Monday, February 24, 2014

Used Car Review - Mazda CX-9 (2007-Current)

How about buying an SUV before summer starts? Myk Belmonte gives you a suggestion.

2007-Current Mazda CX-9 

Ford and Mazda made vehicles which shared platforms during the latter's tenure with the American brand. Examples of the models produced under their marriage are the Ford Escape-Mazda Tribute-Mercury Mariner triplets, Ford Focus-Mazda 3-Volvo S40 platformates, Ford Fusion-Mazda 6, and the featured vehicle, Mazda CX-9 and its Ford Edge derivative.

While it utilizes Ford's platform and engine, the Mazda CX-9 is longer when it comes to length. This replaces a minivan creatively called MPV for the American market, which is logically enough due to the fact people there are shunning the minivan for crossover SUVs. All CX-9's around the world are built in Mazda's Hiroshima Prefecture plant.

November 2007 saw the arrival of the CX-9 to the Philippine market, especially with the influx of high end crossovers suited for the tastes of the Yanks. Since our market is LHD and some want the comfort of a sedan in a high rise package, it made sense. First made available in AWD with a 2WD version made available in 2011.

Value and Costs
What used to be a P2M SUV back then is a sub-P1M bargain nowadays. It carried a price of P2.799M when it was first launched, then jumped to P2.899M in November 2009 due to an update then finally pegged between P2.099M-P2.299M in 2011 due to some JPEPA revisions in which the CX-9's engine (anything above 3 liters) qualified for the tax breaks. Hunt for a unit sold from May 2011 and later to get the remaining chunk of the warranty.

Compared to Americanized Japanese SUVs, maintenance costs are similar to them. Of course, maintenance costs is on the pricey side and it does not include the fuel expenses caused by the V6 engine. If you are complaining about gasoline consumption, then the Hyundai Santa Fe of the same period is a logical choice.

Exterior and Interior
First of all, the exterior shouts SUV than sports car. Is it a bad thing? Nope. While competitors are ashamed to show their car origins, the CX-9 is proud to flaunt it. Not a huge piece of bulky moving object, especially that Mazda injected their cues which comes out right.

Sports cars only limit two people inside with four a pinch, this SUV allows you and six other passengers to enjoy the ride. The cabin is composed of high quality materials with a LCD screen added in the 2009 update. Another plus is the upright seating position which sports cars are afflicted with.

No diesel propulsion here, my friend. Instead, a Ford based MZ1 Duratec 3,721cc having 277hp at 2,750rpm and 367Nm at 4,250rpm is the standard engine. If you can afford this car at the first place, you can afford the fuel expenses due to the V6 engine. This is one lively engine, mind you. To the next paragraph for the driving feel.

Driving Impressions
It may have a 2,000kg body, the suspension settings keep up to the task of steering this beast on any condition, straight or twisted. Even though this has 20 inch wheels, no choppy ride is present. We surely think this is a vehicle the driver must enjoy, not something for the driven crowd.

An SUV behaving like a sports car? Impossible! A blasphemy! Mazda, despite all odds, continued to build one to critical success. We all know this is no RX-7, but you can carry seven people inside and save all the money for something else. Trust us, this is one purchase you would not regret perhaps if you have no funds for krudo.

The Good:
  • Drives like a car
  • Space for 8
  • Powerful V6
The Bad:
  • Drinks lots of fuel
  • Expensive maintenance costs
  • No diesel engine
The Pick: 3.7 V6

Engine: 3,721cc MZ1 Duratec 37 V6 gasoline
Power: 277hp @ 6,250rpm
Torque: 367Nm @ 4,250rpm
Fuel Consumption: 5-7km/L (city), 7-9km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear independent multilink

Price (New): P2,099,000-P2,899,000
Price (Now): P930,000-P1,650,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Veracruz, Kia Mohave, Mitsubishi Endeavor, Nissan Murano, Subaru Tribeca
On Sale: 2007-Current

Mazda Pasig - (02) 655-1005
Mazda Quezon Avenue - (02) 742-2081
Mazda Greenhills - (02) 722-1102

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