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Drew Dowdell

October 2019: Mazda North America

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    • By William Maley
      Over a year ago, I pitted the Mazda CX-9 against the Volkswagen Atlas to find out which was the better three-row crossover. The CX-9 put up a good fight with a very luxurious interior and impressive driving dynamics. However, the Atlas took home the win as it proved to be the better carrier of passengers and cargo, along with providing a slightly smoother ride. A year on, the CX-9 makes a return to the C&G Detroit Garage to see if it could redeem itself. Spoiler alert: I still feel the same way as I did last year.
      Going on three years, the CX-9 is still one of the best looking three-row crossovers on sale. Its graceful lines, tapered rear pillar, and slim lights make the crossover look more expensive than it actually is. The Grand Touring may miss out on the Nappa leather for the seats and Rosewood trim found on the Signature, it is still a nice place to sit in. Bright metalwork contrasts nicely with soft-touch plastics and leather upholstery on the seats. But the interior also houses some of the CX-9’s key flaws beginning with the seat arrangement. All 2019 CX-9s come with seating for seven people, there is no option for six with a set of captain chairs - that is being rectified for 2020. Those sitting in the second-row will have no complaints about space, but anyone sitting in the third-row will bemoan the lack of legroom. This can improve if the second-row is slid forward. Cargo space is another weak spot. The CX-9 only offers 14.4 cubic feet behind the third-row, 38.2 cubic feet behind the second row, and 71.2 cubic feet with both rows folded. To give some perspective, the Atlas offers 20.6, 55.5, and 96.8 cubic feet of space. 2019 finally sees Mazda add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility to their MazdaConnect infotainment system. This is an improvement as MazdaConnect trails competitors in terms of graphics and a slightly confusing menu structure. At least the control knob and shortcut buttons make using the system less aggravating. Power comes from a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder with 227 horsepower (250 if you fill up with premium) and 310 pound-feet. This is channeled through a six-speed automatic and the choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Putting a turbo-four into a three-row crossover seems like madness, but Mazda was able to make it work with no issue. Torque arrives at a low 2,000 rpm, allowing the CX-9 to leap away from any driving situation. Response from the transmission is excellent with snappy up and downshifts. Fuel economy is rated by the EPA at 20 City/26 Highway/23 Combined. My average for the week landed around 23, slightly better than the 22.5 mpg for the 2018 model. The ace up the CX-9’s sleeve is the handling. No other crossover can close to matching the taut characteristics on offer with body motions kept in check and sharp steering. Though how many people consider a plus is likely very small. Ride quality falls under supple with most bumps and imperfections being ironed out. Impressive when you consider this is riding 20-inch wheels. The Mazda CX-9 is an outlier in the three-row crossover class as it focuses more on the driving experience and looks. That isn’t a bad thing as it gives Mazda a unique selling point. But a small space for passengers and cargo is the CX-9’s major downfall.  Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the CX-9, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-9
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Inline-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 227 or 250 @ 5,000 (Depending on the fuel)
      Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/23
      Curb Weight: 4,383 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $42,640
      As Tested Price: $45,060 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Illuminated Door Sill Trim Plates - $575.00
      Front & Rear Bumper Trim - $550.00
      Snowflake White Pearl - $200.00
      Cargo Mat - $100.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Over a year ago, I pitted the Mazda CX-9 against the Volkswagen Atlas to find out which was the better three-row crossover. The CX-9 put up a good fight with a very luxurious interior and impressive driving dynamics. However, the Atlas took home the win as it proved to be the better carrier of passengers and cargo, along with providing a slightly smoother ride. A year on, the CX-9 makes a return to the C&G Detroit Garage to see if it could redeem itself. Spoiler alert: I still feel the same way as I did last year.
      Going on three years, the CX-9 is still one of the best looking three-row crossovers on sale. Its graceful lines, tapered rear pillar, and slim lights make the crossover look more expensive than it actually is. The Grand Touring may miss out on the Nappa leather for the seats and Rosewood trim found on the Signature, it is still a nice place to sit in. Bright metalwork contrasts nicely with soft-touch plastics and leather upholstery on the seats. But the interior also houses some of the CX-9’s key flaws beginning with the seat arrangement. All 2019 CX-9s come with seating for seven people, there is no option for six with a set of captain chairs - that is being rectified for 2020. Those sitting in the second-row will have no complaints about space, but anyone sitting in the third-row will bemoan the lack of legroom. This can improve if the second-row is slid forward. Cargo space is another weak spot. The CX-9 only offers 14.4 cubic feet behind the third-row, 38.2 cubic feet behind the second row, and 71.2 cubic feet with both rows folded. To give some perspective, the Atlas offers 20.6, 55.5, and 96.8 cubic feet of space. 2019 finally sees Mazda add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility to their MazdaConnect infotainment system. This is an improvement as MazdaConnect trails competitors in terms of graphics and a slightly confusing menu structure. At least the control knob and shortcut buttons make using the system less aggravating. Power comes from a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder with 227 horsepower (250 if you fill up with premium) and 310 pound-feet. This is channeled through a six-speed automatic and the choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Putting a turbo-four into a three-row crossover seems like madness, but Mazda was able to make it work with no issue. Torque arrives at a low 2,000 rpm, allowing the CX-9 to leap away from any driving situation. Response from the transmission is excellent with snappy up and downshifts. Fuel economy is rated by the EPA at 20 City/26 Highway/23 Combined. My average for the week landed around 23, slightly better than the 22.5 mpg for the 2018 model. The ace up the CX-9’s sleeve is the handling. No other crossover can close to matching the taut characteristics on offer with body motions kept in check and sharp steering. Though how many people consider a plus is likely very small. Ride quality falls under supple with most bumps and imperfections being ironed out. Impressive when you consider this is riding 20-inch wheels. The Mazda CX-9 is an outlier in the three-row crossover class as it focuses more on the driving experience and looks. That isn’t a bad thing as it gives Mazda a unique selling point. But a small space for passengers and cargo is the CX-9’s major downfall.  Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the CX-9, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-9
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Inline-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 227 or 250 @ 5,000 (Depending on the fuel)
      Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/23
      Curb Weight: 4,383 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $42,640
      As Tested Price: $45,060 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Illuminated Door Sill Trim Plates - $575.00
      Front & Rear Bumper Trim - $550.00
      Snowflake White Pearl - $200.00
      Cargo Mat - $100.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Quarterly:
      Ford Motor Company - Not Reported
      General Motors Co. - Not Reported
      Tesla - Not Reported
      FCA US LLC - Not Reported
      Monthly:
      Audi of America -  Up 20.7% for the month, Down 1.1% for the year
      BMW of North America -  Up 7.6% for the month, Up 1.7% for the year
      Genesis Motor America - Up 419.7% for the month, Up 96.0% for the year
      Honda Motor Co. -  Up 11.1% for the month, Up 1.5% for the year
      Hyundai Motor America -  Up 6.2% for the month, Up 3.6% for the year
      Infiniti USA - Down 34.0% for the month, Down 13.8% for the year
      Jaguar Land Rover North America - 
      Kia Motors America - Up 12.0% for the month, Up 4.0% for the year
      Mazda North American Operations - Up 18.0%  for the month, Down 8.2% for the year
      Mercedes-Benz USA - Up 13.3% for the month, Up 1.4% for the year
      Mitsubishi Motors North America -  Up 6.5% for the month, Up 1.9% for the year
      Nissan Group - Down 15.9% for the month, Down 7.8% for the year
      Porsche Cars North America Inc. -  Up 11.5% for the month, Up 7.0% for the year
      Subaru of America, Inc. - Up 0.2% for the month, Up 3.6% for the year
      Toyota Motor North America - Up 9.2% for the month, Down 1.4% for the year
      Volkswagen of America - Up 9.1% for the month, Up 4.2% for the year
      Volvo Cars of North America, LLC - Up 18% for the month, Up 7.2% for the year

      Brands (Quarterly):
      Alfa Romeo - Not Reported
      Buick - Not Reported
      Cadillac -  Not Reported
      Chevrolet - Not Reported
      Chrysler - Not Reported
      Dodge - Not Reported
      Ford - Not Reported
      Fiat - Not Reported
      GMC - Not Reported
      Jeep - Not Reported
      Lincoln - Not Reported
      Ram Trucks - Not Reported
      Tesla - Not Reported

      Brands (Monthly):
      Acura - Down 0.9% 
      Audi - Up 20.7%
      BMW - Up 7.6%
      Genesis - Up 419.7%
      Honda - Up 7.9%
      Hyundai - Up 8.4%
      Infiniti - Down 34.0%
      Jaguar - 
      Kia - Up 10.9%
      Land Rover -
      Lexus - Up 13.8%
      Mazda - Up 18.0%
      Mercedes-Benz - Up 8.7%
      Mercedes-Benz Vans - Up 90.7%
      MINI - Down 6.4%
      Mitsubishi - Down 7.9%
      Nissan - Down 13.3% 
      Porsche - Up 11.5% 
      Smart - No Longer Reported 
      Subaru - Up 0.3% 
      Toyota - Up 8.4% 
      Volkswagen - Up 9.1%
      Volvo - Up 18%

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Quarterly:
      Ford Motor Company - Not Reported
      General Motors Co. - Not Reported
      Tesla - Not Reported
      FCA US LLC - Not Reported
      Monthly:
      Audi of America -  Up 20.7% for the month, Down 1.1% for the year
      BMW of North America -  Up 7.6% for the month, Up 1.7% for the year
      Genesis Motor America - Up 419.7% for the month, Up 96.0% for the year
      Honda Motor Co. -  Up 11.1% for the month, Up 1.5% for the year
      Hyundai Motor America -  Up 6.2% for the month, Up 3.6% for the year
      Infiniti USA - Down 34.0% for the month, Down 13.8% for the year
      Jaguar Land Rover North America - 
      Kia Motors America - Up 12.0% for the month, Up 4.0% for the year
      Mazda North American Operations - Up 18.0%  for the month, Down 8.2% for the year
      Mercedes-Benz USA - Up 13.3% for the month, Up 1.4% for the year
      Mitsubishi Motors North America -  Up 6.5% for the month, Up 1.9% for the year
      Nissan Group - Down 15.9% for the month, Down 7.8% for the year
      Porsche Cars North America Inc. -  Up 11.5% for the month, Up 7.0% for the year
      Subaru of America, Inc. - Up 0.2% for the month, Up 3.6% for the year
      Toyota Motor North America - Up 9.2% for the month, Down 1.4% for the year
      Volkswagen of America - Up 9.1% for the month, Up 4.2% for the year
      Volvo Cars of North America, LLC - Up 18% for the month, Up 7.2% for the year

      Brands (Quarterly):
      Alfa Romeo - Not Reported
      Buick - Not Reported
      Cadillac -  Not Reported
      Chevrolet - Not Reported
      Chrysler - Not Reported
      Dodge - Not Reported
      Ford - Not Reported
      Fiat - Not Reported
      GMC - Not Reported
      Jeep - Not Reported
      Lincoln - Not Reported
      Ram Trucks - Not Reported
      Tesla - Not Reported

      Brands (Monthly):
      Acura - Down 0.9% 
      Audi - Up 20.7%
      BMW - Up 7.6%
      Genesis - Up 419.7%
      Honda - Up 7.9%
      Hyundai - Up 8.4%
      Infiniti - Down 34.0%
      Jaguar - 
      Kia - Up 10.9%
      Land Rover -
      Lexus - Up 13.8%
      Mazda - Up 18.0%
      Mercedes-Benz - Up 8.7%
      Mercedes-Benz Vans - Up 90.7%
      MINI - Down 6.4%
      Mitsubishi - Down 7.9%
      Nissan - Down 13.3% 
      Porsche - Up 11.5% 
      Smart - No Longer Reported 
      Subaru - Up 0.3% 
      Toyota - Up 8.4% 
      Volkswagen - Up 9.1%
      Volvo - Up 18%
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Mercedes-Benz
      Passenger Vehicles
      Nov-19
      Nov-18
      Monthly %
      YTD 2019
      YTD 2018
      Yearly %
      A-CLASS
      1,544
      -
      -
      16,475
      -
      -
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      B-CLASS*
      0
      0
      0.0%
      9
      134
      -93.3%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      CLA
      1,641
      1,832
      -10.4%
      11,056
      20,848
      -47.0%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      C-CLASS
      4,469
      5,777
      -22.6%
      45,740
      53,610
      -14.7%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      E-CLASS/CLS
      3,689
      5,181
      -28.8%
      36,770
      41,380
      -11.1%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      S-CLASS
      1,452
      1,672
      -13.2%
      11,441
      13,492
      -15.2%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      SLC
      62
      149
      -58.4%
      1,693
      1,841
      -8.0%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      SL
      100
      181
      -44.8%
      1,550
      1,968
      -21.2%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      AMG GT
      534
      103
      418.4%
      3,763
      1,389
      170.9%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      GLA
      2,461
      2,411
      2.1%
      20,041
      21,739
      -7.8%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      GLC
      7,515
      6,199
      21.2%
      67,214
      62,433
      7.7%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      GLE
      6,052
      3,988
      51.8%
      44,193
      42,276
      4.5%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      GLS
      2,893
      2,761
      4.8%
      19,323
      19,308
      0.1%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      G-CLASS
      1,309
      768
      70.4%
      6,532
      3,525
      85.3%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      TOTAL
      33,721
      31,022
      8.7%
      285,800
      283,943
      0.7%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Vans1
      3,542
      1,857
      90.7%
      36,650
      34,062
      7.6%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      MBUSA
      Combined Total
      Nov-19
      Nov-18
      Monthly %
      YTD 2019
      YTD 2018
      Yearly %
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      GRAND TOTAL
      37,263
      32,879
      13.3%
      322,450
      318,005
      1.4%
      *Model has been discontinued in the U.S. market.
      1 Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner Sprinter and Metris Vans are sold and marketed in the U.S. by Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler Vans USA, respectively.
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