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Mazda CX-9 vs Honda Pilot

I’m trying to decide which vehicle will be the better buy. I’m looking at a 2008 Honda Pilot EX-L and a 2009 or 2010 Mazda CX-9. I need lots of storage space for hockey bags and the occasional 3rd row. Drove both but can’t decide which is the better buy. Anyone???

You’re Not Even Considering A Ford Or GM Product ? Why ? Please Explain Your Thinking And It Will Help Us Zero In On The Right Vehicle.


I’m not thinking of Ford or GM for no particular reason. Have read about the Ford Flex and its brake issues and there isn’t a GM car that looks good to me. Had considered the Buick Enclave but since my parents drove Buicks all my life I just can’t go there. Currently driving a 2002 Volvo V70 (my second Volvo wagon). Previously I drove 2 different Honda Accords. Just going with what I know.

You’re looking at some expensive vehicles… The EX-L will run you $31k+ after all is said and done, not including tax, title, license.

Between those two, I’d take the CX-9 anyday. Better looking and better fit-and-finish (Honda has gotten sloppy on the Pilot, IMO).

But there are other vehicles to consider as well. How often do you need the third row? Have you considered a Mazda5? Significantly better fuel efficiency, and you’d have room for a couple hockey bags behind the third row in the 2012 version (not the earlier ones), and room for a LOT of them if you fold down the third row (or even half of it).

What about a minivan? More space than a crossover…

What about a Ford Flex? The CX-9 uses a Ford engine - the same basic design as the Flex. New 2011 Explorer? Same basic engine as the CX-9 and Flex… The Flex and Explorer both have use a full-size vehicle platform vs. the midsize platform used on the CX-9, which I would anticipate would make them stiffer (in a good way). All of these have better mpg than the Pilot, too…

The brake issues are known with TSBs out there to guide mechanics through the fix. It isn’t hard, and would be done under warranty if you bought used - if you bought new, the problems shouldn’t exist…

Thanks for the info and suggestions. Minivan is not for me with only one 5’11" 13 year old. Most of the time it’s just 3 or 4 in the car. Looking at used only but Mazda was having a deal on 2010s. Just looked at the Buick Enclave again (2009). May have to test drive one. Don’t like the look of the Flex and consumer reviews I found all stated problems with brakes.

FWIW, the Volvo V70 is built on the Volvo P2 platform, which Ford then slightly modified into the D3 platform, then upgraded to the D4 platform.

The Flex runs on the D4 platform, so it is actually pretty closely related to your V70… only far more reliable, according to Consumer Reports.

Styling is definitely a personal taste issue and one you should by all means use to help decide what to consider and what not to consider

See above re: the brakes, though… but NEVER take what you see online in any unmoderated forum at face value. You’ll see a lot of repeating complaints from the same people, some of which may or may not be substantiated by objective reports. Statistically, the Flex does not have ridiculously high rates of brake problems. They aren’t perfect, but they’re still nowhere near as bad as the 2008 Accord got… Consumer Reports puts it at the most reliable Ford vehicle on the market, even higher than the Fusion, which they have rated as the most reliable midsize sedan on the market. I wouldn’t dare say that is proof its better than others, but that its simply among the best (statistical variation makes those rankings ties for all intents and purposes).

So don’t be afraid of it for a reliability issue - but if you don’t like its looks, by all means, don’t get it… :slight_smile:

The best choice will be the one that the prior owner cared for and maintained properly.

Good Luck.

I traded a 2004 Honda Pilot for a 2009 Mazda CX9 Touring model. I always liked the Pilot and thought about trading for a new one. I then read Edmunds review of the Mazda CX-9 and they gave it a good rating and considered it reasonably priced. Also, they liked the additional horsepower of the Mazda over the Pilot. One thing I noticed about the CS-9 was that it has a first gear whine when accelerating a little hard. Also, between 40 and 50 mph I could hear some gear whine. My wife didn’t notice the whine until I mentioned it to her, and maybe most people wouldn’t either. It just bugged me that a new vehicle should have any tranny noise at all. Another item is that the CS-9 has a firm ride. That is great for taking curves but in overall driving I thought it became a little tiring. The Grand Touring model has even a firmer ride with the lower profile tires. Anyway, I traded the CX-9 for a 2011 Buick Enclave which I like very much. I believe the Mazda CX-9 is a good vehicle overall, but I’m just suggesting any potential buyer should drive it long enough to make sure they are completly satisfied with the overall drivig experience.

If you are considering only these vehicles, getting a newer anything over a used anything has it’s advantages. If you could be sure that they were comparable maintenance wise, I would put the Pilot high on my list if it past my “driving test”. The customer satisfaction of Honda products tended to be among the best in CR polls for many years. The reliability of Honda products tended to be among the best also. Satisfaction and reliability rank high if you plan to keep a car a while and spend many thousands of dollars for it.

Go to a Buick showroom and look at what they offer these days. They are not what your parents would buy. The LaCrosse and Regal are by no means your father’s Buick. The only one of 4 current models that qualifies for that title is the Lucerne. Another SUV similar to the Enclave is the Chevy Traverse. It’s not a Buick, and is almost identical to the Enclave. BTW, the Enclave/Traverse has more cargo room than the Pilot, especially with the 3rd row in use.

If the 2010 CX-9 is new with only a hundred test drive miles or so on it, then I’d get that. Who knows how the Pilot was treated by it’s previous owner.

I always thought the CX-9 was a ford edge clone, some might want to look into one of those, even the limited edition or the Lincoln version of it.

The Edge and the CX-9 are mechanically similar, but not exact clones. However, the Edge is not offered with a third row of seats.

The Ford Flex is the 3-row counterpart to the CX-9.

Both the Pilot and CX-9 are good, comes down to personal preference, price, and condition.

We’re considering 3rd row cars like the CX-9, which many friends like, Honda Pilot, and we’re open to slightly bigger rigs like new model Dodge Durangos, which some other friends have and like.

From your experience what kind of mileage are people actually getting with the CX-9 and Pilots?