Review: Mazda CX-9

The girl next door.

Today’s impromptu vehicle review: the Mazda CX-9. It shall henceforth — and rather coldly—be called “Mazda” because that’s easier to type. No confusing this with the Miata, though. The Miata and this Mazda occupy completely different orbitals.

I have the Mazda to thank for getting me to and from Redwood City safely. Today’s weather can only be described as a simply ridiculous amount of rain. Visibility was at times ERROR:NOT FOUND. I’d say it’s the most rain I’ve driven in since senior prom. To my high school self: nothing like a bit of heroic driving in perilous conditions to earn points with my date, eh? The Mazda was unwavering in its attack on Highway 101 puddles and, quite frankly, made me feel like a hero driver.

Today was just me, all alone in the car. Yes, I know how bad this is for the environment. Stop yelling at me! It does an EPA combined 19 mpg! 17 city 24 highway. Easy there, greenpeace. After all, this thing is just a touch more enormous than anything the average San Franciscan has piloted lately. Since it’s so capacious, you’ll have no trouble fitting anything and everything in the boot. Including boots.

The Mazda is much less the bachelor car and much more the wife-and-two-kids car. Maybe I’ll revisit it in 5–10 years. Total honesty time: the Mazda was designed for moms and dads who need the practicality of a minivan but don’t want to give up on feeling powerful or sexy or cool. Shocker. In the Mazda, as opposed to any minivan, you sit up high, you drive something that looks like the more stylish (read: expensive) SUVs on the road, and you don’t give up good driving dynamics. When was the last time a minivan was considered “nimble”?

And that’s why the Mazda is so perfect. It’s a car that supports your massive ego. It lets you sit at the big kids’ table without giving up the mac and cheese. It acknowledges that you have to give up carefreeness but doesn’t chastise you for trying to reclaim bits and pieces here and there.

The Mazda is like the perfect girl-next-door. At first, you don’t notice her because you’re obsessed with pursuing the bombshell brunette. But as time goes on, you realize the bombshell isn’t mature enough. You realize that the approachable girl next door is everything — smart, caring, funny, pretty.

She’s the one you take to events to show off her brains and her beauty. She’s the one who wants what’s best for the both of you. She’s the one who has a sense of adventure and spontaneity, but also appreciates the calm and serenity of a night at home.

And that’s everything you ever wanted.

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