2017 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD Long-Term Update 5: How the Interior is Holding Up


With almost 27,000 miles on the odometer and countless road tips, photo shoots, and weekend errands, my time shepherding our long-term 2017 Mazda CX-9 will soon be ending, and I find myself reflecting back on some of the less exciting and adventurous parts of my year of “ownership.”

During my 11 months with the CX-9, I’ve taken the vehicle in for service at my local dealer, South Bay Mazda in Torrance, California, three times. At each of these services, the CX-9 has had its oil changed and tires rotated. During the second service, the cabin air filter was replaced and a minor issue with the sunroof seal was repaired. In the course of my chaperoning period, I also picked up a nail in the CX-9’s tire, which had to be patched. All in, including the tire patch, I’ve spent $316.25 on basic maintenance and an additional $155.10 on other issues. The friendly service representatives at South Bay Mazda have always worked quickly to make my visits as enjoyable as possible. I would never make an automotive purchasing decision based on my experience with any one dealership, but it definitely helps lessen the sting when it comes to spending your hard-earned money on maintenance.

Now that it’s legal to buy pot in California, I figured I should give it a try. I’m really not sure what the big deal is; couldn’t you always buy these?

When I hopped into the CX-9 after an abnormally long stretch of out-of-state and international travel, I noticed that the interior was holding up pretty well. For the most part, the CX-9 looks as good today as it did when I first got the keys 11 months ago. The leather and other soft surfaces have withstood the abuse that a vehicle takes after driving 27,000 miles in less than a year. The one glaring exception to this observation, though, is the heavily scratched piano black finish on the center console and door armrest. As good as piano black may look in a design sketch, it just doesn’t make sense to use it on a surface that takes so much abuse. I would rather have more durable but less attractive textured black plastic on those surfaces than for it to look like a cheap pair of road-worn sunglasses that flew out of someone’s car onto the highway.

With only a month or so to go with the CX-9, I’ll continue to enjoy my time with it. I don’t know yet what my next long-term test vehicle will be, but whatever it is, I hope it will provide me with as much enjoyment as the Mazda has.

The piano black shift surround has seen better days. From my vast experience photographing car interiors, piano black often scratches the first time you try to wipe dust off it.

Read more about our 2017 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD:

  • Long-Term Arrival
  • Update 1: Road Trip to Monterey
  • Update 2: Get the Signature?
  • Update 3: Sometimes “Almost” Isn’t Enough
  • Update 4: Adventures on the Road

The post 2017 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD Long-Term Update 5: How the Interior is Holding Up appeared first on Motor Trend.

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