Over the past week my partner and I have had the pleasure of test driving the “2017 Mazda CX-9”, utilizing it as our daily driver. We ran errands with it, drove it to work, and took cruises up and down the sea to sky highway with it. All to get a good assessment of how it handled and if we could imagine it in our own lives.

In truth, we have tested a few cars prior, and this is the one he was most excited about upon picking it up. And I tend to believe him when it comes to anything automobile related, seeing as his works with various makes and models and they are his passion and expertise. So this review is written heavily in my description of his interpretation.

He described the body of the car as being “Sleek, modern and menacing looking”, “like an angry animal ready to be unleash in the wild”. Apparently all these are great attributes to have for a vehicle to cruise around on the streets with. I unfortunately couldn’t see it. He especially loved the “CX-9’s” “beautiful 20inch wheels”, claiming that are “hard not to notice”. And as any car guy can tell you, how you look in the car is just as important as how it drives.

Although it was the interior with its beige leather seats and wood detailing that had him looking to me with puppy dog eyes asking “can we keep it?” For him the interior was “flawless”, a big compliment for someone who spends his entire day working on cars, and his down time looking at and talking about cars. He described it as “something you would expect from a luxury brand SUV at double the price”. Whereas here everything is within easy reaching distance, designed for the driver’s comfort and their convenience in mind. All wrapped in a modern and chic package. Although we did not make use of the second and third rows of seats, the latter made the “Mazda CX-9” highly practical for those with larger families. Especially if they are planning road trips or need to move, as it has plenty of cargo space, with easy to store seats.

It was only missing one thing on his must have checklist: cooling seats. Although the seats did heat to warm, and with individual knobs you and your driver side passenger are able to have the temperature set just as you want it. He liked the air conditioning to blow at him, and to be directed at his feet. Whereas I want to be submerged in the cooling effects of air conditioning, but not have it aimed directly at me, and typically at a much lower setting. This way we weren’t fighting, but got to have it just as we liked it. In my opinion this is a must for a happy relationship and when considering a lengthy road trip.

As for the engine and the way it handles, he only continued his parade of praise. “Don’t be fooled by the “CX-9’s” smaller 4cylinder turbo engine” he warned. Although the competitors in its class have themselves bigger v6 engines, what keeps “Mazda” in the running is their “skyactiv” technology. He declared that it “is no joke!” Equipped with 310foot pounds of torque, the power delivery is smooth, with plenty of low to mid range power produced by its turbocharger. All this and it still has the best fuel economy in its class.

He especially appreciated the “growl” coming from the engine, each time he put his foot down on the accelerator’s pedal. And with the extra luxury of sound deadening technology in the cabin it really doesn’t sound all that loud, an added feature since this “CX-9’s” predecessor. In fact with all the windows closed you don’t hear much of any of the traffic and noise coming from outside. Ideal for those who appreciate crisp music quality from their satellite radio.

The ride is smooth thanks to how low the suv sits, compare to some of its competitor’s. The result, no need to lower it yourself for that aesthetic, and the vehicle is a lot more planted on the road. This smooth drive is furthered by a sharper steering response, which makes it feels more like you are driving a sedan than a full size 7 seater SUV.

In conclusion he found it very hard to find any flaws to this vehicle. And he did try, so for that, he and I say “well done Mazda!” and thanks for the sweet ride. When can we have it again?