REVIEWS

2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum

Linksys VELOP Whole Home Mesh Network

Fitbit Alta HR

2016 Range Rover

2016 Ford Flex Limited

Timex IQ+ Move fitness tracking watch

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature

2016 Mazda MX-5

Sennheiser PXC-550 Bluetooth headphones

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan

Sudio Regent Bluetooth headphones

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

VisionTek SoundTube PRO Bluetooth speaker

Fitbit Charge 2

2017 GMC Acadia Denali

Apple AirPods

Apple MacBook Pro (Late 2016)

808

Game of Thrones Season Six Blu-Ray

Michelin Premier all-season tires

Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio +

Google Daydream View VR headset

ASUS ZenBook 3

Jaybird X3

JBL SoundBoost Speaker Moto Mod

Moto Insta-Share Projector for Moto Z

Google Pixel XL

Apalon's My Alarm Clock app

Lenovo Moto Z

Apple Watch Series 2 and watchOS 3

iOS 10

Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Dyson 360 Eye Robot Vacuum

Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless vacuum

Tablo by Nuvyyo

Samsung Gear Fit 2 fitness wearable

Ulysses for macOS and iOS

Epson SureColor P600 Wide Format inkjet printer

HBO's Vinyl Season 1

Apple MacBook (2016)

Papago! GoSafe 268 mirror mounted dash-cam

Piper all-in-one security

JayBird Freedom headphones

SF MoMA app

Fitbit Blaze fitness tracker

UA HealthBox

Dyson Pure Cool Link

Lola by Blue

HTC 10

Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

Dell XPS 12 with 4K Ultra HD display

RHA S500i Noise Isolation headphones for iOS

Samsung Galaxy S7

2015 Mazda CX-9

Moto 360 (2015)

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear headphones for Android

ASAP Dash Rapid Charger

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Friday
Mar102017

Review: 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature

Text and photos by Donny Halliwell

When I last wrote about Mazda’s full-size SUV, it was after a 5000km road trip and I was impressed by its capabilities as a comfortable, well-appointed family mobile. That was in the outgoing model. In the year since then virtually everything about the CX-9 has changed, for the better, leaving Mazda with a runaway hit for the segment.

During my week with the all-new redesigned Mazda CX-9 I did everything I could to put it through the ringer. I braved the airport to pick up family with their copious amount of luggage in tow, I tackled a two-hour plus Waterloo-Downtown Toronto commute, and I completed countless mundane tasks and errands. Driving the CX-9 was a silver lining on even the most routine outings. You know the Snapchat filter that removes your imperfections and adds an angelic glow? That’s how life with the CX-9 felt.

A friend said something that very-accurately describes what a fantastic vehicle Mazda has created. “I wasn’t even in the market for a new car, but after seeing this, I want a CX-9.” They went to the dealership that day, and are now proud owners.

Bold new look and feel


The bold new look and class-leading interior has a noticeable impact on people. It’s clear that Mazda is aiming up market with this vehicle and they succeed in providing a truly premium design and feel. In the CX-9 you get those “all eyes on me” moments, which is a sense that I don’t get in similar vehicles from Honda or Toyota.  It’s something special and it’s all in the details.

The aggressively angled lines leading from the bullnose grill are certainly unique and these design elements help to give the exterior a poised but elegant look. Based on the reactions of those I showed the vehicle to, one would think I pulled up in something a lot pricier and a lot more German. The pictures I managed to capture speak for themselves, but I can say in no uncertain terms, this is about as gorgeous as a three-row SUV gets.

Premium interior with class-leading technology

The striking appearance carries through the interior. Opt for the signature package and you get leather and high-touch finishes throughout. The tech-interface is very strong, simple to use and driver-focused. A heads up display provides the driver with a customizable data set including navigation so eyes can stay glued to the road, which is always key. For those comfortable enough, the optional adaptive cruise control system is a very nice feature.

Simply set the distance from lead vehicle with the max speed and the Mazda CX-9 will keep pace with traffic, taking over acceleration and braking duties above 30km/h. The driver is alerted within ample time of Emergency Braking situations and is quickly prompted to take over, though the vehicle does a fantastic job of initiating a slow-down. This add-on is a must for those spending any time in traffic.

There are a ton of other bells, whistles and tech features available here including lane departure warning, backup cam, blind spot monitoring, and a very capable surround sound system. The Mazda CX-9 is a glimpse into the near future, and the future is an exciting one for drivers.

Driving dynamic

As a company, Mazda is for drivers and enthusiasts. If you need proof look no further than the fact that the newly refreshed Mazda6 midsized sedan can still be equipped with a manual transmission or the mere existence of the MX-5.  

The emphasis on the driver is not lost on the CX-9. It is firmly planted and ready to carve up the boulevards, onramps and cottage roads that it will certainly call home.  The engine gets up to speed quickly and the passing power that I gushed about in my review of the previous generation is even better in this model. I am convinced you will not find a better driving SUV with three rows this side of the premium market.

Wrap Up


The SUV market is saturated with choice. This is a fantastic time to be a buyer, because manufacturers are focused on making options to suit virtually any need. The entire Mazda CX line is a perfect example with size and variety to satisfy anyone. As the marquee vehicle in that line, the CX-9 sets the bar high not only for Mazda, but for the entire industry. It’s no doubt that it has been awarded SUV of the year by a number of publications. This iteration of the Mazda CX-9 is the benchmark by which the segment should be measured.

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