Mazda crossovers CX-5 and CX-9 were both named the best in class by Car and Driver in 2018. The CX-9 also won it its category for the second year in a row, over some especially strong competition.
In order to obtain this honor, both models had to have certain attributes to make them notably more impressive than similar vehicles. As you may expect, the winning vehicles have to come at a great value. This does not mean that they are the cheapest, but rather that they are the best vehicles for the price. And they have to be incredibly efficient and practical, with great convenient features.
But to be the very best the winners also have to be especially pleasing to drive, and to have a certain engaging qualities that really set them apart.
So, what is it about the CX-5 and the CX-9 that puts them above and beyond the rest of the vehicles in the same class?
Mazda CX-5 Named Best Compact SUV
Car and Driver made sure to note that the Mazda CX-5 is more exciting and fun to drive than other compact crossovers, without sacrificing any of the expected practicality. They were also very impressed by its style, also calling it the best-looking compact crossover.
The recently redesigned interior, along with the new leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob certainly helped the 2018 CX-5 win that reputation.
Both the exterior and the interior are so stylish, and use such fine materials, that the Mazda crossover appears much more expensive than it actually is. The Touring trim level also comes with 19-inch wheels for an extra stylish touch.
The seats are also incredibly comfortable, and the Touring and Grand Touring trim levels come with heated front seats. As part of the 2018 updates, the Grand Touring also has memory settings for the driver’s seat and six power adjustments for the passenger seat.
In addition to the redesigned interior, there were a number of improvements that came with both the 2017 and 2018 editions that helped the CX-5 win best in class. These include a lower center of gravity, which improves the grip of the tires and the handling, as well as a wider track.
The four-cylinder engine now comes with cylinder deactivation, which is a technology that will shut down two of the four cylinders during cruising.
This is a beneficial update because it improves the fuel economy. The CX-5 is the first four-cylinder car in North America to offer this technology.
The 2018 model is also safer than ever because the CX-5 now comes with standard blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert. This kind of safety technology notifies the driver to potential hazards, which allows you to feel more confident and in control. Additional safety options include adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.
Mazda CX-9 Named Best Midsize SUV
Midsize SUVs are a top choice for family cars, but as the Mazda CX-9 shows, that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Like the CX-5, this Mazda crossover is quite elegant and expensive-looking, which makes it a more attractive buy than similar SUVs.
The 2018 CX-9 was totally redesigned and as a result is now more aesthetically appealing than ever. Stylish touches include the gorgeous Nappa leather seats and a large chrome grille, as well as the option of 20-inch wheels.
But despite looking like a luxury vehicle, the Mazda crossover is actually one of the most affordable options, so it provides great value, especially compared to similar vehicles like the Honda Pilot Elite and the Ford Explorer Platinum.
The CX-9 has great visibility and is one of the lightest vehicles in its class. It weighs between 4200 and 4400 pounds, which is impressive for its size. The fact that it’s a lighter vehicle also gives it better fuel economy than other three-row crossovers. And it has one of the lowest centers of gravity.
An extra bonus is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control software, also known as the GVC, which improves steering feel and traction. Responsive, electrically-assisted steering and good breaking are very beneficial whenever drivers have to encounter roads with a lot of twists and turns.
The navigation and audio controls are easy to use, and come with a convenient LCD touchscreen, which is seven inches in the Sport trim level and eight inches in the other trim levels. These features make the CX-9 a smooth, comfortable drive.
For safety, the driver assistance systems Mazda includes are blind-spot monitoring, radar-based cruise control, and lane-departure warning and correction. Touring and Signature models also have radar-based active cruise control.
Both the CX-5 and the CX-9 come with a three year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. These warranties are standard. However, if you purchase either of the Mazda crossovers at the Royal Moore Subaru dealership in Hillsboro, you also have the option of the lifetime powertrain warranty. As the name implies, this is a warranty that will be good for however long you own the vehicle. Royal Moore Mazda will include a lifetime powertrain warranty with every new Mazda sold at no extra charge. Find more information on the lifetime powertrain warranty today.
When looking at both the 2018 CX-5 and the CX-9, it becomes clear that Mazda is one of the brands that really puts a lot of thought into how the driver feels. That isn’t something you can necessarily count on with a lot of other brands.
Mazda vehicles are some of the most fun to drive. Meanwhile, a lot of other SUVs are willing to settle for just being practical.
For both these Mazda crossovers, Car and Driver is extremely impressed by their style, which is a major reason why they both stand out. It’s a nice treat to own a vehicle that both looks and feels luxurious.
Just because you need a larger, more family-friendly car, doesn’t mean you can’t have a little excitement. Overall, the CX-5 and CX-9 will provide you with a car that you actually look forward to driving every day.