Back in 2009, when I was planning to expand our family by adding a third player to our game, we decided to buy a 2010 Mazda CX-9 with the third row of seats, Touring model. We didn’t really need all the bells and whistles, and the keyless entry came in handy most days, but we were totally in love with the engine, the soft yet responsive handling of the vehicle which, for its size, maneuvered like a little sports car. The 3.5 liter engine was a true power house, and we could tow and carry various loads of cargo and passenger combinations without losing power. The AWD capability was very nice and kept us safe when driving over snow and mud; the traction control would kick in exactly when needed helping us maintain control at all times.
The Bose sound system and the sports package, including the sunroof/moonroof and the keyless entry, was really our favorite feature. The Bluetooth capability was limited to making and receiving calls or listening to music from our smart phone. It wasn’t touch screen or had USB ports, only the AUX port which was common in the early 2010s. The automatic gate lift function had to be enabled by the key fob, and it sometimes stopped functioning whenever certain conditions were met, most of which we never figured out. Obviously it wouldn’t operate during high winds or gusts, which makes sense, but the fault wasn’t electronic; we started to manually open and close it to save some time and frustration.
For all of our car purchases to make financial sense, we pay off the loan in 5 years. Because of this, the 2010 CX-9 had a lot of equity in it, totaling about $16,000. I needed some cash for tie me over during the layoff so I decided to trade it in for a newer model. Best idea I have ever had! I was able to keep some of the equity and buy a new car, keeping a few bucks in savings to pay for it until I get a job, but in the end the deal worked in my favor. The 2015 model has many of the features the old one had, and the new features are worth the trade off; my new touring doesn’t have the sports package but the main console is now touchscreen, the monitor is bigger, the rear view camera has proximity sensors and the mirrors have blind spot sensors. I have to turn the engine over with a key, but many mod houses can fix this problem economically. (You can use your cell phone to do a remote start for example, which can be convenient during the winter months.) Since I was having issues with the lift, the fact that the new one didn’t include it in the package didn’t bother me. The Bose system sound quality was impressive, but I can’t say that I miss it, and the interior is almost identical to my previous one, except the trim was done in a combination of leather and microfiber that looks better than the all plastic door trims.
Like my salesperson said: Why change a good thing? This model is a workhorse and it sells well. The safety features are excellent and the value for the cost is superb. I owned mine for six years and I didn’t have any issues with the transmission, engine, electronics, brakes or sound system, but for the record I only drove it 52,000 miles. It has the car seat anchors and the back seat temperature regulation system which will come in handy if we ever have kids (sadly our player 3 didn’t join the game as expected). For an SUV, it is very elegant and sophisticated. People love to see it pass by and comment about the aerodynamic lines and performance.
And in case you are wondering, yes! The third row fits two grown adults and my 6′ tall husband has done long trips back there without any issue. The total passenger count is only 7, and the trunk storage can fit enough luggage for the whole crew, and trust me I have done it a few times. There is also a 12 V port in the trunk, ideal for camping like equipment and charging cell phones from the third row. (The port keeps its juice while the car is turned off, and cell phones charge quite fast because of the DC. Another one of those can be found in the center console beside the driver’s seat.) Add roof rack storage for longer trips or equipment and you should be fine.
Some Mazda dealerships accept the Costco discount or a corporate discount. Check your employee discount page or the Costco directory for qualified dealers. No point buying a new car at full price when you can negotiate it. The savings are always worth it.