2007 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring from North America - Comments

17th Nov 2010, 15:43

This is the original poster.

After owning this car for a few months, I can offer some additional insight to what is good and what isn't.

What I don't like (by far) is the fussy locking system. This car beeps and beeps and beeps for just about any reason. If you start the car and then get out with the key in your pocket, it beeps. This happens even if the engine is off, but the key is turned to "on". When I'm at a gas station and leave the radio on for passengers, every time you open a door while outside of the car, it beeps several times. It gets extremely tiresome for this car to keep beeping. What really drives me nuts is if you take the keys away from the car, you cannot lock it. If I leave my wife with the car, take the keys with me (into a store perhaps) and she wants to come in after, I have to go back to the car to lock it. If she tries to, she hits the lock button and the doors just unlock on their own. It's annoying to have so many conditions to locking the doors.

The most annoying one I've uncovered is that if you leave one of the keys in the car and lock it with the other (yeah, maybe dumb, but it can happen), you will deactivate the key inside of the car until you perform some sort of somewhat complex reactivation process (detailed in the user manual).

Another big bother is the lack of documentation for the dealer installed accessories that this car came with. From what I understand, very few of the "premium" options are factory installed; options like the bluetooth mobile connection, remote starter, homelink/dimming mirror, etc. Thusly, they're not mentioned in the owner's manual. So when I want to increase the time that the car stays running after I use the remote starter, there is no information to be found. I only know that you can change this value because I searched the Internet for it.

Also, I can't stand the cryptic navigation system. I still have no idea what that "thing" in the upper left corner does except for take me to a place on the map where I don't care to look. It's like the random place generator. I guess it's nice that it has a Nav, but it feels very 1999 in look and operation; thusly I typically just turn the display off and have yet to successfully use it. Then again, it looks like most people need a nav just to get to/from work anymore, and I'm the old coot who thinks that perhaps you should know where the heck you're going before you set out.

The rear doors (I have children in car seats) are nice because they swing really wide, but can be a problem if you don't have enough space to swing them open. Getting munchkins out in a tight parking spot is an act of contortionism that I'm not terribly fond of. Also when using child seats in the 2nd row, the 3rd row is basically useless (you can't fold/slide the seats). To make matters worse, the 3rd row doesn't have LATCH connectors, so moving the kids back there is a royal pain for certain seats. I'm not sure what the premium of the LATCH connectors are, as it seems that so few cars/minivans have them in the third row.

OK, for the good things, I can say that I really do like the way the car handles. It's smooth and predicable, very comfortable ride for such a heavy car. The acceleration is brisk, but not exciting. Again, being so fat makes life challenging, but the 3.5 does well enough. Perhaps the later 3.7 has more grunt about it.

The interior appointments are very nice. I really enjoy (though useless) the blue LED backlighting in the doors and over the center console at night. The interior lighting is excellent and very thoughtful. I appreciate that the interior materials are all excellent quality. The leather is sturdy without feeling Volkswagen stiff, the plastics are muted and tasteful There is plenty of storage and 12v power points (unlike in a Tribeca with just one) to store most gear. Unlike a minivan, there aren't a million pockets for kids to store toys, food, filth, etc. I really like the integrated bluetooth for phone calls; it is intuitive to set up, use and the voice recognition is spot on the majority of the time.

Overall, it's a nice family car with some compromises. It's big and has to contend with the weight; as such it's not a spirited driving experience, but good for the heft it has to haul around. The seating isn't ideal for young children in car seats, but few cars (aside from minivans) really excel with today's overstuffed jumbo boosters and seats. Cargo room is excellent with the 3rd row folded, but as with all vehicles in this class, you fill the seats and you're out of cargo room (consider an X-Cargo roof box).

I'm happy with the car, but still mad about the rust that Mazda is not covering.

18th Nov 2010, 12:37

"What I don't like (by far) is the fussy locking system. This car beeps and beeps and beeps for just about any reason. If you start the car and then get out with the key in your pocket, it beeps. This happens even if the engine is off, but the key is turned to "on". When I'm at a gas station and leave the radio on for passengers, every time you open a door while outside of the car, it beeps several times. It gets extremely tiresome for this car to keep beeping. What really drives me nuts is if you take the keys away from the car, you cannot lock it. If I leave my wife with the car, take the keys with me (into a store perhaps) and she wants to come in after, I have to go back to the car to lock it. If she tries to, she hits the lock button and the doors just unlock on their own. It's annoying to have so many conditions to locking the doors.

The most annoying one I've uncovered is that if you leave one of the keys in the car and lock it with the other (yeah, maybe dumb, but it can happen), you will deactivate the key inside of the car until you perform some sort of somewhat complex reactivation process (detailed in the user manual)."

Usually a trip to the dealer service will rectify this. Most cars have a customizable setup that you can alter. I turned the "beeps" completely off on one of my cars as you could hear the locks clicking either way and the lights flashed too. Most of the time there is just things to get used to, as every brand thinks their way is best. Toyota won't let you lock the doors with the remote, while one is open which I really hate. Since the remote is integrated into the key, it doesn't make sense that you can't lock the doors while unloading the back so you can just swing the gate shut and not worry about locking it. A pain sure enough, but you make changes to get used to it.

"To make matters worse, the 3rd row doesn't have LATCH connectors, so moving the kids back there is a royal pain for certain seats. I'm not sure what the premium of the LATCH connectors are, as it seems that so few cars/minivans have them in the third row."

The reason for this is you NEVER put a young child that far back in a car. Central seating is by far the safest place. What if you got rear ended? They don't allow kids in the front, so why would you think putting them way in the back would be a good idea? It's not against the law to do this, but there is a reason why they don't put the LATCH connectors back there.