What are the best and worst Mazda CX-9 years? (Here Are 5 You SHould AVoid!)

Knowing the best and worst years is essential if you’re looking for the perfect Mazda CX-9. This article answers the question: “What are the best and worst Mazda CX-9 years?” Plus, it gives you valuable information and guidance for potential owners. 

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The best years for used Mazda CX-9 models are 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2016. These have the highest reliability and fewest complaints. 

On the other hand, the worst years for the Mazda CX-9 are 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2008. Several sources, such as Consumer Reports and Car Complaints, rate them with the lowest reliability and most complaints. 

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The list for best and worst Mazda CX-9 years also include the main problems plaguing these SUVs. So, read more to find out what they are.

Mazda CX-9 overview

The Mazda CX-9 entered the market in 2007 and soon became a popular midsize SUV for those who wanted a different brand. This SUV provided excellent handling and acceleration, with Mazda’s reputation for reliability. 

Spanning two generations, the Mazda CX-9 was a moderate commercial success compared to other midsize SUVs. Moreover, it earned several awards, including Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year, and the CX-9 was the first to earn IIHS Top Safety Pick in 2017. 

While Mazda has a reputation for reliability, the CX-9 isn’t perfect. So, if you want to know the best and worst Mazda CX-9 years, this article is for you. 

Best Mazda CX-9 Years

Mazda CX-9 best and worst years

You will notice one trend in the best and worst Mazda CX-9 years. Many of the recommended years are part of the latter generation. This is because Mazda had optimized most of its production and sorted out the main issues plaguing the first generation. 

2022 Mazda CX-9

The 2022 CX-9 has the highest reliability ratings of all the models produced. Plus, this CX-9 comes with the latest safety features and driver aids. 

This is one of the best Mazda CX-9 years to buy because it’s an excellent combination of reliability and performance. Plus, it has the fewest reported problems of all of them. 

2020 Mazda CX-9

The 2020 CX-9 is also an excellent option for those who want a midsize SUV. While it has marginally lower reliability ratings than the 2022 model, it’s still reliable, with few reported problems. 

Sites such as Car Complaints have registered that the problems with this SUV are mainly easy to fix and include AC/heater issues and minor electric issues. As a result, JD Power has ranked this #4 in the midsize SUV category for 2020. 

2019 Mazda CX-9

The 2019 Mazda CX 9 falls in the same path as the 2020 model. It’s reliable and performs well, with few issues, if any. 

The list of complaints is small, reduced to interior access problems and minor electrical issues. Also, suppose you find one with low mileage. In that case, it’s one of the best years for Mazda CX-9 options as it has more depreciation than the previous years we’ve mentioned. 

2018 Mazda CX-9

The 2018 CX-9 is another top pick for potential buyers. Consumer Reports rated it with 5/5 in reliability and equally high owner satisfaction. 

One fascinating aspect is that, while Mazda sold more than 28,000 units of this model year, Car Complaints registers no complaints. This is an extraordinary feat and one that speaks volumes of its reliability. 

2016 Mazda CX-9

The 2016 model year earned the “Seal of Awesome” from Car Complaints and the highest reliability rating from Consumer Reports. Overall, it’s an excellent option and one that you could get on the cheaper side. 

This CX-9 breaks tradition in one sense. It’s common for first-year models to have more issues, and this one is different. 

While it has marginally more complaints than the 2018 model, it’s still an excellent car to purchase. 

We’ve covered the positive side of the best and worst years for the Mazda CX-9. These five model years are excellent purchases if you get them in low mileage and avoid the Rust Belt. 

Another option is the 2017 Mazda CX-9, which as similar ratings. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information to rate it as one of the best to buy.

As with any vehicle, some years are more unreliable than others. This SUV is no exception, so here are the worst years for the Mazda CX 9.  

Worst Mazda CX-9 Years To Avoid

When the CX-9 came out, many applauded its technological advancements, as it was an excellent successor to the Mazda MPV minivan, the company’s old and obsolete people carrier. However, the first production years had plenty of issues, some of which were severe. 

So, let’s see the other side of the best and worst Mazda CX-9 years.  

Best and worst Mazda CX-9 years

2010 Mazda CX-9

The 2010 CX-9 has the dubious reputation of being one of the years to avoid, as it has several considerable problems. Not only that but there are eight recalls relating to airbags and suspension. 

The most common problem for the 2010 model year is the brakes. Owners have reported stiff and difficult braking, with a general lack of control during stopping. At the same time, the brake components wear out fast, making noise and vibrating.  

Another critical problem is engine failure. The water pump in this Mazda CX 9 can fail suddenly, which leads to overheating and complete engine damage. 

Many owners have reported that the problem happens without warning and that repairs can cost more than $5,000. These problems have earned the “Beware of Clunker” badge from Car Complaints, so it’s best to avoid the 2010 model. 

2014 Mazda CX-9

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 has the lowest rating from Consumer Reports and has suffered from significant engine cooling issues. The problem got so bad that the National Highway Transit Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued three recalls for this specific problem. 

Other sources, such as JD Power and Kelley Blue Book, have also rated this model year with lower ratings than others. The main culprit is, again, the water pump failure. 

Since it fails without warning, the engine is left without cooling, which leads to premature engine failure. An alternative can be the 2015 Mazda CX-9, which has better reliability ratings but still has some issues. 

Interestingly, the 2013 Mazda CX-9 doesn’t have as much issues, so it can work as a replacemente. However, it’s still not as reliable as others on this list. 

2012 Mazda CX-9

The 2012 model year also ranks high in the worst model years for the CX-9. Car Complaints gave it the “Beware of the Clunker” badge, as it shares many of the problems with the 2010 model year. 

The main issue, leading to almost 150 NHTSA complaints, is braking. The only difference is that the problem is around the power boost unit. 

The brake power boost unit has failed with many 2012 models, leaving drivers with no power braking. While the repair seems moderate in cost (less than $800), it happens at low mileage (67,000 miles on average) and poses a severe safety concern. 

2011 Mazda CX-9

The 2011 model year joins the 2010 and 2012 models with the same problems. While the complaint number is lower, the vehicle still has considerable safety risks. 

As a result, the 2011 CX-9 is one of the model years to avoid. In this case, there are more than 100 NHTSA complaints about braking. 

Unsurprisingly, this model year has also earned the “Beware of the Clunker” badge. Thus, it’s one of the worst of both generations of the CX-9. 

2008 Mazda CX-9

This SUV rounds up the list of the best and worst Mazda CX-9 years. The 2008 model year is one of the worst you can buy, and it should be no surprise. It’s one of the earliest model years, meaning most problems aren’t solved. 

Again, the common problem is braking, followed by the infamous water pump. However, this CX-9 also has transfer case failures at low mileage. 

Mazda CX-9 Common Problems

Owning a Mazda CX-9 is usually a pleasant and reliable experience. However, this article talks about the best and worst Mazda CX-9 years, so there are some problems.

Water Pump Issues and Engine Problems

One of the most critical problems with first-generation Mazda CX-9 model years is the water pump failing. This happens suddenly and can leave drivers stranded or with no power in the middle of the highway. 

There are solutions to this problem, which usually involve replacing the water pump with an aftermarket part. However, it can be an expensive fix, which can throw off potential buyers. 

At the same time, not doing so could mean engine failure, especially in the troublesome years. So, it’s best to avoid the models with pump issues. 

Brake Booster Failure and other Braking Issues

The other common problem with the Mazda CX-9 is braking. Faulty components, such as the booster, can fail without warning. This leaves drivers with less stopping ability, making it a serious safety concern.

At the same time, other components, including low-quality rotors and pads, wear out with ease. This not only becomes a nuisance but can lead to safety hazards. 

Conclusion to the Best and Worst Mazda CX-9 years

The Mazda CX-9 is an excellent option for those who want a midsize SUV that can give car-like handling and performance with good reliability. However, not all years were created equal, so if you’re looking for the best and worst Mazda CX-9 years, this article can guide you. 

The best Mazda CX-9 years include 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2016. These have excellent reliability scores, few complaints, and offer the most safety features

On the other hand, the list of years you avoid includes 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2008. These are the worst Mazda CX-9s you can buy, and it’s best to avoid them. 

Unfortunately, the Mazda CX-9’s common problems are severe, and these model years suffer them the most. 

So, if you’re buying a used Mazda CX-9, this article is for you. This vital information can make owning a Mazda CX-9 a more pleasurable experience than a headache.  

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