Review: 2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD – Part 2

uKwphuwvSfaXHu1npAsQrwThis is the 2.5l turbocharged 4 cylinder engine that powers the Mazda CX-9. You might have seen this engine before as it powered the Mazda6 Signature that I drove earlier this year. It puts out 227 horsepower and 310 pound feet of torque. But if you use premium instead of regular fuel, it puts out 250 horsepower. The torque remains the same. Now this engine combined with a 6 speed automatic transmission will move this CX-9 which my wife described as a “small school bus” sized vehicle with authority. It won’t snap your neck back, but this engine has more than enough ability to allow you to get off the line quickly, merge onto a highway with ease, and blow by transport trucks at will while doing highway speed. Basically, it will do everything you need it to do without an issue.

The six speed transmission that’s mated to this engine is well sorted and always seems to be in the right gear to power all four wheels. In fact, I am pretty sure that Mazda might have tweaked the shift logic on the CX-9 as I noted some differences (for the better) versus the last time I drove this vehicle. Handling is one area where Mazda definitely improved things. There’s less body roll in the 2019 CX-9. And the steering, which for the record was already good is sharper and more direct. In short, this three row SUV is even more fun to drive.

The accelerator is easy to modulate. Ditto for the brakes. Noise, harshness and vibration is approaching luxury car levels as this CX-9 is very, very quiet. The only times I heard anything was when I put my foot down to accelerate was the growl of the engine. One thing I would like to highlight is the sport mode switch. All it does is change the mapping of the transmission. It does not alter the steering or pedal feel which is what this switch does on pretty much any other vehicle. I think that’s a good thing and other auto manufacturers should take note.

In terms of fuel economy, I am currently getting 11.7L per 100 KMs which is decent as I am driving in city and highway traffic, most of which is in rush hour =, and I am making no attempt to drive in any way that saves fuel.

Tomorrow I will discuss the interior which can be described in two words: “Class Above.” Tune in tomorrow to find out why.

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