By Asian Journal Auto Editor

2017-mazda-cx-9-signature-The Mazda CX-9 is a good looking mid-sized crossover that’s stylistically is the top of its class in a slinky, sensuous way. The CX-9 is a derivate of the very good Mazda6 sedan and our test vehicle was the premium focused Signature model that arrived fully loaded with every tickable Mazda option. Our tester was powered by Mazda’s SKYACTIV-G 2.5 T Dynamic Pressure Turbo four-cylinder unit. Mated to a six-speed SKYACTIV automatic transmission with manual shift mode and overdrive. The CX-9 arrives with three rows of seats with a total of seven seats as standard

The super comfortable and attractive  real Nappa leather seats in our were comfortable and include standard seat heaters in the front. Very high quality materials, design and finishing make for a superb level of interior ambience, with a sporty theme to the dash the seats are well padded, and afford much comfort on long drives. Standard equipment on our Signature tester included: 20- inch bright finish alloy wheels, LED signature lighting, Heated Steering Wheel, Retractable Sunshades, authentic Rosewood Trim, Nappa leather with premium stitching, rain sensing wipers, towing package, power tailgate, 8 inch color display screen with wide angle rear view camera, rear back up sensors, power liftgate, grille illumination, SIRIUS XM radio, Bose premium audio, USB and Aux Input. Bluetooth Hands Free Phone System, Mazda Connect, heated steering wheel and heated 8 way Adjustable Power Seats, LED Daytime Running Lights. Safety features included: Smart City Brake Support, Advanced Blind spot monitoring system with rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent key System with keyless entry and start, Dynamic safety control, traction control, Mazda Radar cruise control, Forward obstruction warning, lane departure warning system and lane keeping assist system and rear parking sensors for corner and centers. There was no optional equipment on our tester which came in at $51,100 MRSP With final tally at $51,995 including freight and PDE.

Kids and passenger will love the cavernous interior, and luxury touches, while adults

Will revel in the luxury and power conveniences. Interior room in the CX-9 is above average in the mid-size crossover class. Our family found plenty of legroom and headroom in the first and second rows, and decent headroom and legroom in the third, (For kids anyway!) However, the CX-9 is both practical and versatile featuring; second row seats that slide 12 cm forwards and back to increase legroom for third row passengers. Even with the third row seats up, there is 487 liters (17.2 cu. ft.) of cargo space behind the third row seats, while both the second and third row seatbacks fold down without having to remove the head restraints.

Handling and steering proved very responsive although I found the suspension a little firm on rough ground. The All-Wheel drive system powers the front-wheels and can transfers power to the rear wheels when more traction is needed. Traction control and Dynamics control as standard and the All-Wheel Drive Active torque split is very effective

The long wheelbase, 227 horsepower four cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission make the ride relaxed and comfortable. Not much too complains about although the large turning radius means taking care in tight locations. Overall the CX-9 is a competitive CUV and has great interior luxury and offers excellent family hospitality. The fully loaded signature example we tested takes the Mazda brand to a new high with its focus on quality, attention to details and interior ambience and features. The looks alone make this vehicle worthy of a test drive to see all its many attributes.

 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature priced from $50,100

Price as tested including Freight and PDE $51,995