon from building up.
If you can keep the temperatures in there
at the proper range, you don't get as much carbon buildup,
and the way that they've designed
their actual cylinder walls, their ring design, all of that,
there's very minimal blow by,
including the way they've done the turbo seals.
There's a lot less oil, a lot less blow by.
So long story short, Dave is saying
that carbon buildup on the intake valves
is going to be a non-issue on this motor.
So we're just gonna have to take him for his word.
- [Scott] We'll see.
- Now adding a turbo, which Mazda has not had for a while,
you run a heavier weight oil, 5W-30,
to handle the heat, the higher temperatures.
So I asked Dave, "Do they run an engine oil cooler?"
And they do run an oil water-heat exchanger for this car,
so technically, oil cooling
should not be an issue unless you're in maybe
really, really hot climate uphill towing situations,
but overall, it should be a non-issue for this car.
So now the more real question.
We could talk about all the technology in here.
That's a more in-depth discussion,
and you can find more about it on the Internet.
But the biggest thing that people wanna know is,
will this fit in the Mazda 3 and the Mazda 6 and the CX-5?
- If they put a five foot long front end on it, sure.
- Actually that's, they've said
that it will fit in those cars, that it will be,
this could drop directly into all of those,
because it's the same architecture.
- There's your market.
You can start doing swaps.
- And do some swaps.
I hadn't driven this car,
and I heard about it and I was excited about it,
'cause I thought this would be really good
on a Mazda 3 or a 6 or even a CX-5, right?
So after driving it,
there's no way this is gonna go in a Mazda 3 or a Mazda 6.
It would be an absolute nightmare to drive.
It would be horrible.
There's too much torque at the bottom end
to control all of that to front wheels
on a lightweight platform.
- No, no, no, you turn the engine that right way,
send the power to the back.
- You're not gonna do that on Mazda 3 and 6.
- They should consider it.
Base everything off the Miata and just--
- Just build it, build that outward?
Yeah, that's exactly what I think most people would want.
The CX-9.
It's time to take a drive,
and I've chosen sub-optimal weather.
Parts of pavement are wet, others are dry,
which is a good test for the all wheel drive system
in the CX-9, including its new power output.
So let's take it around the pavement that is broken
and see how it does over some chop.
The CX-9 is a cruiser,
but it's definitely more on the sporty side.
The big bumps sometimes unsettle it, but for the most part,
90% of bad pavement feels smooth in here.
In terms of road noise isolation, it does a really good job.
I mean, these are huge 20 inch wheels,
so sometimes you feel a little bit of tramlining,
a little bit of pulling when you hit some bumps,
but for the most part,
I think they've struck a really good balance here
without having to use adjustable dampers
to get the sport on the smooth pavement
and for it to soak up the bumps
on just all the bad stuff, too.
We got problems.
Hey, get in my car!
Get in here!
They don't wanna get in.
They never wanna get in.
And the CX-9 is Mazda's quietest vehicle ever.
Now part of the trickery is,
as Dave Coleman and other engineers have stated is,
they were able to reduce so much weight outta here
they could add some back,
which means they've added sound insulation
into the doors and particularly the floorboards,
and it helps a lot in the overall quality
of the driving experience,
specifically on a vehicle like this
where it's more of a cruiser.
You're gonna buy this for comfort and not sporty driving.
Now in terms of fitment and quality,
there are some rattles in here,
and it's coming from one of the pillars
on the front right passenger side,
from the plastics around the windows.
And I pushed on it, pushed in different areas,
and it's a little annoying,
but that's exactly what happens
when you start to silence everything down.
Every little creak, vibration, you start to notice,
and that's something that can be very frustrating.
Personally, over the life of a car,
I'd rather have a little bit more road noise.
I'm trying to track down
these nagging little creaks and rattles everywhere.
The next part about the driving experience
is this HUD, and now you no longer have
a flip up Plexiglas screen that I wanted to rip off.
It's projected onto the glass
like cars have been doing since the '80s,
and it's a pretty good HUD, but I have to turn it off.
Because it's LED backlit, there's some flicker,
and when the car has vibration,
you start to see the actual projection onto the glass
vibrate with the car, and to me it's very distracting.
So you can turn it off in the actual infotainment menus
by going under Settings and AD Display.
And you have to actually scroll down
and uncheck Active Driving Display.
Done, easy, except when you turn the car back on,
it automatically turns back on every time.
It doesn't stay off, which is super annoying to me
that I have to disable it every time.
So then you have to go into the height adjustment,
move it all the way up.
This is technology for ya.
Mazda has finally got a turbocharged engine
that makes some significant amount of torque and horsepower.
So what is it like accelerating in this vehicle?
Let's check it out.
I'm gonna brake-torque it just a little bit
to get the turbo up just so you can see
the best case scenario here.
(engine revving) (tires screeching)
So, first impressions,
you feel a lot more torque than horsepower.
That initial push back into your seat at the lower RPMs
is where you feel everything.
As it starts to wind up towards the higher RPM it falls off
and you actually have to shift sooner in manual mode
to get the most out of it.
Let's check out the handling in some of these damp roads,
and I have traction control off and I'm in manual mode.
Dry pavement now, so we'll get some dry grip.
Very well dampened over the tracks.
You can feel that all wheel drive system working
with initial understeer,
and then it starts to neutralize a little bit.
It's pretty good.
Now we're gonna turn sport mode on
and the transmission not manual mode
and turn traction control off
so all the stability systems are on.
There's a little bit of understeer.
The steering weight is heavy on this car,
and one of the things about it is
they've tuned this to give you some steering feedback.
For a big car, it communicates really well
with what the vehicle is doing at all times.
A lot of SUVs or heavier vehicles
do this light steering feel to give you the sense
that the vehicle is lighter than it is,
and then you turn in so quick and it upsets the car.
You don't have that problem with the CX-9.
Now the thing is, this is still a heavy SUV.
It completely hide its weight.
The all-wheel drive system can only do so much
to neutralize the handling.
Now with the turbo in this car
and they way that the turbo is tuned
to give you all that torque up front,
it tends to torque steer the front a lot,
especially when that boost comes on.
And it's not as natural and not as neutral
as the other Mazda cars I've drive.
So I'll tell you the first thing I did.
When I got this vehicle from the fleet company,
I wanted to try out to see what the power delivery was
in 87 versus 93, because the ECU on this car will adjust
for different types of fuel, and give you more power.
It won't pull as much timing using 93 octane.
So I burned through that initial tank of fuel,
and the one thing I notice about it was
definitely you lost horsepower at the higher end.
It felt like you fell off a cliff.
You'd get all this torque,
and at about 4500 to 5000 RPMs, nothing was happening.
There was no pull.
So I flushed all that out, got 93 octane in here,
and after about 100 miles, you can definitely feel
there's a lot more pull in the higher RPM.
It just, it doesn't fall on its face
as fast as it did with the 87,
which is really good for somebody who wants to drive this
in a more aggressive fashion
to have more linear power delivery, and I really like that.
You can drive it more like a normal sports car
because this is tuned with 87 octane to not do that.
It's designed for people
that aren't gonna put their foot down.
Yeah, so these tires aren't particularly the greatest on wet
as you could see there.
It washes out a little bit with the stability system off,
but usually it'll give you a little bit of slippage
with the stability control on,
obviously it's set up for safety and it will correct,
but this is definitely more understeer prone than anything.
That's to be expected, too.
I mean, it's an on-demand system.
It's gonna favor front wheel drive.
Let's take it through the turns in fully automatic here
and see how it does.
I don't have a lot of confidence in these tires.
There is torque steer.
You can feel the wheel tugging at you
a little bit in this car, of course,
because of all the torque delivery.
And they don't have the best lateral wet grip.
All understeering through there.
But what's impressive overall
is that you can drive this in an aggressive manner
and have a little bit of fun
for the size and weight of this.
They didn't just wanna sterilize all the sport out of it,
which I can really appreciate.
There's comfort.
There's good steering feel.
There's good low end power for daily driving,
and that's a huge, huge factor for most people.
You don't have to wind the piss out of this 2.5 liter turbo
to get it going.
Again, you really have to back off on the wet.
This thing wants to understeer for sure.
Torque steer, see how the brakes do here.
Good, brakes are solid.
There's no confidence issues.
Yeah, this is some of the price you pay
for having all that torque, 300 pounds, at such a low end.
You start to wash out, you start to lose traction,
and that stability control system
has to work a little bit more to keep the car in check.
Last but not least, the transmission.
And I've said this about other Mazda cars.
This is one of the best automatics,
regardless of price point under like $60,000.
It's a torque converted setup
that has the torque converter locked up almost all the time.
It has almost instantaneous downshifts.
It rev matches all your downshifts,
so when I go from fourth to third, second,
it's never jarring, it's always ready to go.
Upshifting and downshifting is a total joy here,
and it's one of the best parts
about Mazda automatics, I'll be honest,
and it's not a drudgery like some of the other vehicles.
Like your SUVs from Toyota and Hyundai,
they are just so slow.
The transmissions are just tuned for one thing,
and that is not doing much or having any fun at all.
You can at least have some fun in here
by manually shifting it, and it's a big pro for me
if I was gonna get a hauler like this.
Now the transmission does
an extremely good job in sport mode
of automatically downshifting,
keeping you in the power band at all times.
So if you're in aggressive driving mode
and you don't wanna manually shift this,
sport mode will do it for you based on g-force.
If it knows you're coming into a turn and there's lateral g,
it will downshift, prepare you for the turn
so the actual motor in the turbo is on boil,
which is really nice.
In regular driving mode, not in sport,
the transmission just goes into the most efficient state,
and you'll notice that it's programming
is to always shift about 5500 RPMs,
well away from the red line
to always keep you in the torque curve
where all that torque is coming,
because the power falls off at the top end.
So at the end, there's some big pros for the CX-9,
and the big one is this is the most refined Mazda ever made.
It's quiet, it's comfortable.
It does well over all pavement types.
It's got a super sporty transmission, super smooth,
and the motor has finally got some balls
for a Mazda vehicle, and it's fuel efficient.
My worst tank, and that was just trying
to blow through all the fuel as fast as possible,
was 18.1 miles per gallon.
Now that I've been driving it like a normal person,
I'm getting upwards of 25,
which is really good for the size of this vehicle.
Now the negatives are, it's not as sporty as you'd think.
It's not as fast as you would think.
If you're running 87 octane regular gas in here,
all the fun is had in the first 4,000 RPMs.
You can't rev this thing out and make power,
and that's a big deal for somebody
who's more of a driving enthusiast.
If you're somebody that's putting around
it's gonna be a total non-issue.
You always feel like there's power in the low RPMs,
which is how you drive every day,
but that's something to note.
The other negative is the HUD.
I can't turn it off permanently.
I have to disable it every time I get in the car.
And there's a couple creaks and rattles in here,
and just overall some things they need to work out,
like the rear view mirror just is always moving.
It's always loose.
I mean, there's just little quality issues in here
that I think that they can improve
in the manufacturing process
and the quality process over time.
But overall, let's take a look
at the overall interior experience.
(piano notes)
Getting inside the Mazda CX-9.
This is the signature edition,
which means it's fully loaded, totally tarted out.
It's got everything that you'd expect,
and this feels like an entry level luxury car.
This has gotta be Mazda's best interior yet.
You can tell their interior designers
have gotten their shit together here.
Let me explain what I mean by that.
It's the diversity of materials, the choices they've made.
If you've ever been into an affordable car
with a black interior and all black leather,
a lot of 'em look very bland and monochrome,
and their attempts to break up all that black
seem kind of chintzy or cheap or just half assed.
Here you don't have that problem.
The upper dash has this soft touch material
that almost feels like leather.
The whole middle section of the dash,
they decided to go with this really dark brown material,
or dark brown which also feels like leather
that runs across the whole center dash
and into the door panels where the actual door handles are.
And it's just a really nice touch,
and to just top all that off,
they've decided to use real aluminum trim
across the whole center dash and into the actual door areas,
which is so nice after you've seen so many cheap attempts
at recreating aluminum with plastic.
Now every interior has its quirks,
and as much as I like it, there are problems with it.
So here they are.
And I understand this right off the bat
with all these matte textures,
from a design standpoint you need some shiny bits
to break up all of that, right?
So that's what they've done.
There is this piano gloss or glossy plastic
in high traffic areas, like the window switches
and in the entire center console,
because this doesn't have the wood option.
So what it looks like in here is it looks dull,
full of micro scratches, splotches,
and there's a gouge on the passenger side,
and it just looks bad.
It looks like you have to put a lot of work
into keeping it clean, or it's just susceptible
to develop those problems.
The second thing I absolutely hate is the plastic chrome,
and they put it, again, on the window switch area
and around this whole center console.
And when I'm driving in the sun,
I feel like I just wanna put my sunglasses on
because it's so reflective down here.
I just can't get used to it and it's just not my bag,
so whether you have a problem with it
you're gonna have to get in here and see for yourself.
Back to the good stuff, ergonomics and the touch points,
the things that you interact with every day.
This steering wheel is excellent.
No, it's not overtly sporty but it's contoured just right
as a daily driver or as a comfortable driver.
You're not inundated with a million buttons
on the steering wheel, either.
You have arrows that tell you
what your forward and back is for your track selection.
You're not doing any guesswork.
Your leather wrapped shift knob here on the automatic,
if you're in manual mode it feels really solid,
almost like a manual transmission knob.
The turn signal stocks,
there's no digi turn signals or wiper stocks here.
All your buttons are easily accessible.
Your HVAC controls are carryover
from the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6
with the addition of the rear control here.
Everything works so well, feels so high quality.
The padding is in the right place for your elbows.
Your right knee area is padded,
but your left is not, which sucks.
Overall, this is a very, very high quality,
luxury feeling interior.
In terms of seats, these are the most comfortable seats
Mazda has made in a modern car.
They're better than the three by a long stretch
and they're better than the Mazda 6.
They are pretty comfortable.
They are not the industry best because there's a little bit
of sportiness and firmness here, but overall I like them.
The one thing I don't like is the driver's seat.
The electronic control,
I can't move the seat forward
and recline or decline the seat at the same time.
It's one button switch at a time,
which is a pain in the ass
if I have to move the seats forward or back
for somebody in the back seat.
Now weird thing is, the passenger seat is not like that.
You can do both buttons at a time and it will adjust,
so I don't know if that just needs to be fixed
or if it's actually a programming problem.
Last but not least, is infotainment and the sound system.
Now every single Mazda model
with this infotainment is identical.
There's no variation.
There's not 20 different versions of the same thing,
which means they've standardized it,
and coming from a technical background,
I really appreciate what they've done here.
Now, using it is nice
because it's a touch screen when you're stopped,
so it's easy to get around, and it's very responsive.
And then you have a central command knob here
in the center console when you're moving.
Once you master it, stupid simple to use, very little lag.
And the steering wheel controls are super intuitive as well.
It makes it a very comfortable,
non-intimidating user experience.
Now the negative part is,
this is a Linux-based operating system,
and they had an API opened up to developers
to come up with applications for this car,
and they have not done anything with it
in two and a half years.
There's still no Android integration,
there's still no Apple integration,
and it's falling behind in that regard.
As much as it's quick and easy,
there needs to be some ability for users
to side load different things to make it more interesting
and more powerful to use for power users, really.
The infotainment is run off this screen on the dash,
which looks like it's stuck up here
like a VTech My First Tablet for kids.
It does not go down, either physically or electronically.
It's always there, and that might be
a deal breaker for some, but you're gonna see
a lot of manufacturers starting to do this same thing,
and it is what it is.
This second row is where the CX-9
starts to get me real hot real fast,
and that's because it makes up
for a lot of the problems with the back area.
These seats adjust so well, so easily.
They're split, obviously, 20, 60, 40, whatever it is.
It does recline, it has a recline feature.
It's all manual, there's no power seats.
And it's very comfortable.
The way that this front seat,
the actual back of the front seat, is contoured,
it's really good for creating knee space,
which is pretty important,
because the second row is your most usable,
but it does look like
a five year old from a child labor camp
stitched the back of these seats.
They look horrible.
There is HVAC in the back.
It's not dual zone, but it obviously,
at least you get some vents and some control back here.
There is no heated or cooled seats in the back,
so don't get too worked up about that.
Compared to some of the other
three row vehicles I've been in recently,
this gives you a ton of ingress and egress
outside into the back seat,
namely if you're a shorter driver in the front
or short passenger.
These seats are up in the front a lot.
It's like ridiculous.
It's so easy to get in and outta here.
It's like two feet, two legs, easily,
well almost two legs, and I'm skinny,
but if those front seats are back too much,
you're gonna have to be like an evolved chimpanzee
to get back there, but I like the amount of space
and I like the amount of room,
and the third row is pretty usable.
Now the negative part is, this seat, the bigger one,
it takes a lot of upper body strength
to move it down and up,
and that's one thing, it's really heavy,
and I'm struggling to lift it one armed with my left arm,
and if you're a female and you're petite
and you're struggling, this is gonna be a pain in the ass.
And dare I say it,
this is exactly why if you need three rows
I would always buy a minivan over this
because you don't have to fight with all this shit.
But I know I just said a dirty word
for a lot of people out there
that can't even fathom owning a minivan.
So what's the conclusion?
Well that's pretty simple.
This is the best mainstream vehicle Mazda has ever produced
in terms of refinement, quality, comfort,
driving dynamics, interior space, attention to detail,
and you can tell with it,
it's a big cruiser without feeling like a big cruiser.
Now that's where some of the problem comes in,
because this still has some of the Mazda DNA,
and what that means is, trying to strip out weight
where they didn't need it and complexity.
Like, you don't have the panoramic sunroof
or seat coolers or seat heaters in the back seats.
And those are things that people
are going to be looking for and cross shopping for
in more of a luxury level SUV,
things that Hyundai and Kia have in their vehicles
that this doesn't.
And I don't know if they're gonna steer people
away from some of those other brands
to sacrifice just for better driving dynamics,
I just don't know.
That's one of the reasons
why it's a confusing vehicle to me.
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Review | 2016 Mazda CX-9 | Plump Yet Satisfying

634 Folder Collection
Ken Lee published on December 16, 2016
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