11 Best & Worst Mazda CX-9 Years (Stats & Examples)

The Mazda CX-9 has long been recognized as a stylish and versatile SUV, offering a balance of performance, comfort, and utility. 

Over the years, Mazda has introduced several iterations of the CX-9, each with its unique features and enhancements. As with any vehicle, some model years have stood out as particularly exceptional, while others have fallen short of expectations.

In this article, we will explore the 11 best and worst Mazda CX-9 years to help you make an informed decision when considering a CX-9 for your next vehicle purchase. 

The Best and Worst Years for Mazda CX-9 Are:

According to consumer reports and industry experts, the most reliable years for the Mazda CX-9 are generally the most recent (2017, 2018, and 2022), along with a few older models (2009, 2014, 2015). However, consumers should be cautious of models from 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2016.

What Mazda CX-9 Years Are the Most Reliable?

If you’re considering the Mazda CX-9, you’re likely interested in knowing which model years have proven to be the most dependable. 

Let’s take a look into the world of the Mazda CX-9 to identify the years that have consistently demonstrated exceptional reliability.

2009 Mazda CX-9

The 2009 Mazda CX-9 is regarded as a highly reliable vehicle within its class. 

Despite being the oldest model on the our “most reliable” list, it continues to deliver a satisfying driving experience and has received minimal complaints over the years.

One notable improvement in the 2009 model is the addition of a trip computer for all trim levels, allowing drivers to monitor their vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency. 

Additionally, Bluetooth capability was added to the base model, ensuring greater connectivity options for occupants.

When it comes to reliability ratings, the 2009 CX-9 has received positive scores from trusted automotive sources. 

  • According to Edmunds, it achieves an impressive rating of 4.5 out of 5.0, indicating high reliability and customer satisfaction. 
  • Kelley Blue Book also rates it favorably with a score of 4.7 out of 5.0
  • JD Power rates the 2009 CX-9 with a commendable score of 79 out of 100.

Moreover, among the first-generation Mazda CX-9 models, which span from 2007 to 2015, the 2009 model is recognized as one of the most reliable choices. 

In analyzing reported issues on sites like Car Complaints, the 2009 CX-9 stands out with the fewest problems compared to any other models of this generation.

This vehicle’s positive ratings from reputable sources, minimal complaints, and recognition among the best years of the first-generation CX-9 demonstrate its dependability and make it a solid choice for prospective buyers.

2014 – 2015 Mazda CX-9

The 2014 and 2015 Mazda CX-9 models are also known for their reliability and have earned positive ratings from reputable sources. 

Both models offer a strong V6 engine and responsive steering, contributing to their enjoyable driving experience.

In terms of changes, the 2014 CX-9 saw an addition to the Touring and Grand Touring trims in the form of a rear cross-traffic alert system. This feature enhances safety by alerting the driver to approaching vehicles from the sides when reversing.

2014 Mazda CX-9

  • 4.1 out of 5.0 from Edmunds, indicating a high level of reliability and customer satisfaction.
  • Kelley Blue Book also rates it favorably with a score of 4.7 out of 5.0.
  • JD Power gave the 2014 model a rating of 75 out of 100, further emphasizing its reliability.

The 2015 CX-9 received similar ratings to its predecessor:

  • Edmunds rates it at 4.1 out of 5.0, signifying its reliability and overall appeal.
  • Kelley Blue Book also gave it a score of 4.7 out of 5.0.
  • Impressively, JD Power granted the 2015 model a higher rating of 83 out of 100, highlighting its improved performance and reliability compared to the 2014 model.

In summary, the 2015 model, in particular, stands out as the most refined and reliable iteration of the first-generation CX-9, making it a top choice for those seeking reliability in this vehicle class.

2017-2018 Mazda CX-9

The 2017 and 2018 Mazda CX-9 models are generally regarded as reliable vehicles, with improved performance and notable features that enhance the driving experience.

Starting with the 2017 CX-9 – this stood out for addressing many of the issues that plagued its predecessor. This model received positive feedback for its snappy driving dynamics, upscale design, and impressive fuel economy considering its size. 

In terms of reliability ratings, the 2017 CX-9 received the following ratings:

  • 4.4 out of 5.0 from Edmunds, highlighting its high reliability and customer satisfaction.
  • 4.7 out of 5.0 from Kelley Blue Book, a favorable rating.

Moving on to the 2018 CX-9, it is considered another top pick for those seeking a slightly older yet still modern vehicle. 

In terms of safety features, the 2018 model came equipped with:

  • Standard blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Emergency braking

Additionally, Mazda’s patented G-Vectoring Control was made standard across the lineup, enhancing stability during cornering and improving overall driving dynamics.

The 2018 CX-9 received positive ratings:

  • Edmunds gave it a score of 4.5 out of 5.0, indicating its reliability and appeal.
  • Kelley Blue Book also rated it highly with a score of 4.7 out of 5.0.
  • JD Power gave a rating of 81 out of 100, further emphasizing its reliability and overall performance.

2022 Mazda CX-9

The 2022 Mazda CX-9 is highly regarded for its reliability and offers advanced technology that contributes to its overall dependability.

One notable feature of the 2022 CX-9 is that it comes standard with all-wheel drive across the entire range. 

For the 2022 Mazda CX-9, a combination of power and fuel efficiency contributes to the model’s reliability, as it allows for a satisfying driving experience while minimizing fuel consumption and associated costs.

Additionally, Mazda has incorporated the latest technology into the 2022 CX-9, which plays a role in enhancing its reliability. 

Regarding reliability rating:

  • Edmunds rates it at 4.2 out of 5.0, reflecting its high reliability and customer satisfaction.
  • Kelley Blue Book also rates it favorably, with a score of 4.7 out of 5.0
  • JD Power grants the 2022 CX-9 a rating of 81 out of 100

Overall, the 2022 Mazda CX-9 is a top pick known for its reliability, thanks to the integration of advanced technology. Positive ratings from Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and JD Power further validate the model’s reliability and customer satisfaction.

Here is a table comparing the reliability ratings of the best Mazda CX-9 models:

Model Year Edmunds Score Kelley Blue Book Score JD Power Score
2009 CX-9 2009 4.5/5.0 4.7/5.0 79/100
2014 CX-9 2014 4.1/5.0 4.7/5.0 NA
2015 CX-9 2015 4.1/5.0 4.7/5.0 83/100
2017 CX-9 2017 4.4/5.0 4.7/5.0 NA
2018 CX-9 2018 4.5/5.0 4.7/5.0 81/100
2022 CX-9 2022 4.2/5.0 4.7/5.0 81/100

What Mazda CX-9 Years Should You Avoid?

While the Mazda CX-9 has generally been praised for its reliability and enjoyable driving experience, there are a few model years that have received some criticism or reported issues. 

Let’s take a closer look at these years and the reasons why they are worth considering more carefully.

2008 Mazda CX-9

The 2008 Mazda CX-9 is a model year that should be approached with caution due to its reported reliability issues. 

The 2008 CX-9 has a significant number of complaints and problems reported by owners on websites like CarComplaints.com (39) and CarProblemZoo.com (228). 

The high number of complaints suggests a higher incidence of problems compared to other years.

Owners of 2008 CX-9 have experienced various problems, including suspension-related issues such as broken axles, which can be both unsafe and costly to repair.

Some common problems specific to the 2008 CX-9 include:

  • Water pump failure
  • Takata airbag recall
  • Coolant leakage into the oil
  • Master cylinder brake booster failure

Considering the reported reliability issues and the number of complaints, it is advisable to exercise caution when considering a 2008 Mazda CX-9 for purchase. 

2010 – 2012 Mazda CX-9

The 2010 CX-9 had its fair share of issues, with brakes being the primary source of headaches for owners. 

Reports included:

  • Brake failure
  • A stiff brake pedal
  • Malfunctioning brake boosters
  • Water pump failure

These issues were significant enough to warrant caution when considering a 2010 CX-9.

Similar to the 2010 CX-9, the 2011 model year faced numerous brake-related problems, mainly due to failed brake boosters. 

Additionally, the 2011 CX-9 was affected by the widespread Takata airbag recall, where the airbags were known to deploy unexpectedly without any impact or warning. 

The 2012 CX-9 stands out as the most problematic and complained-about model year in the CX-9 lineup. 

Brake power booster failure was the most significant and widespread issue reported by owners. 

The 2012 CX-9 also faced additional problems, including the Takata airbag recall and water pump fluid leakage into the engine. 

Considering the reported reliability issues in these model years, prospective buyers should exercise caution when considering a 2010, 2011, or 2012 Mazda CX-9. 

2016 Mazda CX-9

The 2016 Mazda CX-9 marked the beginning of the second generation and introduced notable improvements to the model. 

While it did encounter some reported issues, it is not considered a completely unreliable vehicle.

Some common issues this model experiences include: 

  • Premature brake wear
  • Malfunctioning infotainment system

Here is a comparative table for all models in this list:

Model Year Total Complaints (CarComplaints.com) Total Problems (CarProblemZoo.com) Common Complaints
2008 39 228 Suspension issues, brake booster failure, engine
2010 43 216 Brake failure, stiff braking, water pump failure
2011 43 196 Brake booster failure, engine issues
2012 57 252 Brake power booster failure, engine issues
2016 22 79 Coolant leakage, infotainment system issues

What Are Some Typical Problems With the Mazda CX-9 Models?

The Mazda CX-9 has seen a range of reported issues across different model years. 

While it’s important to note that not all vehicles may experience these problems, here are some typical problems that have been reported with Mazda CX-9 models:

  • Engine failures
  • Failure of the power brake booster
  • Hard shifts in the transmission
  • Slipping transmission on the Mazda CX-9
  • Squeaking from the front end of the Mazda CX-9
  • Complete water pump failure
  • Body Control Module, water damage

Please read our article about common issues with Mazda CX-9 SUVs for a more in-depth review.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that the severity and frequency of these issues might vary throughout model years.


Back to best/worst years across all Mazda models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.