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Discussion Starter #1
In the market for a 3 row SUV, but want something that handles well for its size. We have driven and narrowed down search to these 2. MDX with SH AWD handles better with less roll and more confidence, but Mazda is respectable and has good tuning balance between comfort and performance. Interior on Signature is a lot nicer and controls are more intuitive than Dual screens on MDX.

Thought from owners are appreciated. Am I the only one cross shopping these?
 

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Nope, you are one of many posting about the same comparison since the new CX-9 was released. We say the same thing every time (you can search to find all the other threads).

The most common points are:
-MDX drives better
-The CX-9 interior quality is respectable, even better in some ways than the MDX
-The CX-9, however, feels a bit underpowered
-The MDX has its share of problems with laggy infotainment, bland interior, higher cost for same passenger capacity
-The CX-9 powerplant has unknown reliability because it is brand new
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Your points are all well taken, and align with my test drive experience. Hard to decide which way to go...
 

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Yeah it's especially a toughie for people who are more oriented toward city driving. The CX-9 engine works sufficiently well at lower RPMs, but it looses steam up top. The max torque is around 2k RPMs instead of say 4k like on a Subaru turbo. Pricing is pretty comparable between a new MDX Tech and a CX-9 signature. I remember someone mentioning also that the CX-9 cabin is louder than the MDX and another mentioning that you get stuck with only one interior leather color on the Signature. There were considerable issues with the CX-9 infotainment for some time, with it blanking out and rebooting. I don't know if Mazda fixed it yet.

What are your priorities for your selections? It seems like people who enjoy the MDX resonate more with how it drives, rather than interior quality and tech. There's also a lot of attraction with Honda's reliability reputation, which some of us will argue is thing of the past (well, it isn't horrible, but they jammed this car up with electronics, so YMMV).
 

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Try to ask in a Mazda forum too..

Acura reliability is going downhill, although it's not the worst. It's definitely not as good as before.

The CX-9 as I know is built in Japan. Other than engineering or material flaws, you can be confident with the Japanese craftsmanship and QC. I think this is a plus for the CX-9.

Compare the audio, camera quality and safety features to see which one you like better.

If the price is a big factor and you are okay with less power, I would go for the CX-9 Signature.
 

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I am like you was undecided between the two. Even on the 2016 model, Mazda only knocked off $2k on the signature trim while I got nearly $6k off on the 17 MDX tech. Being as the 1st Year for this cx-9 model, there might be lots of problems before we know so I decided to go with the MDX for value wise


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In the market for a 3 row SUV, but want something that handles well for its size. We have driven and narrowed down search to these 2. MDX with SH AWD handles better with less roll and more confidence, but Mazda is respectable and has good tuning balance between comfort and performance. Interior on Signature is a lot nicer and controls are more intuitive than Dual screens on MDX.

Thought from owners are appreciated. Am I the only one cross shopping these?
I now own a 2017 Honda Pilot and I bought a 2014 Acura MDX 3 weeks ago, primarily due to my Pilot research and subsequent owner experience. That being said, my wife and I had our hearts set on buying the 2016 CX-9 so much so, we would not even test drive the Pilot. That was until we test drove the CX-9 and spent a few hours speaking with 3-4 Mazda dealers. The poor buying experience offered by Mazda was enough to make us want to go elsewhere.

CX-9 Pros:
1. I will agree the interior of the CX-9 is a step above the MDX. It's not dramatic but it is there.
2. Many will say the CX-9 drives better. Not sure if I agree with this though but I'll give this one to Mazda.
3. Possibly less expensive purchase price than MDX but it depends on your desired trim level of each.

CX-9 Cons:
1. At least in my area, Mazda dealer experience was horrid.
2. I felt the CX-9 was under-powered slightly.
3. Poor performing A/C system in hot environments. This complaint is fairly well documented in the Mazda forums.

Somewhere in-between:
1. Questionable MPG in CX-9. Some reviews stated they are getting MPG results inline with EPA listings. Some (possibly many) owners on Mazda forums are complaining about poor MPG. I can't say for sure as I didn't buy the CX-9.
2. The infotainment system in the CX-9 is no better than my 2014 MDX Advance. They could battle it out for the title of which one sucks less. Mazda has been stating for a long time now that they would introduce Carplay/Android Auto and it has not come to fruition. The infotainment system in my 17 Pilot supports Carplay/Android Auto and while this system has detractors, my wife and I really like it and find it super easy to use.

I've owned my Pilot since November 17 and knock on wood, I've not had a single issue that I felt I needed/wanted Honda to address. 0-60 in 6.0 seconds in the Pilot, which is physically larger than the MDX is impressive. Not that I bought it to drag race but it's nice to know you have the power on tap if needed. The MDX has a sportier drive than my Pilot and both are almost as fast 0-60 with similar MPG.

I have taken my MDX to my local dealer twice now to address some issues (front end noise, seat belt that was manufactured incorrectly, and RPM's jumping/inconsistent throttle response) and the experience offered by Acura has so far been miles ahead of what I experienced from Mazda. Acura accurately identified my issues, ordered parts, performed repairs, referenced TSB's without me mentioning anything about them (although I knew they existed to address my complaints) and either provided a loaner car or a shuttle service. They have not asked me to pay them anything to make me happy.

That's my two cents on the matter:laugh:
 

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In the market for a 3 row SUV, but want something that handles well for its size. We have driven and narrowed down search to these 2. MDX with SH AWD handles better with less roll and more confidence, but Mazda is respectable and has good tuning balance between comfort and performance. Interior on Signature is a lot nicer and controls are more intuitive than Dual screens on MDX.

Thought from owners are appreciated. Am I the only one cross shopping these?
Mazdas are a good value. But not the same ball park. Not even the same game. Acura is way more luxurious. Mazda is quite pedestrian. If you have money issues, a tight budget and have to pinch pennies, then go for the Mazda. If your finances are fine, your boss loves you and you are getting a bonus this year, then spoil yourself and go for the Acura.
 
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