NEW FOR 2008:

– 3.7-litre V6 replaces 3.5-litre V6
– All-wheel drive standard on GT
– Bluetooth hands-free system standard on all models
– Blind Spot Monitoring System available with Luxury Package (late availability)

An all-new model in 2007, the CX-9 receives a larger and more powerful engine for 2008: the new 3.7-litre makes 273 hp to the outgoing 3.5-litre’s 263 hp, and 270 lb-ft of torque to the previous 249 lb-ft. Overall, fuel economy is marginally improved.

Although its styling is similar to the CX-7, the CX-9 uses a platform derived from the Mazda6, which it shares with the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX (those models continue to use a 3.5-litre). The CX-9 features three rows of seating, including a 60/40 split second row that slides 12 cm fore and aft, and reclines; and a 50/50 third-row that is easily accessed through 60 cm of space between the folded second-row seat and the C-pillar. Both rows fold flat for cargo storage.

Features on the GS include 18-inch alloy wheels, front-wheel drive, three-zone automatic climate control, heated mirrors, privacy glass, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, intermittent rear wiper, CD stereo with auxiliary jack and wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth hands-free system, cruise control, tilt and telescopic leather-wrapped wheel, power locks with keyless entry, eight-way power driver’s seat, piano black interior accents, electroluminescent gauges, exterior temperature gauge, and anti-theft alarm.

The GT adds 20-inch alloy wheels, all-wheel drive, heated mirrors with LED turn signals, Xenon headlights, fog lamps, power sunroof, heated leather seats with driver’s memory position, four-way power passenger seat, blue indirect lighting and wood finish interior accents.

Available options on the GS include a power sunroof; the GT can be optioned with items and packages including a power tailgate, navigation system, six-CD stereo and keyless start.

Beautifully styled, the CX-9 performs very well, especially with the new, strong engine. The ride is firm, but comfortable, and handling is razor-sharp. The third row is suitable for adults on short trips, and the first and second rows are very roomy.

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