Thursday, April 5, 2012

Test Drive: Mazda CX-7 vs. CX-9

Yesterday I mentioned we are on the hunt for a new car...and our first stop was Town North Mazda.  We have a history with them, so it was only fitting that we went there to begin with.  I also have had my eye on the Mazda CX-9 and CX-7 for a potential new ride.

The salesman (Harry) from used cars had been working with me over the phone for about a week; I'd pick a car online and then get the details from him.  Their web site is pretty informative and you can also apply for financing online, which makes the process much simpler than filling out a stack of papers at the dealership.   On Wednesday, I made a list of 5 cars they had in stock, and drove down there after school to try them out.

The first one was a 2012 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring in Dolphin Gray Mica.  Gosh, was it pretty.  And it still smelled new.  It had only 8000 miles on it and was new to the used lot.  The Grand Touring models come with about everything you could dream of.  Here is a glance at the color:
Pretty, no?  Here are some of the things we liked about it:
  • Seats 7 and the rear seat and middle seats fold down.  The middle seat is split, which is nice if you need a car seat to stay on one side but want to cram a bed frame or a desk in on the other from your estate sale adventures (you knew that had to be a given, didn't you??)
  • Roomy on the inside and the console in the middle of the front seat doesn't seem to intrude.
  • Nice drive; smooth and not too much road noise
  • Auxiliary input in the console, the dash, and the rear.  
  • Rear air.  You have to have that when you stuff two long-legged boys in the back that have been sweating at the skate park all day or just got off the dock fishing at the lake.  Or for the boxer girl that makes a bed in the back for a day trip.
  • Speaking of, there is not much room in the rear hatch area when the third seat is in use, but there is enough to stow luggage for the weekend, or a child's bicycle, or a week's worth of groceries plus some thrift shop finds. 
  • But, when you fold that third seat down, whoa, baby, you can fill it up. 
  • Sun roof.  Rays are good.
  • Leather seating and black carpet.  Very nice.
Some pretty phenomenal extras we've decided every car should have:
  • Dual air control in the front.   Trust me, this one is big.  Especially when your husband is burning up and you have icicles hanging in places you don't want them to hang. It's a constant battle, but not in this baby.
  • And another husband/wife battle solved--memory pre-sets for the driver's seat.  He says I'm short; I tell him to quit messing with my seat because I can't see over the steering wheel.  
  • Rear back-up camera.  I wish I had that when I backed into the garage wall a few years ago.  Yeah.
  • Navigation!!  Estate sales, love! 
  • Touch screen radio and navigation, and Bose sound system.  The Bose is awesome, don't get me wrong, but I bet Mr. Miata would add a few features to the radio once it was ours. 
  • Garage door remote in the rear view mirror. 
  • Proximity sensor.  Don't worry girls, it scared me too.  It beeps if you are trying to change lanes and there is something in your path.  Super cool. 
The only things that we REALLY wish this car had were:
  • A DVD entertainment system for the kids for long trips.  
  • More auxiliary input for the five i-pods/i-phones that it takes to entertain us.
  • i-pod hookup and controls from the radio
  • 22 inch rims...haha...we're just kidding.  :)
We drove the Touring edition right after the Grand Touring test drive, and while it was very nice, those super extras are hard to do without once you've had them.  The Touring edition only has the back-up camera of those navigation, no sun roof.  No dual air controls *tears*.

Next we tried the CX-7.

OK, it's a pretty decent car to trolley around town in, but the get up and go just doesn't.  It's a 4 cylinder motor and compared to the 6, you can really tell a difference.  I sat in the back seat on this ride, and it seemed like my nose was in line with the bottom of the window...very low.  The ride wasn't as smooth, and the road noise was much louder.  The color was pretty and it looks pretty zippy on the outside, but not near the room or the ride we need.  The boys would probably plot to kill each other before we even got out of the driveway.  The Grand Touring package on these was nice, but not as nice as the CX-9.  William did like the smaller feel of it, on account of driving a Miata to work every day, but I felt kind of closed in, on account of driving an MPV to work every day.  I really don't want my backpack in my face.  Ha.

The winner?  The CX-9.   And Town North Mazda was very cordial and informative, putting up with this crazy lady with her list in red pen of all those cars to see and drive.  The one that stormed off the lot about to cry and scream at her husband for suggesting more options instead of focusing more on the blue one that was so pretty.  Harry was very quick to agree with the husband.  Dang.

Adding the CX-9 to our list of definite possibilities. 


  1. Test Drive: Mazda CX-7 vs. CX-9 I like so much this car Mazda For Sale

  2. Car shopping is fun! I pay off my car in August and I'm sticking with it. I haven't not had a car payement since college! More fabric money for me!