Discover Pre-Owned Mazda CX-9 Years to Avoid and Reliability Problems

Author: Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you in the market for a reliable and stylish vehicle like the Mazda CX-9? It’s no secret that this car is often considered an excellent option.

However, when buying a pre-owned car like the Mazda CX-9, it’s crucial to acquaint yourself with the model years that you should avoid. Identifying these years can be the difference between getting a great deal and investing in a car riddled with problems.

In this article, we’ll reveal the Mazda CX-9 years that have had significant issues reported, helping you make an informed decision about your next car purchase.

From recurring issues that can lead to headaches and costly repairs to the specifics of which years to avoid and why, we’ll arm you with essential information for securing a dependable and satisfying vehicle.

So, let’s dive into the world of Mazda CX-9 problems and equip you with the knowledge you need to navigate the pre-owned market.

Mazda CX-9 Years to Avoid

Years to Avoid

When purchasing a Mazda CX-9, it’s important to be aware of the years to avoid due to reliability concerns.

In this section, we will discuss which years had the most issues and why you should steer clear of those models.

2007 Mazda CX-9

The 2007 Mazda CX-9 was the first model year of the first generation, and as can often happen with a new model, it had some growing pains.

While the vehicle may have been appealing upon its release, it was not without its issues. Some common problems reported include:

  • Radiator leaks, which can lead to engine overheating
  • Transmission failures, requiring costly repairs or replacements
  • Suspension issues, particularly with the front struts

In addition to these concerns, the 2007 Mazda CX-9 generally lacks the advanced safety features found in subsequent models, such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

2009 Mazda CX-9

While the 2009 Mazda CX-9 saw some improvements over the 2007 model, there were still a few areas where it fell short in terms of reliability:

  • Water pump failures, which can lead to engine damage if not addressed promptly
  • A known issue with the brake booster, resulting in a soft or unresponsive brake pedal

Although the 2009 Mazda CX-9 does have some appealing qualities, these reliability issues might make you think twice before purchasing one as a used vehicle.

2012 Mazda CX-9

The 2012 Mazda CX-9 is another year you might want to avoid, mainly due to problems with cooling and brakes:

  • A common complaint involves the brake booster issue, which can lead to decreased braking efficiency or a potentially dangerous situation in an emergency.
  • Some owners have reported issues with the vehicle’s cooling system, sometimes resulting in the vehicle overheating.

With these potential problems in mind, it’s advisable to consider other years of the Mazda CX-9 for a more reliable experience.

Common Issues

Engine and Transmission Problems

One of the main concerns with some Mazda CX-9 models is engine failure. Notably, the 2008, 2010, and 2012 years have reported engine issues.

Some of these problems can be traced back to a failing water pump which could lead to engine failure if not addressed. T

o ensure your Mazda CX-9 continues to run smoothly, it is important to be aware of any potential water pump failures and address them promptly.

Regarding transmission issues, some owners have also reported hard shifts and transmission slips, especially in the earlier models.

If you experience these problems, it’s essential to have a professional inspect and diagnose the issue to prevent any further damage to your vehicle.

Brake Problems

Another common problem with certain Mazda CX-9 models, such as the 2010 and 2011 years, involves the braking system.

Some owners have experienced stiff and difficult brakes, resulting from issues such as worn pads or calipers, low brake fluid levels, or vacuum leaks.

Additionally, the brake booster or master cylinder may need replacing in some instances, as reported in the 2008 model year CX-9.

Suspension and Handling Issues

While the Mazda CX-9 is generally known for its good handling and comfortable ride, some owners have experienced suspension and handling issues with certain models.

Issues like these are commonly reported among the 2008 CX-9 model years, impacting the overall driving experience.

Ensuring that your vehicle’s suspension components are well-maintained can help prevent these problems and keep your Mazda CX-9 running smoothly.

Proper maintenance, timely inspections, and addressing concerns promptly can help to ensure your Mazda CX-9 remains reliable and enjoyable to drive.

Specific Model Concerns

2013 Mazda CX-9

The 2013 Mazda CX-9 has been known to experience issues with its cooling and brakes, so you need to be cautious when looking at this particular year.

2015 Mazda CX-9

The 2015 Mazda CX-9 is generally considered a reliable option. However, no car is perfect, so always have a trusted mechanic inspect any used vehicle before purchasing.

2017 Mazda CX-9

The 2017 Mazda CX-9 marked the beginning of the SUV’s second generation, which generally improved in quality and reliability. You can expect better performance and fewer issues compared to earlier models.

2018 Mazda CX-9

Similarly to the 2017 model, the 2018 Mazda CX-9 continues the second-generation trend of increased reliability and performance. With this model year, you should be able to enjoy your drive without worrying about significant problems.

2019 Mazda CX-9

The 2019 Mazda CX-9 maintains the reputation of the second generation for being a good, reliable option. As always, have a pre-purchase inspection performed to avoid potential issues that might have developed during the vehicle’s previous ownership.

2020 Mazda CX-9

The 2020 Mazda CX-9 is among the more recent models, and it benefits from the improvements and refinements made throughout the second generation. This model should provide you with a comfortable and dependable driving experience.

Recalls and Known Issues

Transfer Case Recalls

Mazda has issued recalls for certain models of the CX-9, specifically addressing transfer case issues. In some cases, there have been reports of transfer case failure, which may lead to a loss of power or control while driving.

To address this, Mazda has initiated recalls to replace the defective transfer cases. You should check if your Mazda CX-9 is affected by these recalls by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website and entering your vehicle’s VIN.

Airbag Recalls

In addition to transfer case recalls, the CX-9 has also faced airbag recalls. Some models were found to have defective airbags, either due to faulty inflators or issues with deployment.

To ensure your safety, it’s important to have your vehicle serviced by an authorized Mazda dealer in the event of a recall.

When it comes to known issues with the Mazda CX-9, several areas may require attention:

  • Steering: Some owners have reported issues with the power steering system, such as fluid leaks or difficulty turning.
  • Brake problems: Stiff brakes and difficulty braking were reported in some model years, which could be due to worn pads, calipers, low brake fluid levels, or vacuum leaks.
  • Ignition coil: This component is responsible for providing the spark needed to ignite the fuel and air mixture in your engine, and if it fails, it may lead to misfires and poor performance. Be mindful of any unusual engine behaviors or poor acceleration.

Here’s a summary of some common Mazda CX-9 problems and their associated repair costs:

Problem Average Repair Cost
Transfer case failure $2,500 – $3,500
Steering issues $1,000 – $2,000
Brake problems $500 – $1,000
Ignition coil $200 – $300

Best Years to Consider

Comfort and Space

The 2014, 2015, and 2017 models offer a luxurious interior and ample room for passengers, especially in the third row.

  • 2014: This year’s model improved on previous years, offering a more comfortable ride and increased legroom in the third row.
  • 2015: Mazda continued to prioritize space and passenger comfort in the 2015 CX-9, making it a great option for families seeking a roomy SUV.
  • 2017: With a redesigned interior, the 2017 CX-9 focuses on providing a luxurious and comfortable experience for all passengers, including those in the third row.

Reliability and Dependability

When it comes to finding a reliable and dependable SUV, the 2009, 2018, and 2019 Mazda CX-9 models receive high praise for their minimal reported problems and overall performance.

  • 2009: This year’s CX-9 showed a marked improvement over earlier models, earning a reputation for being a dependable SUV with few reported issues related to airbags or coolant leaks.
  • 2018: The 2018 model year continued to build on the CX-9’s reliability with improved performance and additional safety features.
  • 2019: Widely regarded as one of the best years for the Mazda CX-9, the 2019 model offers a balance of performance, dependability, and comfort that makes it a solid choice for those seeking a high-quality SUV.

So, as you search for the perfect Mazda CX-9, consider these best years for their blend of comfort, space, reliability, and dependability.

Mazda CX-9 Competition

When comparing the Mazda CX-9 to its competitors, you’ll find that each vehicle has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is a popular choice among midsize crossover SUVs, known for its spacious interior and powerful engine options.

In terms of reliability, it has a decent track record, but the Explorer doesn’t quite match up to the best Mazda CX-9 years. Some key differences include:

  • The Explorer offers more cargo space than the CX-9.
  • Ford Explorer has a wider range of engine options, including a hybrid variant.
  • The Explorer’s infotainment system is generally regarded as more user-friendly than the CX-9’s system.

Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 is a luxury midsize crossover SUV that offers a refined driving experience and an upscale interior.

While the Volvo XC90 may have a higher price tag, it also comes with a more comprehensive list of standard features.

Some key points to consider when comparing the XC90 to the Mazda CX-9 include:

  • The XC90 has a higher starting price than the CX-9.

Subaru Ascent

The Subaru Ascent is known for its standard all-wheel-drive system and a well-rounded list of safety features. Here are Ascent problematic years to avoid!

The Ascent can be a strong competitor to the Mazda CX-9, especially for those who prioritize safety and all-weather capabilities. Here are a few key points of comparison:

  • Ascent comes standard with all-wheel drive, while the CX-9 offers it as an option.
  • Subaru Ascent has a strong reputation for dependability, making it a reliable alternative to the Mazda CX-9.
  • The Ascent includes more advanced safety features as standard, such as EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.

Kia Telluride

The Kia Telluride is a relatively new entrant in the midsize crossover SUV segment, but it has made a strong impression with its attractive design and well-equipped interior.

The Telluride is often praised for its value proposition, offering a long list of standard features at a competitive price. Some key differences between the Telluride and the Mazda CX-9 include:

  • Telluride has a slightly lower starting price than the CX-9.
  • Kia offers an impressive 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, giving it an edge in terms of dependability.
  • Both the Telluride and the Mazda CX-9 have received high ratings from Consumer Reports in terms of overall performance and reliability.

As you consider your options, keep in mind that each midsize crossover SUV has its unique offerings, ensuring a suitable choice for your specific needs and preferences.


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