POSTED: Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 12:54pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 2:57am
You know, one of the reasons people buy so-called crossover vehicles is that they aren’t trucks and they aren’t station wagons. They haul the kids and groceries without beating you to death in a vehicle meant to tackle the Rocky Mountains, and they don’t make you look like the spiritual heir to Ward Cleaver. All you boomers out there explain to the kids who the heck Ward was, would you?
The Mazda CX – 9 then, absolutely fits that bill. I have always had a soft spot for Mazda among the Japanese car companies. For years they made the most European-feeling cars to come out of an Asian nation, and I mean that in the Jaguar sense, not some sort of funky Renault rolling juke box. Mazdas look right, handle like a BMW and are screwed together like, well, a quality Japanese car.
And the CX – 9 is one of the most unique vehicles on the road. It just looks like nothing else. With room for 8 if need be, it has svelte lines that are simply sublime. The minor restyle for 2010 has hit all the right notes, and the driving ain’t bad either.
Power comes from a 3.7-liter, 24-valve V6 with 273 horsepower, and that translates into a 7- second 0 to 60 time, and real world economy of around 18 miles per gallon. I know, that’s not great as the price of fuel is starting to look like the price of gold, but this car/truck thingy is so good, so perfect, you’ll forgive and keep pumping.
The CX-9 starts at just under $29,000 for a front-wheel-drive base model, and goes up from there. Let me put it bluntly, it’s a darned nice vehicle. If you’re shopping for a crossover, and you don’t drive this…you’re nuts. Uh…sorry.