Upscale and spacious, with a practical edge.

2021 Mazda CX-9 Review: Hero | CarMax

The Mazda CX-9 is a three-row midsize SUV that got a sparkling refresh for the 2021 model year. While SUVs are typically characterized by utility and practicality, they can also be a stylish choice for your daily drive—which is particularly true of the 2021 Mazda CX-9. The CX-9's turbocharged 2.5L engine is designed to be a match for any road, while its upscale, feature-filled cabin feels hushed and tranquil.

While we currently do not have many 2021 Mazda CX-9s on our lots, we look forward to selling more in the future. If you love the 2021 model, you should also consider prior model years of the Mazda CX-9 with similar features.

Key Specs & Features


2021 Mazda CX-9 Review: Engine | CarMax
  • The 2021 Mazda CX-9 with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive delivers an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined.1
  • The 2021 Mazda CX-9 with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive delivers an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined.1

Cargo Space:

  • 14.4 cubic feet behind the third row
  • 38.2 cubic feet behind the second row
  • 71.2 cubic feet behind the first row

Towing Capacity:

  • All 2021 Mazda CX-9 models with the 2.5L engine have an estimated towing capacity of 3,500 lbs., when properly equipped.2

Seating Capacity:

2021 Mazda CX-9 Review: Front seats | CarMax
  • The 2021 Mazda CX-9 seats up to seven passengers.
  • Optional captain's chairs reduce the seating to six passengers.
2021 Mazda CX-9 Review: Backseats | CarMax

Engine Options:

  • The 2021 Mazda CX-9 has a 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with six-speed automatic transmission, delivering 227 hp and 310 lb.-ft .of torque.

Tech Features:

2021 Mazda CX-9 Review: Cell | CarMax
  • 10.2-inch color infotainment display
  • Lane-departure warning system
  • SMS text message audio delivery and response
  • Bose® surround sound system (Carbon Edition and above)
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto integration


The Mazda CX-9 has a strong sales history at CarMax. It has been featured in this ranking list:

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Lots of Standard Driver-Assistance Features

2021 Mazda CX-9 Review: Dashboard | CarMax

The 2021 Mazda CX-9 boasts plenty of driver-assistance features across its five trims, designed to make your driving days feel effortless. For family drivers, all trims feature second-row LATCH anchors and side-impact door beams. Town and country roads become light work thanks to the hill launch assist feature, which is designed to provide additional acceleration from sloping stops. With the three top trims fitted with front and rear parking sensors, parking can be a breeze, too.

2. The Eye-Catching Carbon Edition

A fantastic lineup of four trims becomes five for the 2021 Mazda CX-9, with the addition of the mid-level Carbon Edition. Designed to get you noticed, the exterior's privacy glass, 20-inch wheels, polymetal gray paint, and dark finish grille make for a sleek presence on the road. Inside, you'll find a premium Bose 12-speaker surround sound system, red leather seats, a seven-inch digital driver display, and heated second-row captain's seats. Get ready to wow the neighbors with this stylish SUV.

3. Tons of Creature Comforts

Happy passengers make your life easier, and the 2021 Mazda CX-9 has plenty to keep your whole crew ensconced in comfort and fully entertained. Got a road trip planned? Everyone will appreciate the Bluetooth® audio streaming, smartphone integration, HD radio, and generous infotainment screen. Each Mazda CX-9 has storage solutions across all three rows, including front and rear door bottle holders, storage bins, and front-row seatback pockets that fit magazines, books, or tablets.

4. Plenty of Adaptable Space

2021 Mazda CX-9 Review: Third row | CarMax

Need a vehicle that can adapt to your needs? The 2021 Mazda CX-9 delivers. The remote keyless entry feature means having an armful of groceries won't be a problem. And with the fixed cargo area boasting storage boxes and underfloor space, you've got plenty of room for your passengers and their stuff. Want to haul even more? No problem—you can increase your floor space with the third row's 50/50 split fold-down feature. Seven-seater models with second-row bench seats have a 60/40 split fold-down, and easy-tilt access to the third-row space.

5. Stylish Exterior

The Mazda CX-9 delivers all the practical elements needed for a seven-seater, without sacrificing elegance and style. The 2021 CX-9 features exterior touches such as a body-colored rear roof spoiler, dual exhaust outlets, and rear privacy glass. The redesigned, wider front fascia grille takes on a bright or deep black finish (trim dependent), matching with a black or chrome lower body finishing.

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What You Need to Know

Available Trims

  • Sport: Includes automatic LED headlights, heated side mirrors, heated front seats, six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and more.
  • Touring: Adds keyless ignition and entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power rear liftgate, adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist, and more.
  • Carbon Edition: Adds adaptive headlights, ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain's chairs, Bose 12-speaker premium sound system, power-sliding moonroof, and more.
  • Grand Touring: Adds hands-free liftgate, integrated navigation system, head-up display, traffic sign recognition system, surround-view camera system, and more.
  • Signature: Adds standard all-wheel drive, premium quilted leather upholstery, wood interior trim, standard second-row captain's chairs with center console, and more.

Available Colors

  • Deep Crystal Blue Mica (Sport, Touring, Grand Touring)
  • Jet Black Mica (Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Signature)
  • Machine Gray Metallic (Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Signature)
  • Polymetal Gray Metallic (Carbon Edition)
  • Snowflake White Pearl Mica (Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Signature)
  • Sonic Silver Metallic (Touring, Grand Touring)
  • Soul Red Crystal Metallic (Touring, Grand Touring, Signature)


  • Second-row center armrest with integrated cup holders
  • Maximum cargo volume of 71.2 cu ft
  • Two 12-volt power outlets
  • 50/50 split fold-down third-row seats
  • Three-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter

Average CarMax Prices

The 2021 Mazda CX-9 is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the Mazda CX-9.

  • 2012 - Average prices less than $14,0003
  • 2013 - Average prices less than $15,0003
  • 2014 - Average prices less than $16,5003
  • 2015 - Average prices less than $17,5003
  • 2016 - Average prices less than $24,0003
  • 2017 - Average prices less than $26,0003
  • 2018 - Average prices less than $26,5003
  • 2019 - Average prices less than $27,5003

Similar Model Years

If you like the 2021 Mazda CX-9, check out some previous model years of this vehicle with similar features.


The 2021 Mazda CX-9 received an overall 5/5 rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle

Similar Vehicles

If you're interested in the 2021 Mazda CX-9, you should also check out these similar vehicles from previous model years.

Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a popular midsize SUV known for its impressive road handling, variety of trim levels, and bright exterior paint choices. The 2017-2018 Santa Fe seats six or seven passengers across three rows. All 2017-2018 models are powered by a 3.3L V6 engine, turning out 290 hp and 252 lb.-ft. of torque via a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but you can shop for a model with all-wheel drive. Though the Santa Fe was redesigned in 2019 as a five-seater, the 2019 XL trim unlocks the greater seating capacity of the previous model years.

The 2017-2018 Santa Fe base trim SE features:

  • 13.5 cu ft of cargo space
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • Rearview camera
  • Seven-inch touchscreen display
  • 18-inch wheels

Kia Telluride

Debuting in 2020, the Kia Telluride doesn't disappoint—particularly when it comes to passenger and cargo capacity. Seating seven (or eight) across three rows, the Telluride features 21 cu ft of standard cargo space, expanding to 87 cu ft when the rear rows are folded down. You can also expect some serious power under the hood. All four trims share the same 3.8L V6 engine, delivering 291 hp, 262 lb.-ft. of torque, and the ability to tow an estimated 5,000 lbs., when properly equipped.2

The 2020 Kia Telluride LX features:

  • Simulated-leather upholstery
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • Forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Rear parking sensors

Hyundai Palisade

Also debuting in 2020, the generously equipped seven- or eight-seat (depending on trim) Hyundai Palisade has a distinctly luxurious feel, and plenty of driver aids as standard. The 2020 Palisade is available in three trims, all sharing the same 3.8L V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers 291 hp and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. Your passengers will love the Palisade, too—this SUV can comfortably seat children as well as adults in all three rows.

Standard features of the 2020 Hyundai Palisade SE include:

  • Second-row air-conditioning controls
  • Eight-inch touchscreen
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Automatic high beams
  • Drowsy driver monitor

The Bottom Line

For pleasurable weekend trips and practical daily duties, the 2021 Mazda CX-9 is an ideal choice. Its feature-filled cabin, stylish exterior, and impressive powertrain provides a smooth, comfortable ride for you as well as your passengers.

Looking to learn more? Check out these related articles:

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
2Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
3Based on CarMax prices from April 9, 2019 through September 10, 2020. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features, and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.