2020 MAZDA CX-9 Signature AWD: Celestial Summertime

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Summers are specialized for the Rawlins Family. We use this celestial time to explore unique destinations, rekindle favorite pastimes, and venture to various health, food, and fitness festivals focused on developmental skills. Of course, that has been slowed down by the pandemic, but we still found time to enjoy the great outdoors with the 2020 MAZDA CX-9 Signature AWD in Machine Gray Metallic. It’s that natural energy of July and August that keep us energized like nomads always looking for the next adventure, which consisted of hiking and biking.

The CX-9 is a beauty to look at and stands out from other similar-looking mid-size crossovers which it competes. The elongated front fascia is the most defining style feature and the attractive 20” alloy rims outlined by embedded body cladding around the wheel wells add flavor. LED lights, aluminum roof rails, and the body-colored rear tailgate spoiler advance the styling presentation. The CX-9 has been a significant focus for Mazda. Over the last year, the small Japanese manufacturer has made several product enhancements, including captain’s chairs, a hands-free power liftgate, and the 9” full-color touchscreen display. These new additions have helped the family vehicle maintain steady growth in sales.

The CX-9’s semi-luxurious cabin is a feel-good story given its fair price point. The Deep Chestnut Nappa leather-trimmed seats were a rousing welcome and flowed succinctly with the sporty, multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel with manual tilt and telescope. Rotating the wheel through turns felt authentically performance-oriented and lush.  The three-row Mazda features LED interior lighting, genuine aluminum trim, a stagnant color display with rear camera visuals (although often blurry), power moonroof, rear window shades, cooled and heated front seats with lateral support, and USBs everywhere. The brushed aluminum door and dash treatments are sweet touches as well.

Entering and exiting the 3rd row was a simple task since the 2nd row moves fore-and-aft. My only gripe with the cabin is the all-too-simple functionality of MAZDA CONNECT multimedia. Operated through a small rotary scroller dubbed Commander, the apps are basic, and the interface is rudimentary. But the kids were satisfied playing their smartphone’s music out of the 12-speaker BOSE premium audio surround system with Centerpoint 2 and AudioPilot 2 technology.

The efficient 26 highway mpg CX-9 AWD (28 highway mpg with FWD) provides owners with a dynamically smooth ride from its SKYACTIV-G 2.5T turbo engine and SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed automatic transmission with sport mode. Together they produce 310 lb.-ft. of torque and 227-horsepower (250-horsepower using premium fuel). With this package, the CX-9 performs admirably on the road. It also brakes effectively when weighted down. The disappointment is that you receive no paddle shifters for quick escapes.

The 2020 MAZDA CX-9 Signature AWD model has a base price of $45,115 and a destination charge of $1,045. The SUV was quite a hit with neighbors, friends, and family who loved the shark-nosed frontend, tailgate spoiler, LED headlights, LED lighting signature grille, and the dual exhaust tips. It’s another winner for a brand that continues to deliver the goods.