New Mazda CX-9 vs Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Explorer, and Toyota Highlander

When it comes to big 3-row SUVs, the CX-9 is the flagship of the Mazda family. It offers a roomy, upscale interior, unbeatable handling and performance and a suite of up-to-date features that the competition can't match. When it comes to this class of SUVs, though, the field is pretty crowded and the competition is tough. Let's see how the CX-9 stacks up against some of the other 3-row SUVs on the market.

Mazda CX-9 Power and Performance

With a gutsy 227 horsepower turbo 4-cylinder, the CX-9 is a strong performer with great throttle response. It can scoot up to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, compared to 7.6 seconds for the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport or 7.4 seconds for the Nissan Pathfinder. The CX-9's engine is also considerably more powerful and torquey than the Kia Sorento's 184 horsepower or the Chevy Equinox and its puny 170 horsepower and 0-60 time of 9.1 seconds.

Mazda CX-9 Fuel Economy

Like you might expect with a Mazda product, the CX-9 really shines when it comes to fuel economy. With EPA ratings of 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway, that's pretty strong compared to the Hyundai Santa Fe (17 city/25 highway), the Ford Explorer (16 city/27 highway), the Hyundai Santa Fe (17 city/25 highway) or the Toyota Highlander (19 city/28 highway).

Mazda CX-9 Safety and Features

Just like you've come to expect with Mazda, the CX-9 is loaded with sophisticated safety, convenience and comfort features. That includes things like blind spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking (as standard features), adaptive cruise control, lane management, a backup camera and rear traffic alerts. You'll also find a user-friendly infotainment system with 7" or 8" screen, complete with Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, HD radio and built-in radio apps for Pandora, Stitcher and Aha. Android Auto(™) and Apple CarPlay(™) are optional, as is a Bose(™) 12-speaker audio system.

Add in niceties like one-touch power windows, three-zone climate control, automatic headlights, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, 360 degree view monitor, Mazda navigation and an Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition and you've got a refined, sophisticated 3-row SUV that's truly best-in-class.