Accommodating exceptionally

The CX-9 has good straight-ahead stability on the highway and delivers crisp response when turning. You might notice a bit of body roll in long corners because of the CX-9's relatively high SUV driving position, but it builds gradually and the chassis remains secure and settled throughout. The CX-9 moves out quickly when you press on the accelerator, yet the pedal is smooth and easy to regulate.

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With three rows of seats and a loaded feature list to satisfy a growing family's needs, the 2018 Mazda CX-9 is one of the best, and best-looking, big crossovers out there.

But it's more than just a pretty face; it's also a genuine pleasure to drive.

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the CX-9 has received some minor revisions.

Our findings remain applicable to this year's model, however.

Inside and around that striking shape, you'll find plenty of safety and connected tech and an interior highlighted by leather, aluminum and rosewood accents, depending on trim level. At about 72 cubic feet with second- and third-row seats folded, cargo capacity isn't as cavernous as others in the class, and its third row isn't especially accommodating either, at least not compared to the one in a competitor such as the Honda Pilot.

These are the trade-offs for the impeccable style we lauded earlier.But overall, the CX-9 delivers an all-around package that makes it one of the best three-row SUVs on the market.Notably, we picked the 2018 Mazda CX-9 as one of Edmunds' Best Family SUVs and Best Midsize SUVs for this year.All CX-9s are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (250 horsepower, 310 pound-feet of torque) paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar.

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