DALLAS, May 21, 2012 — While the 2012 Mazda CX-9 is unchanged this year, it’s still one to consider that offers a sporty feel even though it is just as much a family-friendly crossover as ever.
Competition includes the Ford Flex, Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, and the GMC Acadia all with third-row seat options. Otherwise, for a smaller piece of the competition look at the Dodge Durango or the Ford Explorer, which offer similar features whether larger or smaller, but for this choice, it might really just be a matter of brand loyalty.
All the features you’d expect on the Mazda makes the CX-9 impressive in any of the three trims: the Sport, Touring or Grand Touring.
The Sport trim is the entry-level option with 18-inch alloy wheels, three-zone automatic climate control, power accessories, a remote keyless entry, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a trip computer along with audio highlights like Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system.
The jump up is the Touring trim with the added automatic headlights, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, and comfy heated power front seats. For the top-of-the-line, the Grand Touring will give you 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights, fog lights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition/entry, driver-seat memory presets, a second-row armrest, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a blind-spot warning system.
There are a number of options on the various trims as well as a sunroof, power tailgate, a navigation system that includes a rearview camera or the stand-alone rearview camera, remote ignition, and a back-seat entertainment system.
For audio junkies, you can also opt for an upgraded Bose surround-sound audio system, satellite radio and an audio display in the dash.
Under the hood the 2012 Mazda CX-9 there is a 3.7-liter V6 engine with 273 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. You get a six-speed automatic and a manual shift control and depending on your choice, you can choose front or all-wheel drive. For towing the CX-9 can take up to 3,500 pounds.
Safety in the CX-9 comes with antilock disc brakes, stability control including a rollover sensor, front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags, and head restraints.
Once inside the 2012 Mazda CX-9, you will find an interior that offers style and design that you can’t argue with, including high end bells and whistles. The console in the middle has a split opening and there is plenty of room for storage inside.
There is also good space in the front and second rows, but for taller passengers the third row is not recommended. The second row seats also recline for added comfort and slide back for more legroom.
The third row is also easy to get in and out of since the doors are spacious and the second row seats are easy to manipulate folding down and sliding.
Overall, the cargo space is 101 cubic feet at the maximum in this vehicle when the second and third row seats are both flat.
For driving, you won’t get a more comfy ride with easier handling than in this Mazda, and for long trips it’s a no-brainer. Not clunky like some SUV crossovers, the Mazda CX-9 takes the road with grace and ease, just as we have all come to expect in this brand.
Should You Need to Know: The standout here is the sporty handling despite the CX-9 being a crossover; you can drive it and feel like you own the road and that’s even with a look and feel of a family friendly car.
Miles Per Gallon: This is where you might be a little disappointed since the 2012 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD I drove came in with 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway.
Cost: The cost for the top-of-the-line AWD Grand Touring was $40,850.
Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.
She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at www.unregularradio.com.
Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.
Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from www.historypress.net. You can also follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.