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It’s rare to speak of attributes like stunning exterior styling and excellent driving characteristics in the world of seven-seat three-row crossover SUVs, but it’s unavoidable with the sensational 2023 Mazda CX-9. If you need to transport six or seven people around Martinsville, Danville, or Greensboro without compromising on style, features, safety, or an enjoyable driving experience, the CX-9 delivers all that and more at a price that won’t break the bank.
Even though it’s impossible to deny that Mazda produces some of the most attractive crossovers in their classes, a three-row model has to deliver big in plenty of other areas. You’ll always be able to find a rival that’s better at this or excels more at that than the model you’re considering buying, but the 2023 Mazda CX-9 represents an almost irresistible package when you take it as a whole.
There are five models for you to consider in the 2023 Mazda CX-9 lineup, and there’s no such thing as a stripped-down, fleet-focused base model. The first CX-9 trim level is the Touring, which is exceptionally well-equipped and could pass as a mid-range model in other brands’ lineups. The next trim level in the family is the CX-9 Touring Plus, and then you have the Carbon Edition, Touring Plus, and top-of-the-range Signature.
There are no two-wheel drive CX-9 options as all five trim levels get Mazda’s i-ACTIV AWD with Off-Road Traction Assist system as part of their standard specification, and every model also features the same powertrain. That leaves you free to concentrate on getting the trim level with the comfort, safety, connectivity, and driver-assist features you want and need.
Under the hood of every 2023 Mazda CX-9 is a modern turbo-four gas engine with different outputs depending on your fuel. You can get 250 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque from your 2023 CX-9 if you fill up with high-octane fuel, or 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. with regular octane gas. Regardless of the fuel or output, the power goes to all four wheels through a Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode and a Drive Selection switch. The EPA estimates you can expect fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, and you can also tow up to 3,500 pounds with the Mazda.
Although you won’t find enough legroom in the third row of the CX-9 to accommodate an NBA Center or three, there’s plenty of room for passengers and cargo throughout the cabin. There are 41 inches of legroom in the front of the CX-9, a massive 39.4 inches in the second row, and the 29.7 inches of legroom in the third-row seats means they’re perfectly usable. With all the seats up in the CX-9, you have 14.4 cu.-ft. of cargo volume behind the third row, which grows to a generous 38.2 cu.-ft. when the third-row seats are folded away.
All five trim levels feature standard tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a power moonroof, a programmable power liftgate, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Touring Plus builds on that with heated and ventilated front seats. The Carbon Edition gets a standard heated steering wheel, paddle shifters, heated second-row seats, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, wireless phone charging, and more. And when you get to Grand Touring and especially the Signature trim level, the standard equipment starts to make the CX-9 look and feel like a luxury model costing considerably more.
You could spend much more on a three-row crossover SUV than the 2023 Mazda CX-9 and get more power and some extra features, but it’s hard to think of where you’ll find a model as stylish, confident, and well-rounded. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. All you need to do is visit Nelson Mazda at 201 Commonwealth Blvd W, Martinsville, VA, for a test drive, or call us at (276) 638-2331 for more details, and we can help you arrange an appointment for a time that fits your schedule.