The Mazda CX-9 is a car I have admired for a while, it is a stunning looking vehicle and I LOVE it in the beautiful Mazda red! So when I got one to test for BabyDrive I was very excited and it's in my favourite colour!!
I had driven the CX-5 a few weeks before and been very disappointed with the interior and I thought the CX-9 would be a giant version of it… Oh, I was wrong!! The CX-9 is everything I hoped it would be and more!! Where do I start?!! The interior was just as stunning as the outside!
The cream leather perforated seats looked fantastic, completely impractical for a BabyDrive and they only narrowly escaped by daughters sick bug!! However, as a treat for mum, they were fabulous! I didn't find the front seats comfortable at all to sit in but they looked nice!!
The CX-9 has FIVE top tether points?!! Yes! They are in all three central row seats and both rear seats too! But the central seat's anchor point was strangely located slightly under the seat base and not clearly labelled, which didn't fill me with confidence!
There are ISO Fix points in both the outer second-row seats, they are hidden in slits of the seat leather so you do have to line them up carefully and are not as simple as when within plastic guides.
The second-row seat, behind the front passenger, has a folding mechanism that allows it to fold and move forward with a child seat installed (if using the ISO Fix, not the seatbelt) and gives a big step through access to the third-row seats!
I managed to very comfortably fit five large Britax child seats into the CX-9, still with plenty of legroom in the front for driver and 23cm for the passenger!
First, I tried the Britax Maxi Guard Pro and Britax Kid Guard Pro in the third-row seats, then I swapped the Britax Kid Guard Pro to the forward facing Britax Platinum Pro so that I could put the slimmer booster seat in the central second-row seat and free enough space for the sliding seats to work.
With the rear-facing Britax Unity infant capsule and Britax Graphene (installed as rear facing) in the outer seats and the Britax Kid Guard Pro booster seat in the central seat, there was plenty of space around the seats and installation was really simple.
Storage was also good throughout the CX-9, with the second-row passengers being treated to double map pockets.
They also have a central seat armrest with cup holders and phone storage and charging.
There are also built-in window blinds in the second-row doors which are FABULOUS Babydrive features!!
Storage in the boot is also very good. When you are only using five seats the boot is a huge space that would hold any combination of items.
At capacity, it will hold 18 shopping bags and even with big strollers such as the Mountain Buggy Duet and Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle there is still room for 10 shopping bags.
When you are using all seven seats the boot space is still very usable as it would hold seven shopping bags.
Using seven seats you wouldn't want to put a dog in the boot but using five seats you would be able to put your large dog in the boot space!
The downsides of the CX-9 are the visibility is very poor for the driver out of the sides and back especially when loaded with people and child seats! I really couldn't see back past the front seats!
The media system feels dated, there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and I didn't find it the easiest system to navigate especially using the control dial in the central console.
The CX-9 drives beautifully, it is smooth and quiet as a BabyDrive however it does wheel spin when pulling out of junctions, which was a real disappointment as it is All Wheel Drive.
If you need a car that will really comfortably take five child seats without them being crammed in then this is a fantastic BabyDrive!
The Mazda CX-9 scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2016 and has six airbags as standard. I love the fact the CX-9 has curtain airbags that extend to the third-row seats too, which they don't in some competitor vehicles!