Thank you Mazda for sponsoring this post. All opinions and photos in this post regarding Mazda and the Mazda CX-9 are entirely my own.
I have been driving a Mazda 3 for the past seven years and it has always been a great and reliable car. So you can only imagine how excited I was to partner with Mazda on a recent trip to Los Angeles and test drive one of their newer SUVs for a few days while we were road-tripping around LA for our anniversary. It has always been a dream of mine to own a red car so I was even more excited to find out we would be driving a Soul Red Crystal Metallic 2018 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD.
The exterior is very clean and sleek. There are several color options you can choose from, but we really liked the red – it’s bold and fun! Heated power side mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers and windshield wiper de-icer features were available on this vehicle as well. Although we of course didn’t need to use any of those in California, they are definitely things that would come in handy back here in the Midwest!
As for the interior, the vehicle offers keyless entry with the push to start feature. Bose speakers throughout the vehicle provided us with amazing sound quality as we cruised up and down PCH and through LA. The armrest console comes equipped with two USB ports built in which is nice when you’re trying to get a charge on the go. The second row has this feature as well if you have little ones or other passengers with you. The leather upholstery throughout was really comfortable and although I’m not usually one for leather interior, this may have just changed my mind.
There is third row seating (can seat up to 7 passengers!) with the ability to fold the seats down for extra storage space in the back. I am not exactly a light packer so having so much room in the back of the vehicle to store our luggage was really convenient. It also has the power rear liftgate feature which was so nice to have when loading and unloading the car throughout our trip.
On the road, the vehicle is very stable and drives incredibly smooth. It is very spacious and comfortable and the automatic climate control is a great feature. California was a little chillier than we anticipated for this time of year so I got plenty of use out of the heated seats as well (the second row is heated too!). It also has the heads-up display feature on the windshield as well which we LOVED.
It is evident that Mazda prides themselves on making safe and efficient vehicles. Hands down one of the best features in driving a Mazda is the exceptional gas mileage. Gas mileage runs about 20 city and 26 highway. We drove a significant amount exploring during our trip and only had to stop once to fill up. A tank and a half lasted us five days of consistent driving. I was highly impressed with this given the fact that we were in an SUV. We also really liked the Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) feature. If you are familiar with LA traffic, you know it can be somewhat challenging to drive safely in such a populated area. With the BSM capability, anytime we would signal to change lanes, a small car icon flashes and it beeps at you to let you know someone is traveling in the lane next to you.
It also comes with a color touch screen display mounted in the dashboard which is a great feature. The screen response is a little slow at times, but overall, it was very handy to have. Having access to navigation when we were driving and occasionally had no cell service was key to getting around. It even shows you the upcoming exit sign lanes you should be in and notifies you if you are going over the speed limit. The touch screen display also gives you access to XM Radio, a rearview camera and access to the Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming capabilities. Everything on-screen is managed from a control pod near the center console for easy access while driving.
Overall, we absolutely loved getting to drive the CX-9! Being accustomed to driving an older Mazda, it was awesome getting the opportunity to try out a much newer model with all of the bells and whistles. I was really excited to try out an SUV as I’ve never owned one. This is definitely a great vehicle to travel with. It was perfect for getting us around seamlessly to each destination of our trip (which involved a LOT of driving) and there are so many great features (you can see the full list here). We felt so safe and it definitely made me think it might be time to upgrade my vehicle!