The CX-9 continues to impress our staff and reaffirm our decision to name it Motor Trend's 2008 Sport/Utility of the Year. Senior editor Ron Kiino piloted it up to Carmel-by-the-Sea for a weekend getaway and left the cockpit all giddy. "The beauty of the CX-9 is that it's a true driver's machine. Right before getting in this Mazda, I did a couple two way commutes in the Jag XKR-one of the finest GT cars around-and I enjoyed driving the CX-9 just as much." Is this heresy? Kiino explains, "Sure the Jag is sexier, grabs more attention, and is way quicker, but it doesn't communicate any better nor does it allow for better accuracy. The CX-9's steering is light and precise, the brake response smooth and progressive, and the powertrain lively and refined-sounds like a sports car, no?" St. Antoine adds: "Took my family all through the Malibu canyons, and never once did I hear, 'I'm feeling carsick.'"


2007 MAZDA CX-9
Months/miles in service 5/13,208
Avg econ/CO2 17.0 mpg/1.14 lb/mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $76.02 (oil change/inspection/rotate tires)
Normal-wear cost $0