It is hard to fit my family of 7 in many vehicles. I was looking forward to my test drive in the 2014 Mazda CX-9 (Grand Touring), and was actually surprised at what I found out through cruising around town with the kids in tow.
First of all, looking at it from the outside, you really wouldn’t guess that there is a third row! It is definitely in there, and the seats in the third row actually looked like they belonged there. I have checked out vehicles in the past that claimed to have a third row, but the seats felt more like a total afterthought. THESE, however, seemed high quality and comfortable as well. The seating configuration for the most folks to fit was 2 in the front, 3 in the second row, and 2 in the third row. It is also possible to do a 60/40 split fold down in the second row and 50/50 split fold down in the third row if you were needing to haul something or just wanted the extra space. (We used every inch for PEOPLE!)
The third row could be folded down for more storage in the back, but we found that there was plenty of space behind it when we left it up. We went grocery shopping in it and we were able to fit quite a bit back there with no problems.
There were a ton of standard features that I loved. Rain sensing wipers, heated power mirrors, power open/close lift gate, heated power front seats, blind spot monitoring system, rear backup sensors, a 5.8″ color display with rear camera, keyless entry and start system, rear cross traffic alert, and so much more. The one we got to test drive also had some other, upgraded features like BOSE Audio, Sirius Satellite Radio, and a power moonroof!
Somehow, my Sirius system found the Elvis station, and I couldn’t help but listen and sing along. 😉
The ability to open and close the back was quite handy when we were out. If you know me, you know that I’m usually holding a little person AND whatever groceries or bags we need, plus a purse, plus a phone, and who knows what else. The last thing I need is to fiddle with opening the latch and accidentally hitting someone in the head or dropping all of our stuff. This solved that problem for me. Such a simple feature, but it truly made a big difference!
For families looking for a fun SUV that can fit up to 7, this is a great option. With fuel economy of 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, it is comparable to other family vehicles. It comes with many great standard features that are convenient and luxurious (did you read that part about the heated front seats?).
Have you ever driven a Mazda CX-9?
What did you think of the third row and the ability to seat 7 people comfortably?