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26.10.2007

Mazda CX-9 Test Drive

Mazda Mazda.

For the first test drive of Mazda CX-9 we chose the winding backroads and highways west of Victoria, B.C. on the west coast of Vancouver Island, "Canada`s Surfing Capital". As the roads were wet and slippery from a recent rainfall, it was a good chance to test the CX-9`s optional all-wheel drive. The CX-9 just ate up the curves, and proved very easy to drive quickly.

The standard 263-hp 3.5-litre V6 with dual overhead camshafts, four valves-per-cylinder, and variable intake valve timing proved smooth, powerful and responsive, and the six-speed transmission was also very responsive and quiet. In fact, the whole powertrain is commendably quiet on the freeway, with engine revs below 2000 rpm at 100 km/h. Standing start and highway merging acceleration is excellent with plenty of power available when needed. The transmission`s manual shift mode useful when negotiating curves at speed, but most of the time drivers prefer to leave it in automatic mode. The CX-9 has a towing capacity of up to 1588 kg (3500 lb.). Fuel economy is rated at 13.3 L/100 km City and 8.9 L/100 km Hwy for 2WD models, and 14.5 L/100 km City and 9.7 L/100 km Hwy for AWD models - that`s not as good as a Toyota Highlander but almost as good as a Honda Pilot, and considerably better than a Ford Explorer. One good thing: the CX-9 uses Regular 87 octane gasoline.

Its perfect styling, seven-passenger capability and generous cargo room makes it both stylish and practical - and it performs very well around town and on the highway. We can see many families buying this instead of a minivan or SUV, and you have to admit, the CX-9 is less boxy than a Highlander or a Pilot. Test drive was done by an automotive journalist Greg Wilson.




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