Long test Mazda CX-9.

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It seems that while working on the second generation of the flagship CX-9, the engineers from Hiroshima went against the true American tradition, which is followed by full-size family crossovers with a seven-seat saloon. Whatever one may say, most of the cars from this class, including the Ford Explorer, Infiniti QX60, Hyundai Grand Santa Fe, Toyota Highlander and Mazda, were created with an eye to North America. A full-size overseas is certainly spacious, a bunch of cup holders and all sorts of niches for little things, a mighty aspirated with at least six cylinders and rich equipment.

By the way, that first CX-9 partly fit this cliché, but the current Mazda is different. The interior of the «nine» does not create the feeling of a large car at all, the front seats are dense, like in a passenger car, a 2.5-liter turbo four is hidden under the hood. Perhaps that is why, overseas, Mazda is noticeably inferior in sales to both Ford and Infinity.

Therefore, the CX-9 should be compared not with the semi-truck Explorer and smooth as a barge, the QX60, but more closely related to the spirit of the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe.

And do not rush to write off the CX-9, having learned that a four-cylinder engine is hidden under the hood of the five-meter crossover. The turbocharger Skyactiv-G 2.5T with Dynamic Pressure Turbo system (two-channel exhaust tract at the turbine inlet) pulls from the bottom and demonstrates good dynamics. With a maximum torque of 420 Nm already at 2,000 rpm, the CX-9 has no problem overtaking in town or on the highway. «Automatic» switches smoothly and quickly, you will not find fault. This is exactly the case when the number of stages (the automatic transmission of the CX-9 has a six-speed) does not affect the rate of fire in any way.

Mazda’s appetite is moderate. During the test, the average consumption was about 11-12 liters per 100 km. Therefore, if the Mazda engine is inferior to the six-cylinder aspirated, it is only in sound. When accelerating, there is no solid baritone of the thoroughbred V6. Instead, the Mazda mutters something inaudible in falsetto, whistling slightly with a turbocharger.

But the five-meter colossus is controlled almost like a compact CX-5. «Nine» willingly follows the wheel, dashingly rebuilds and pleases the driver with the correct steering effort. Of course, it is foolish to demand the sharpness of true representatives of zoom-zoom ideology like Mazda 6 or the CX-5 from the seven-seater CX-9, but in comparison with its competitors the “nine” drives in a passenger car simply and naturally. Without unnecessary sharpness, the Mazda is reliable both in gentle and sharp turns.

When it comes to comfort, the CX-9 leaves a double impression. On a good surface, a large crossover lulls with a smooth ride and silence in the cabin. Dozens of kilograms of noise-insulating materials and double front windows did their job — the CX-9 cabin is really quiet. But if 20-inch wheels get caught in a hole with sharp edges, a hard jolt breaks the veil of velvety smoothness, reminding the driver that Mazda does not like bad roads.

Dislikes «nine» and speed bumps. Having received a couple of kicks under the fifth point, you no longer want to go through them with a move.

There are no complaints about the CX-9 brakes. «Mazda» confidently slows down at any speed. But the brake pedal takes some getting used to. At first, it seems too wadded and uninformative. Understanding comes only after a couple of tens of kilometers. Also in the list of equipment is a useful automatic braking system at city speeds, designed to protect the driver who is staring at the screen of his smartphone from colliding with the car in front.

Those who set their sights on the brutal Ford Explorer are unlikely to look at Mazda, will not overpay for Infinity and will snort contemptuously towards the Koreans.

Those who have chosen the Infiniti QX60 already have one foot in the premium, so they will not even look back at the remaining three.

The CX-9 also has its own client, and I’m ready to wager, according to statistics, he is the youngest and most progressive of all. Aesthetics is more important for him than a couple of extra options, and besides, he has not yet forgotten how that beloved BMW three-ruble was driving, which he had to sell after another replenishment happened in the family and the number of scooters with bicycles in the trunk was doubled.

Here he is awaited by the «Mazda CX-9», which he will choose for the cool bright design, cozy interior and close to passenger manners.