Volume 14 Issue 1 » 59 2017 Mazda CX-9 » There’s no denying that when it comes time to road trips or the daily school run, practicality rules above all else. A quiet, comfortable, secure ride that gets one from point A to point B trumps sportiness and styling. But Mazda has sought to combine all of the above in the totally redesigned CX-9, combining value for money while still adding style, superior driving dynamics, and reasonable fuel economy. Weight is down from its predecessor by well over 200 lbs, contributing to two of the latter points. The CX-9’s driving experience is sportier than its competitors thanks to precise steering and a well-tuned suspension setup. Power comes from a 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder with 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque from a low 2,000 rpm. Clever turbo technology and a well-calibrated 6-speed automatic results in excellent throttle response despite the CX-9 only having four cylinders. Inside, Mazda’s material choices look and feel rich, with finely grained plastic, available open-pore rosewood trim, real aluminium accents, and even buttery soft Nappa leather seats. Zoom-Zooming around with six friends or family members will be nicer, safer, and more comfortable than ever in Mazda’s new CX-9 crossover. Unlike many of its competitors which have faded into blandness, Mazda has pushed back with the stylish CX-9.