a review of the MERCURY S-MAX......ok, not quite -- but the closest thing we've got to it imho**
Review: 2010 Mazda CX-9 Touring FWD - LeftlaneNews
12/05/2009, 3:26 PM
By Andrew Ganz
Just a few days into our evaluation of Mazda’s lightly refreshed 2010 CX-9 crossover, we found ourselves in a bit of a conundrum. Crossovers, modern convention dictates, are boring contraptions designed for rugrat-hauling utility. The CX-9 is a driver-focused fun machine. What’s going on here?...
What is it?
Designed to haul a family and their luggage in comfort, the CX-9 is aimed right at the heart of middle America. More than just marketing babble, Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom mantra was built into the CX-9 from the start, even if it shares its platform with the milquetoast Ford Edge...
And on the inside?
Buttery smooth leather with a tickle-the-senses aroma to match; even if the CX-9 featured an interior design cribbed from Lada or Yugo, we’d be content just sitting in it. For the new model year, Mazda took the liberty to select some of the finest leather we’ve seen in anything but a hand-crafted luxury car and then stitched it inside of a people mover for the masses. It’s first impressions like this – the whiff of something special – that help sell cars and we applaud Mazda for understanding the allure of luxury.
Lucky for the CX-9, the crossover doesn’t use its newfound leather to compensate for poor design. Start with a sporty driving position, add in a thick and grippy steering wheel and a convenient, ergonomically-efficient control setup and you’ll end up with a winner every time...
But does it go?
Underneath the revised look and spiced up interior, the CX-9 is essentially a carryover from the 2009 model. The 3.7-liter V6 was co-developed with Ford, so it also sees duty in the Mazda6, Lincoln MKS and MKT and will soon power the entry-level Ford Mustang. Hooked up to a particularly smooth-shifting six-speed automatic, the torquey CX-9 never felt underpowered in our testing. Officially, Mazda rates it at 273 horsepower peaking at a high 6,250 rpm and 270 lb-ft. of torque at an also hefty 4,250, but both power curves are very flat and linear, which helped propel the CX-9 quickly off the line and aided in highway passing...
Leftlane’s bottom line
It won’t replace the sports car you had to give up to haul the family around, but it sure does try. The Mazda CX-9 injects a serious dose of fun into a segment otherwise filled with dullards.
At around $35,000 for a decently-equipped all-wheel-drive CX-9, it’s a screaming deal for an all-season family hauler that won’t upset the enthusiast in your household.
** part of my current, intentionally-obnoxious ranting for MORE MERCURY MODELS!!! &