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Mazda CX-9

The 2011 Mazda CX-9

Courtesy of Mazda Motor of America

The Mazda CX-9 is a full-size crossover that offers seating for up to seven, a generous amount of power and great cargo space. The all-wheel-drive feature isn't standard but the CX-9 does come with a good amount of equipment for its starting price of about $29,000.

The CX-9 has won several awards and praises from multiple automotive sources for its overall quality and driving experience. The only engine available on the CX-9 is a 3.7-liter V-6 with 273 horsepower and 270 ft-lb. of torque, but it will get you to 60 miles per hour (96.6 kilometers per hour) in about 7.3 seconds [source: Lago]. There are three versions of the CX-9 to choose from: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, with the latter coming in at only four thousand more than the base Sport.

The optional AWD system has a torque-splitting feature similar to other crossovers and the eight inches of ground clearance will come in handy if you decide to rough it for a few miles. If you're thinking about using the CX-9 for towing, the AWD can handle 3,500 pounds (1,588 kilograms). and an optional towing package will add heavy-duty transmission oil cooler, radiator fan and a modified engine control module to manage the engine [source: Mazda].

With the second row up the CX-9 provides just over 48 cubic feet of cargo space, but if you fold the seat flat it expands to over 100 cubic feet [source: Lago]. The steering and handling respond well according to reviews, but the fuel economy is only 16 miles per gallon (6.8 kilometers per liter) for the city and 22 miles per gallon (9.4 kilometers per liter) on the highway in the AWD version [source: Mazda]. Another positive for the CX-9 is its 5-star government crash test rating for front and side impact crashes.

If you're looking for a fun-to-drive AWD crossover that comes with a significant amount of features for the price, then you may have found just what you're looking for in Mazda's CX-9.

For lots more information about AWD crossovers, follow the links on the next page.

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