2008 Mazda CX-9 to Achieve Perfection
Though the mid-sized Mazda CX-9 "crossover" SUV was first introduced as a 2007 model less than a year ago, the 2008 model is already here and has been given some updates, notably a small increase in engine size and a resulting boost in horsepower and torque. The 3.5-litre V6 engine used in 2007 has been boosted to 3.7 litres for 2008, and horsepower rises to 273 from 263. Torque has been increased to 270 lb-ft at 4250 rpm from 249 lb-ft at 4500 rpm. This makes the engine feel more responsive and helps improve towing performance.
Despite the power increase, fuel economy is about the same. Official fuel consumption figures (L/100 km) for the 2008 CX-9 (FWD) are 13.2/9.0 City/Hwy. 2008 CX-9 AWD models offer 14.0/9.7 City/Hwy.
The CX-9 is based on the Mazda6 unit body platform which it shares with the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers. The 2008 Edge and MKX will continue to use the Ford-built 3.5-litre V6 engine, but the CX-9`s new 3.7-litre V6 engine is exclusive to Mazda and is built in Japan - as is the CX-9`s Aisin six-speed automatic transmission.
2008 CX-9 GS models include standard 18-inch tires and alloy wheels, four disc brakes with ABS, traction control, stability control, and rollover stability control. GS standard features are front and rear air conditioning, AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers, steering wheel audio controls, iPod jack, Bluetooth phone connectivity, cloth seating material and leather-wrapped shifter knob, 60/40 split folding second row seats, 50/50 split folding third row seats, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power door locks with remote keyless entry, power windows and power mirrors.
The test drive of the 2008 CX-9 was done from Vancouver to the remote fishing hamlet of Bamfield. The road to Bamfield, with its washboard surface and frequent potholes, proved to be a good test of the CX-9`s suspension. This crossover vehicle is designed to be more of a family vehicle than an off-road vehicle. However with 204 mm of ground clearance and a fully independent suspension, the handling seems to be quite controllable. The CX-9`s all-wheel drive system provided good traction and stability. The cabin is very quiet, in part due to the CX-9`s slippery shape and lack of wind noise.
2008 pricing for the GS is $39,995 and for the GT $46,825 – that’s mostly because the GT now includes all-wheel drive as standard equipment. The 2008 Mazda CX-9 isn`t a lot different than the 2007 model, but some people will like its "Made in Japan" label and its extra responsiveness. The CX-9 remains possibly the most stylish seven-passenger mid-size crossover on the market today. Test drive was done by an automotive journalist Greg Wilson.