Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week


Last week's top four most-read reviews stayed put this week, with the 2014 Subaru Forester and 2013 Toyota RAV4 once again occupying Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, and the 2014 Chevrolet Impala and 2013 Ford Escape holding fast in fourth and fifth. Meanwhile, at No. 7, our 2013 Mazda CX-9 review makes its debut roughly two months after first appearing on Kicking Tires, and the 2013 Ford Explorer returns at No. 10. Check out what was popular this week:

1. 2014 Subaru Forester
2. 2013 Toyota RAV4
3. 2014 Chevrolet Impala

4. 2013 Ford Escape
5. 2013 BMW 3 Series

6. 2013 Honda Accord

7. 2013 Mazda CX-9
8. 2013 Buick Encore

9. 2013 Toyota Avalon
10. 2013 Ford Explorer
By Matt Schmitz | April 28, 2013 | Comments (1) Family Reviews the 2013 Mazda CX-9


A three-row crossover, the 2013 Mazda CX-9 successfully manages to handle seven passengers without feeling bulky or looking matronly, says Family reviewer Courtney Messenbaugh. This crossover is agile and its 3.7-liter V-6 engine easily handles highway on-ramps. Courtney says the third row isn't the most comfortable, but anyone can sit back there for a short trip.

2013 Mazda CX-9 Family Review

By Jennifer Newman | April 19, 2013 | Comments (0) Reviews the 2013 Mazda CX-9


The 2013 Mazda CX-9 differentiates itself from other members in the large-crossover gym by throwing some cardio and calisthenics in with the weights — and though you might not know it by looking, it's a more well-rounded athlete for the extra effort. reviewer Jennifer Geiger says the CX-9 has worked hard to compete in its market segment, though it hasn't gotten the recognition it deserves for its sportier, more agile driving dynamics. Opinions will differ on the look and comfort of the interior, but the fuel economy and navigation system disappoint. Read the review and decide if the CX-9 has what it takes to stand up to its competitively priced peers.

2013 Mazda CX-9 Review
By Matt Schmitz | February 21, 2013 | Comments (2)

2013 Mazda CX-9: Car Seat Check


For 2013, the three-row Mazda CX-9's exterior has been updated. It's now surprisingly sleek, especially for a crossover. While the CX-9 can seat seven, it's not in a comfortable fashion. The third row has little legroom unless the second-row passengers slide their seat forward.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.

By Jennifer Newman | January 31, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Mazda CX-9: Photo Gallery

Mazda's largest crossover gets an update for 2013, but the changes are mostly cosmetic. What's most noticeable is its nose, which should look familiar.

More 2012 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

The CX-9 borrows its restyled grille and front-end design from Mazda's new-for-2013 compact crossover, the CX-5. reviewer David Thomas says the refresh takes the three-row crossover’s looks from elegant to cutting edge. Check out more pictures below.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 29, 2012 | Comments (2)

2013 Mazda CX-9 at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show


  • Competes with: Honda Pilot, Chevy Traverse, Nissan Pathfinder
  • Looks like: Mazda's biggest crossover isn't giving up the sporty look
  • Drivetrain: 273-hp, 3.7-liter V-6; six-speed automatic transmission; front or all- wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: On sale now

Mazda's CX-9 has been an attractive choice in the three-row-crossover market ever since it debuted. It has held up well without a major redesign, and like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander last year, this year the CX-9 gets some updates.

More 2012 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

Nearly every number on the spec sheet is identical to the 2012, from how big it is outside and in to the amount of horsepower coming from the same V-6 engine.

What's new is almost entirely cosmetic.

By David Thomas | November 26, 2012 | Comments (4)

This is What the Next Mazda CX-9 Looks Like


Mazda unveiled an updated CX-9 ahead of the three-row SUV's official debut at next month's Australian International Motor Show in Sydney. The automaker will launch the car Down Under later this year, but full details are still forthcoming. It will all but certainly show up in the U.S., which is a major CX-9 market, as a 2013 or 2014 model.

The SUV adopts the same Kodo design language as the smaller CX-5, with a taller grille whose framing branches into the headlights. The interplay looks good, but the CX-9's sizable front overhang diminishes some of the sportiness. Mazda promises improved "craftsmanship and interior design," which was already exemplary in the current car. But the automaker has yet to show interior photos.

By Kelsey Mays | September 18, 2012 | Comments (6)

What's the Most Affordable Full-Size Crossover?

Affordable crossovers
The full-size, three-row crossover segment is relatively new to the automotive landscape. You need to look back only four or five years to see how quickly the segment has changed from just a handful of models to more than 15 models today.

For folks who find minivans anathema, these large crossovers are the best alternatives. Some — like the Chevrolet Traverse — are roomy enough that there's little tradeoff in terms of passenger room. The unibody architecture of large crossovers makes them generally more maneuverable and fuel efficient compared with three-row, full-size SUVs, like the Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition.

Check Out: $37,000 SUV Shootout

Recent converts from SUV to crossover pedigree include the Dodge Durango and Ford Explorer, which are now competing against fairly old stalwarts like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.

The full-size crossover market will expand soon, with the three vehicles on the horizon: the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder (which switches to a crossover platform), the 2013 Infiniti JX35 and the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

By Colin Bird | February 28, 2012 | Comments (6)

Year-End Deal Reality Check: Mazda

2011 mazda 2
The end of the year means dealers are trying to move old product to make room for next year’s new cars, trucks and SUVs; it also means more deals for new-car shoppers. According to Mazda, ‘Tis the Season of Saving. The automaker’s annual year-end sale program offers well-qualified shoppers 0% financing and no payments for 90 days on select 2011 and 2012 Mazda vehicles.

Model-year 2011 vehicles that qualify include the Mazda2, Mazda3 hatchback and sedan, Mazda6, CX-7 and CX-9. Also eligible are 2012 versions of the Mazda2, Mazda5, Mazda6 and CX-9. For example, qualified shoppers can purchase the redesigned-for-2012 Mazda5 small minivan for $19,345 and get 0% financing for 60 months and forgo payments for 90 days.

The sale ends Jan. 3.

By Jennifer Geiger | December 29, 2011 | Comments (1)'s $37,000 SUV Shootout's $37,000 SUV Shootout is's editors continue to dissect some of the most popular car segments in the country. We've tackled midsize sedans, compacts and small crossovers, but what about the vehicles of choice for people needing three rows of seats? The three-row crossover/SUV segment is booming with the entry of the redesigned Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango. However, tried-and-true picks like the Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Chevy Traverse held their own in our competition. We even threw in the smaller Kia Sorento. Oh, and they all had to be priced under $37,000 as-tested.

See which one wowed our editors and our real-life test family. $37,000 SUV Shootout

By David Thomas | October 17, 2011 | Comments (2)

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