The SUV that functions like a MPV – Mazda CX-9

If you need to ferry 7 occupants in comfort, you will tend to look at MPVs to fulfill your needs. What if you still want to carry 7 occupants but you didn’t want to be bound to the realm of MPV? The Mazda CX-9 have finally bridged the gap between MPV and SUV by being a SUV that can ferry 7 occupants on board. Mazda have recently allowed us to have a go in their flagship SUV, the Mazda CX-9, and let’s take a look and see if it manages to replace the need of having a MPV.

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The Mazda CX-9 is a huge SUV to start off. It have the same stance and presence as the new Volvo XC90. With a SUV with such presence, it can be quite intimidating to those who are not used to such a huge vehicle. Mazda did a good job in making this large SUV to look stylish and smart without losing any sense of elegance.

The look of the CX-9 is further enhanced by the signature LED headlights and taillights, albeit looking a little small for such a large vehicle, it still look integrated. The headlights comes equipped with adaptive high beam system that will switch on the high beam when the vehicle detected its on a pitch black road. The 255/50 R20 rims and tyres completes the look of the vehicle.

Inside the Mazda CX-9 is not just a practical SUV, it’s also luxury SUV as well. Getting inside, you’re welcome by plenty of soft touch materials like leather wrapped components and soft touch plastics around the cabin. We especially like the leather wrapped knee rest area beside the center console, which allow you to rest your knee when driving long distance.

Looking at the overall layout and design for the interior of the Mazda CX-9, it’s the usual Mazda design that can be found across Mazda’s lineup. The instrument cluster is the old school analogue instrument cluster that comes with a 4.6” TFT screen that displays the vehicle information. This design of the instrument cluster is a slightly older design compare to their latest instrument cluster that is featured in the Mazda 3.

To keep the occupants in the car entertained, the Mazda CX-9 is equipped with an 8” infotainment screen. The 8” infotainment software inside the CX-9 is also the older style themed home screen, but you do get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the system. The infotainment system is linked to a 12 speakers Bose system setup that is very impressive, you get the crisp and clear high notes, and the music is completed with powerful bass.

Taking the CX-9 on long journey, you will definitely feel very comfortable regardless you’re in the front seats or the rear seats. The front seats have ample of support to both the driver and passenger, but the rear seats is where you want to be seating. The comfort level at the back can rival any Vellfire or Alphard, but the 3rd row seats is a little tight if you compare it with all the purpose built MPVs.

For boot space, you do get 230L of carrying capacity with all the seats up. If you need more loading space, you can extend the boot space to 810L when the 3rd row seats are folded away. The 2nd can also be stowed away if long items needs to be loaded into the SUV.

With such a huge SUV that required to ferry so many occupants, safety must not be compromised. The CX-9 come with a whole host of standard safety equipment like, 6 airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Electronic Brake Assist (EBA), Traction Control System (TCS), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Hill Launch Assist (HLA), and 2 ISOFIX points.

Mazda also equipped the CX-9 with the whole host of advance safety system which is also standard. There are GVC Plus, Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Assistant (RCTA), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Lane-Keep Assist System (LAS), Driver Assist Alert (DAA), and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS).

Powering the huge CX-9 is the same engine that can be found in the CX-5 Turbo, which is the 2.5L turbo inline 4 engine that churns out 228 bhp at 5,000rpm, and 420 Nm from 2,000 rpm. Getting behind the wheel, you’ll instantly notice that this engine is design for this large SUV. The engine have the big capacity engine characteristic of low end torque maneuver this large SUV. Power is delivered to the wheels through a 6-speed smooth shifting automatic transmission.

For such a huge SUV, you’ll be surprise in how well this vehicle takes corners. The McPherson struts up front and rear multilink suspension soaks up road imperfections with ease, while still maintaining a good body control when you’re doing spirited driving. But over certain potholes ridden roads, we notice there are some suspension knocking noise that maybe Mazda could look into the issue.

Throwing into corners might not be something you would want to do with such a huge SUV, but the CX-9 is more than capable to allow you to have a little bit of fun in doing it. The electrical power steering is fairly quick to turn in to give you the sense of confidence in doing it, there is quite lacking on steering feel.

The brakes on the CX-9 is plenty powerful, it have sufficient stopping power from the 4 wheel disc brakes. It allow you to slow such a huge SUV down as quickly as a smaller vehicle. The overall driving impression inside the CX-9 is pleasant, as the interior is quiet and serene which allow you to enjoy the powerful BOSE sound system from it.

The CX-9 is more than a MPV, it combines the practicality of a MPV with a stylish and sportiness of a SUV. Of course out right space, a MPV is still better, but if you’re looking for something that is equally luxury but you still want to have some driving pleasure, the Mazda CX-9 is more than capable. For RM 288,610.41, you do get 5 years/100,000km warranty coverage, and free service inclusive parts, labour, and lubricant. The CX-9 can be painted in5 different colours, namely Jet Black, Snowflake White Pearl, Sonic Silver, Machine Grey and Deep Crystal Blue.

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