Taking road trips with the family is a regular occurrence in our household. We tend to limit our driving to no more than a few hours from home, but when you live in a large state like Texas, even several hours will keep you within the state borders, so there is always someplace new to visit. One city only about an hour from home that we had not visited since moving to Texas is College Station, the home to Texas A&M University. Once the wife confirmed a weekend trip to this college town would take place, we searched for a vehicle appropriate for the occasion. And the winning set of wheels was the 2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD, newly updated for the most recent model year.
On the Road
Leaving from home and heading to College Station, we decided to take one of the more scenic routes. Winding through some of the smaller cities along the way, several things stood out with the 2018 Mazda CX- 9. At the top of the list is the handling. The sensitive response and agile moments make the Mazda CX-9 seem like a sports car in many ways. You know you’re not driving sports car, but don’t tell that to your body and hands, because they will insist otherwise.
Aside from the handling, the Mazda CX-9 also provides a good deal of comfort. The bucket seats in the front hold you snugly but comfortably in place. Other cool features include rain- sensing wipers that activate and start wiping when they detect rainfall; heads- up display that shows your speed, projected on the windshield; and heated seats/steering wheel. One could easily fall asleep in the passenger’s or rear seats, due to the smoothness and comfortable surroundings.
Navigating the College Scene
Once we arrived in College Station, we checked into our hotel and then proceeded to drive around the Texas A&M campus and visit some of the local sites and attractions. It was here that I stepped out of the vehicle and took a good look at the exterior. And I liked what I saw, as the exterior styling is easily one of the Mazda CX-9’s strong points. The appearance grabs your attention and encourages further inquiry. The extended hood and fancy front- end design make the Mazda CX-9 look like a far more expensive import than it actually is.
Driving around the college campus and around the College Station, Texas area, our Mazda CX-9 continued to impress. You don’t notice the agile steering as much at lower speeds, but you can still sense the excellent handling and comfort. It made driving the Mazda CX-9 in the city almost as much fun as cruising at highway speeds through the Texas countryside.
Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD is a fun family vehicle with many reasons to make it your next family vehicle. The steering and handling rank at the top of the list for me, but I liked other aspects also. The smooth, efficient braking, the added luxury features like the heated steering wheel, and the exterior appearance place this crossover vehicle in a class by itself.
This crossover SUV isn’t as large as a full- fledged SUV and because of its slightly smaller dimensions, it does tend to be a little tight on the inside, particularly in the third row. It’s nice to have a third row of seats, but you need to make sure that the person relegated to the third seat is petite enough to fit comfortably. I also noticed that, since I am close to six feet in height, I had to duck my head a little more than usual when I got into the driver’s seat. However, these are minor issues, really. Once inside with my seatbelt in place, I was ready to hit the road and enjoy the comfort that Mazda CX-9 brings.
Travel is a regular part of life here at Money Saving Parent. Road trips are commonplace in our household and when you live in a massive state like Texas, there is always someplace new to visit and something new to see. Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD is an excellent means to get from point A to B in style and comfort. It served us well on our excursion to College Station and I recommend it for your next outdoor adventure.