Drivers looking for a family-friendly midsize SUV will find a lot to like in the Mazda CX-9 and Chevrolet Traverse. Both SUVs offer standard 3-row seating, but there are some major differences that set them apart.
Let’s take a closer look at the Mazda CX-9 and Chevrolet Traverse and find the right SUV for you.
2022 Mazda CX-9
V6 engines are common in this class, but a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder powers the Mazda CX-9. It’s rated at 227 horsepower (or 250 hp with 93-octane gas) and 310 lb-ft of torque (320 with 93-octane). On the fuel economy front, it returns up to 20 city/26 highway mpg. Every CX-9 uses a 6-speed automatic transmission and comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD). Pricing starts at $35,630.
Mazda CX-9 Highlights
Standard AWD: A nice new upgrade for the 2022 model year is standard AWD on every trim of the CX-9, which is partly why the Mazda has a higher starting price than the Chevy. The i-ACTIV AWD system in the CX-9 combined with G-Vectoring Control Plus gives the CX-9 excellent all-weather traction and a satisfying grip on dry pavement. This SUV isn’t much of an off-roader, but the off-road traction assist feature makes it a little more adventurous.
Sporty handling: The CX-9 provides a smooth and comfortable ride around town and on the highway, but it’s also a bit sportier than you might expect. The torquey engine is mated to an agile chassis, making this handle like a smaller vehicle. The Chevy Traverse drives more like a minivan, but the Mazda CX-9 has a fun-to-drive factor that few rivals can match.
Lots of standard safety tech: The CX-9 comes standard with a long list of safety features, some of which cost extra on the Traverse. The standard i-ACTIVSENSE safety tech suite bundles automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and automatic high beams.
2022 Chevrolet Traverse
Every Chevy Traverse is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine producing 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. That’s more horsepower but less torque than the turbo-4 in the CX-9. It returns up to 18 city/27 highway mpg with front-wheel drive (FWD) and 17 city/25 highway mpg with AWD, making it less efficient than the Mazda. However, the Chevy is also a little bigger, providing a roomier interior.
The Traverse uses a 9-speed automatic transmission. FWD is standard, while AWD is optional on every trim. Pricing starts at $33,700 with FWD and $35,700 with AWD.
Chevrolet Traverse Highlights
Family-friendly interior: The Chevrolet Traverse has one of the most spacious interiors of any midsize 3-row SUV. All three rows are roomy and comfortable, plus there’s plenty of cargo space. It’s appreciably roomier than the CX-9 in the third row and cargo areas. The Traverse seats up to eight passengers, while the CX-9 tops out at seven. If you’ll be using the third row regularly, your passengers will prefer the Chevy over the Mazda.
Strong V6: A stout 3.6-liter V6 engine lies under the hood of every 2022 Chevy Traverse. This engine provides ample power and swift acceleration, even when your SUV is full of passengers and cargo. It can also tow up to 5,000 pounds, while the Mazda is only rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay: These standard smartphone connectivity features make it easier to bring your music, maps, and more to the screen in your car without having to take your phone out of your purse or pocket. Both SUVs have standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but the Chevy’s wireless capabilities make it more convenient.
Three-row seating, similar pricing, standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Mazda CX-9 has some nice perks like standard AWD, an upscale interior, and fun driving manners, but the Chevrolet Traverse offers improved roominess more typical of the segment. It has a larger interior with useable 3-row seating and additional cargo space. The Chevy also boasts a powerful V6, a lower starting price, and standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
|2022 Mazda CX-9
|2022 Chevrolet Traverse
|2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4
|20 city/26 highway
|18 city/27 highway (FWD), 17 city/25 highway (AWD)
|3 years/36,000 miles
|3 years/36,000 miles
|5 years/60,000 miles
|5 years/60,000 miles
|NHTSA Overall Safety
|Max Seating Capacity
|Headroom, 2nd Row
|Headroom, 3rd Row
|Legroom, 2nd Row
|Legroom, 3rd Row
|Shoulder Room, Front
|Shoulder Room, 2nd Row
|Shoulder Room, 3rd Row
|14.3 cubic feet
|23.0 cubic feet