2023 Mazda CX-9 Interior and Cargo

Mazda CX-9 Interior & Cargo Rating

2023 CX-9 Interior

The Mazda CX-9 has a superb interior. It takes a minimalistic approach in terms of design, yet it remains an ergonomic masterpiece. The controls are logical, and there is a modern 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Leather upholstery in the first two rows is now standard across the board and even the Touring has a generous standard specification and the same excellent build quality present on other models. Higher up in the trim levels, you get more leather and trim options, but the top-spec Signature takes it to another level with quilted leather and wood inserts.

Space is generous in the first two rows, but the third row only has enough space for children. The only real problem we have with the Mazda is the lack of usable cargo capacity when all three rows are up.

2023 CX-9 Interior Photos

2023 Mazda CX-9 Dashboard CarBuzz 2023 Mazda CX-9 Gauge Cluster CarBuzz 2023 Mazda CX-9 Steering Wheel Design CarBuzz
2023 Mazda CX-9 Dashboard
2023 Mazda CX-9 Gauge Cluster
2023 Mazda CX-9 Steering Wheel Design

Seating and Interior Space

The CX-9 is a three-row vehicle with space for up to seven passengers, though Mazda offers second-row captain's chairs that limit the seating capacity to six people. First row occupants have plenty of head and legroom, though we have long found knee space limited in this model due to a large center console. The second-row feels more commodious with 39.4 inches of legroom and 38.5 inches of headroom, though rivals like the Telluride and Palisade offer more. We particularly love the optional captain's chairs, which add a handy center console between the second-row seats. The third row still feels like a weak point for the CX-9, with 29.7 inches of legroom best reserved for children or adults on short trips. In terms of passenger space, the CX-9 struggles to match many of its rivals.

2023 Mazda CX-9 Interior Dimensions:

Mazda CX-9 TrimsTouringTouring PlusCarbon EditionGrand TouringSignature
Headroom Front Seat40.1 in.40.1 in.40.1 in.40.1 in.40.1 in.
Headroom Back Seat38.5 in.38.5 in.38.5 in.38.5 in.38.5 in.
Legroom Front Seat41 in.41 in.41 in.41 in.41 in.
Legroom Back Seat39.4 in.39.4 in.39.4 in.39.4 in.39.4 in.
Shoulder Room Front57.9 in.57.9 in.57.9 in.57.9 in.57.9 in.
Shoulder Room Rear58.1 in.58.1 in.58.1 in.58.1 in.58.1 in.
Hip Room, Front56.7 in.56.7 in.56.7 in.56.7 in.56.7 in.
Hip Room, Rear57.4 in.57.4 in.57.4 in.57.4 in.57.4 in.

Interior Colors and Materials

The Touring, Touring Plus, and Grand Touring are available with Black or Sand leather, and availability depends on the exterior paint color, so check the configurator for your desired combination. The Carbon Edition comes with model-specific red leather seats, and black trim on the instrument panel, doors, and louver bezels. The Signature comes with two color options for the new quilted leather seats; Deep Chestnut or Parchment Nappa, both of which feel like they belong in a much pricier vehicle.

A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter are standard across the range. The Carbon Edition, Grand Touring, and Signature feature aluminum interior trim, and the Signature is additionally adorned with Santos Rosewood trim and patterned aluminum inlays.

Overall, the Mazda's interior is a magnificent place to spend time. You're going to struggle to find a substandard piece of plastic. We'd go as far as stating that Mazda is currently building cars with German-like quality interiors. And at a reasonable price.

2023 CX-9 Trunk and Cargo Space

Most crossovers and SUVs at this price point tend to be boxes on wheels. The CX-9 is more sculpted and far more pleasing to the eye. This design does have a downside, and unfortunately, it's a lack of space. In addition to the third row only being suitable for children, the cargo capacity is also below par. With three rows in place, the Mazda can only muster 14.4 cubic feet of cargo room. The CX-9's available cargo room with three rows up is good enough for day-to-day errands, but no more than that. With the third row folded flat, the cargo capacity increases to 38.2 cubic feet. With the second row folded flat, it expands to 71.2 cubic feet.

The cabin storage is plentiful. The door pockets are a reasonable size, and each row gets two cupholders. With the standard seating configuration, there's only one center armrest with a storage bin. When you opt for the second-row captain's chair arrangement, you also get a second armrest with a storage bin.

2023 Mazda CX-9 Trunk and Cargo Space Photos

2023 Mazda CX-9 Trunk Space with Third Row Folded CarBuzz 2023 Mazda CX-9 Maximum Trunk Space CarBuzz 2023 Mazda CX-9 Trunk Space CarBuzz
2023 Mazda CX-9 Trunk Space with Third Row Folded
2023 Mazda CX-9 Maximum Trunk Space
2023 Mazda CX-9 Trunk Space

2023 Mazda CX-9 Bed Size:

Mazda CX-9 TrimsTouringTouring PlusCarbon EditionGrand TouringSignature
Box Width (Wheelhousings)40.2 in.40.2 in.40.2 in.40.2 in.40.2 in.
Box Height (Area)30.3 in.30.3 in.30.3 in.30.3 in.30.3 in.

2023 CX-9 Infotainment and Features


Mazda was feeling extremely generous the day they decided on the CX-9's standard specification. The most important, in our opinion, is the i-Activsense safety suite, standard across all models. It includes forward-collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. What an excellent move to add so many driver's assistance features on a family vehicle as standard. Higher-specification models also come with parking sensors front and rear, and a surround-view camera.

The base Touring comes with tri-zone climate control, advanced keyless entry, push-button start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power liftgate, four USB chargers, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and a six-way power passenger seat. The front seats are heated as well. Higher up the lineup, you get ventilated front seats, heating for the second row, and the steering wheel, and driver-seat memory. From the Touring Plus upward, the second-row Captain Chairs can be added as a no-cost option.


All CX-9 trims get a standard 10.25-inch infotainment screen. Mazda oddly decided to leave the CX-9's rotating controller unchanged without switching to the new one from the Mazda 3 and CX-30. Mazda still frustratingly locks the touchscreen while the vehicle is in motion, meaning this system isn't as intuitive as it could be. Luckily, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now standard across the board. A six-speaker sound system comes standard, while a Bose Centerpoint premium unit with 12 speakers and SiriusXM are standard from the Cardon Edition up - and is no longer offered on base trims. Other standard features across the board include HD Radio and at least four USB ports. Built-in satellite navigation comes standard on the Grand Touring and above.

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