After a decade with only minimal changes, Mazda has finally released a successor to the original tall wagon. The second-generation CX-9 has shed about 200 pounds, thanks in part to replacing the 3.7-liter V-6 with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that has less power, but more torque and is more fuel-efficient. The Sleuth sees the turbo-four as a move in the right direction, however he’s not so sure about the reduced third-row-seating space as well as the reduction in cargo capacity. With families being the primary purchasers of these vehicles, the CX-9 will have to rely more on its stylish good looks to woo prospective buyers.


Why is the CX-9 a gamble? Because it loses rear passenger and cargo space when it’s a family machine. (PHOTO: MAZDA)

Mazda gambles with the CX-9: