Come dream with Mazda. Imagine an MX-5 Miata or maybe an RX-8 transformed into a three-row CUV. Yep, it still looks good. It's still fun to drive. Only now, you're not restricted to pseudo-doors or two seats. Take your kids or your friends and maybe even some of their stuff with you.
Too good to be true? Well, if $30,000 is above your budget then it is too good to be true. Mazda ups the dynamic ante put forth by the Honda Odyssey (already covered in The Good 12 Supersize) takes away a bit of the space, and adds terrific looks. Whisper it - Mazda also wants a bit more of your money.
Few could act genuinely surprised when Mazda introduces a vehicle of any type and somehow manages to make such a vehicle handle and ride well. The CX-9 is dimensionally a CX-7 on steroids, but may drive with even more verve. Power isn't lacking. Fuel economy isn't terrible. And man, but does the CX-9 look good when it's sleek, long, classy form cruises by. Carrying your kids, at speed, while having fun, in some luxury, while looking good ain't easy. Mazda makes it possible.
Engines: 273 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque from a 3.7L V6
City Mileage: 15-16 miles per gallon
Base USD Price: $29,820
Cargo Capacity: 100.7 cubic feet behind front row
Towing Capability: 2,000-3,500 pounds