Buying a car can be complicated. Our goal at KBB.com is to make that process easier. You read reviews, do test drives, and then hope you end up in something you love. We would also like to suggest something you may not have considered, and that’s a certified pre-owned (CPO) car. These cars are typically only a couple of years old and thoroughly vetted by the manufacturer, yet cost many thousands less than a new vehicle. Let’s take a look at one such vehicle, the 7-passenger Mazda CX-9, sold through Mazda’s CPO program.
2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring Sport
Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price = CPO: $33,890
Sticker price when new: $43,210
With four main trim levels, we think the sweet spot for a CPO 2018 Mazda CX-9 is the Grand Touring Sport. When we originally reviewed the CX-9, we suggested skipping the base Sport for the Touring trim, and in this case, we say go one more up. The price differential from new for the base trims is about $7,000, whereas the difference between these two trim levels when is $10,000, making it an even better deal.
Above the base trims, the Grand Touring adds features and safety equipment, as well as larger wheels. There’s about an $800 difference between the CPO and non-CPO versions, but we think that the inspection, added warranty, and extra features of the certified deal make it more than worth the money. If you can’t live without Nappa leather, the top Signature trim costs about $2,000 more.
Mazdas are drivers’ cars, and despite being a 7-passenger SUV, the 2018 Mazda CX-9 is still a lot of fun to drive. There’s only one engine choice, a turbocharged 4-cylinder, but it makes an impressive 310 lb-ft of torque. The CX-9 feels surprisingly agile and light on its feet given its size, and it’s fun to drive through the curves. Towing capacity maxes out at 3,500 pounds, however.
Inside, there’s good space in the first two rows, although the snug third row is best for kids. The view out is good, and the interior has a premium feel, with soft-touch materials and a real feeling of luxury. With numerous airbags, traction control, and standard blind-spot alert, the 2018 Mazda CX-9 earned a 5-Star NHTSA safety rating.
What to look for
While there’s only one engine choice, we recommend going with all-wheel drive. There’s a slight fuel economy penalty, but given the sportiness of the CX-9, AWD gives it even more traction, particularly in winter weather. Grand Touring trim adds a moonroof and a 12-speaker Bose audio system. Leather seating, heated front and rear seats, and dual-zone front air-conditioning all add to the feel of comfort.
2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring Sport Key Features
While the lower Touring trim adds leather seats, we particularly like the additional safety features of the Grand Touring. This includes such things as radar cruise control, lane-keeping assist, frontal collision warning and mitigation, and backup sensors. The Grand Touring also adds navigation, an impressive 12-speaker Bose audio system, and a moonroof. There’s also SiriusXM, Pandora internet radio, a head-up display, 20-inch wheels, rain-sensing wipers, remote keyless entry, and automatic temperature control.
2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring Sport Ratings
Kelley Blue Book Rating: 4.1
NHTSA Safety Rating: 5 stars
|2018 Mazda CX-9|
|Most Common Powertrain|
|Engine||2.5-liter turbo I4|
|Horsepower||227 hp @ 5,000 rpm|
|Torque||310 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||24 mpg (22 city/28 hwy)|
|Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Max Seating Capacity||7|
|EPA Passenger Volume||135.1 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||71.2 cubic feet|
Mazda Certified Pre-Owned
There’s a lot to recommend Mazda’s CPO program. First and foremost, to qualify for the program, a Mazda vehicle can’t be more than 6 years old and must carry a clean vehicle history report. Once it’s submitted, factory technicians perform a thorough 164-point inspection and make any needed repairs with factory parts. Then Mazda adds a 1-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty that starts when the original 3-year/36,000-mile warranty expires.
If the original warranty has already expired, the CPO warranty starts on the purchase date. Mazda also extends the powertrain warranty to a total of 7 years or 100,000 miles from the original purchase date, and no deductibles are charged for repairs made under warranty. Mazda also adds 24-hour roadside assistance, a vehicle history report, and a 3-month satellite radio subscription.
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