Mazda CX-9 Problems: 7 Common Issues (Explained)

As one of many mid-size crossovers on today’s market, the Mazda CX9 has a more profound heritage than many newcomers of the last few years.

However, the advantage of a crossover that has reached its second, third, or fourth generation often has the early model year kinks removed from the mix.

Mazda added the CX-9 to their line-up in 2006. Therefore, they have worked the problems out of this model for many years.

That’s not to say that new problems can’t crop up, but the likely hood is lower than on a new design. The CX-9 is a competent crossover, but it does have a few problems that owners have reported.

Mazda CX-9 problems reported by owners

Those who own CX-9s seem to love them and finding a used one can be challenging. However, when even the best car breaks down, it will put a slight doubt in the back of your mind about its reliability.

The Mazda CX-9 hasn’t been plagued with many problems over its 16 years of production.

However, it does have a few.

The second generation of the CX-9 came to market in 2016; since then, problems with the CX-9 have dropped dramatically.

1. The CX-9 has models that have had significant engine failures.

Of all the failures a car can have, premature engine or transmission failure is the most expensive. However, not every model year of the Mazda CX-9 had engine failure.

A few built in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 had nearly 50 vehicles per year, with engines failing around the 100,000-mile mark.

This is an early loss for an owner of a vehicle that should easily clock 100,000 miles and many more. However, throw in the replacement cost of around $5000, and buying a new car may be better than repairing the one you have.

2. Failure of the power brake booster

Stopping your car is as, and sometimes more, important than the ability to move forward. Unfortunately, several model years of the CX-9 had problems with a failed brake power boost unit.

These incidents occurred around the 65,000-mile mark of many owners’ CX-9s. The remedy is the replacement of the brake systems and power boost unit.

Replacing a power brake booster can run between $500 and $1000. The cost depends on whether you do it or have the work done at the dealership.

This failure has often occurred after the car is no longer under warranty.

Therefore, the cost to fix your CX-9 will depend on whether you have had it since it was new or just bought it.

If you are buying a used CX-9, it is best to have the brake system inspected before you sign the bottom line and get a receipt for your vehicle. That is unless a thousand-dollar repair is doable for you.

Brake issues have been the number one complaint about the Mazda CX-9 across all-year models.

3. Hard shifts in the transmission

Some CX-9s have had problems with slipping transmissions. These incidents have occurred on CX-9s with a six-speed automatic.

The problem has been related to software issues on some models, and updates rectify the situation. However, other problems can cause hard shifting.

If your CX-9 exhibits this tendency, it must go to the shop for service.

Whether hard shifting is due to software or another issue, it needs to be diagnosed and fixed for your Mazda to perform optimally.

4. Slipping transmission on the Mazda CX-9

Like a transmission that shifts hard, one that slips is also a sign that something isn’t quite right. A car’s transmission is complicated, and slippage, like hard shifting, can be due to software.

A mechanic can determine what is wrong with your transmission. Transmissions with excessive slippage and hard shifting were reported in CX-9 models from 2007 through 2016 and 2018.

Repairs that have been made include the replacement of solenoids that have failed.

In addition, updates to the transmission controller and, in some instances, replacement of the transmission have been necessary to correct the problem.

Like other problems with the Mazda CX-9, transmission failure generally occurs after it is no longer warranted. Like replacing an engine, a complete transmission replacement is expensive. It may also mean your car is out of commission for days to weeks, waiting for parts.

5. Squeaking from the front end of the Mazda CX-9

Models of the CX-9 built from 2007 to 2010 had owners report squeaking noises coming from the front of the car. Squeaking can be produced by:

  • belts,
  • bearings,
  • springs,
  • and worn bushings.

Some squeaks are harmless, while others indicate that you have front-end problems with your car that need to be addressed. For example, front and rear struts can be worn and squeak and bang, indicating they need to be replaced.

A technician must inspect any unusual noises coming from your car’s front. It may be nothing; then again, it may be something that could fail if not fixed, and it’s not worth taking the chance.

6. Complete water pump failure

Another part of an essential system, the water pump, keeps water flowing through your cooling system. A failed water pump can cause your car to overheat very quickly.

An engine that overheats can warp to the point that it is ruined, so keeping your cooling system in top shape is very important. When the water pump of the CX-9s engine fails, water from the cooling system can get into the oil system and ruin it.

There is almost no way to know when a water pump will fail. However, keeping your crossover cooling system maintained and watching the temperature level of your radiator can give you a heads-up.

Call for a tow if your vehicle ever does begin to:

  • overheat,
  • pull over,
  • turn it off

7. Body Control Module, water damage

The body control module (BCM) communicates with every computer on a car. It actuates relays for power windows and door locks, air conditioning, mirrors, and other vehicle electronic components.

Without a proper BCM, your car’s electronics will have trouble communicating.

In CX-9s, the BCM can get wet and fail when sunroof drains become clogged. If this happens, it will need to be replaced.

Pros and cons of the ownership of a Mazda CX-9

As one of the most affordable mid-size crossovers, the Mazda CX-9 offers a lot. Offered at a lower price than much of the competition, the problems it has shown over its 16 years of build time are minimal compared to the number of CX-9s sold.

Any car model can have an issue with build quality or parts that are less than the best, even on a new vehicle. The big question, over time, is whether a car has had so many problems that the company issued a recall.

There are no major recalls on the Mazda CX-9. For a car that has been sold for as long as it has, that’s impressive.

However, if you are considering the purchase of a CX-9, be sure to look up the problems it has for the year you are considering before you make the purchase.

What reviewers have to say about the Mazda CX-9

“The CX-9 boasts a lively turbocharged engine and remarkably agile handling, making for an SUV that’s enjoyable to drive day in and day out.”

U.S. News & World Report

“The Mazda CX-9 is a spacious and luxurious SUV with all the performance you need whether you’re conquering backcountry roads or running errands around town.”

J.D. Power

Resale value reduction, over ten years

The resale of the Mazda CX-9 is suitable for a market inundated with crossovers, SUVs, and sports utilities.

At five years of ownership, the Mazda CX9 will have close to 63 percent of its original value.

Resale Year Depreciation Residual Value Resale Value Mileage
2022 $4,136 90.73% $40,486 12,000
2023 $7,376 83.47% $37,246 24,000
2024 $7,519 83.15% $37,103 36,000
2025 $9,576 78.54% $35,046 48,000
2026 $14,118 68.36% $30,504 60,000
2027 $15,578 65.09% $29,044 72,000
2028 $22,155 50.35% $22,467 84,000
2029 $24,596 44.88% $20,026 96,000
2030 $27,800 37.70% $16,822 108,000
2031 $29,303 34.33% $15,319 120,000

The Mazda CX-9, overall, is a very reliable crossover.

Although the Mazda CX-9 has a few problems, it is a very reliable vehicle, and owners speak highly of it. They are competitively priced and are available with every modern safety feature.

The latest two model years, 2021 and 2022, have reported no significant problems. That’s an impressive statistic for any vehicle.

Go Back: Problems for all Mazdas.

Was this article helpful? Like Dislike

Click to share...

Did you find wrong information or was something missing?
We would love to hear your thoughts! (PS: We read ALL feedback)

ⓘ  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.