Mazda CX-9 vs Ford Explorer


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Drivers in search of a vehicle that can provide ample space along with top-level performance should take a closer look at the Mazda CX-9 and Ford Explorer.

At Faulkner Mazda, we’re committed to helping drivers throughout Harrisburg, Hershey, and Mechanicsburg make the best decision on their next vehicle. To see how these two versatile SUVs match up, continue reading our comparison below!

Mazda CX-9 vs Ford Explorer Performance Specs

The Mazda CX-9 is engineered to provide the type of pinpoint maneuverability and quick acceleration that you’d find in a performance-focused sedan but packaged in an SUV frame. Its SKYACTIV®-G 2.5T engine packs up to 250 horsepower with an outstanding 310 lb-ft of torque. Its front-wheel or i-ACTIV AWD® is seamlessly controlled by a 6-speed automatic Mazda CX-9 vs Ford ExplorerInterior Design & Amenities

The interior of the Mazda CX-9 feels larger than its sleek exterior suggests, providing comfortable seating for up to seven passengers. Likewise, the Explorer also offers an available three rows of seating that accommodates up to seven people, although headroom and legroom quickly diminish the farther back you’re seated. In terms of cargo space, both models provide exceptional amounts of room with configurable seating to fit just about anything you need to haul.

The Mazda CX-9 offers materials usually reserved for premium luxury vehicles. This is especially true in the Grand Touring trim level which comes standard with a suite of high-end amenities, just a few of which include:

  • Power sliding-glass moonroof with sunshade
  • Leather-trimmed seating with heated front seats and steering wheel
  • Three-zone automatic climate control
  • Power rear liftgate with programmable height adjustment

Meanwhile, the Explorer is designed with family cruising in mind, offering its own set of standard features such as an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a steering wheel with cruise control, and secondary audio controls.

Mazda CX-9 vs Ford Explorer Technology Features

Mazda CX-9 InteriorWherever the road takes you, both models allow you and your passengers the ability to stay fully connected and entertained on the way. The Mazda CX-9 provides some of the most advanced technology that will please each and every member of your family. This includes:

  • Bose® Centerpoint® Surround Sound System with AudioPilot® and 12 speakers
  • MAZDA CONNECT™ Infotainment System
  • Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio streaming capabilities

This is all in addition to Pandora® and Aha™ internet radio integration, allowing you to quickly access all your favorite music and programs.

Likewise, the Explorer comes equipped with similar features including SYNC® Connect, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, and multiple USB and power points available for charging your favorite devices.

The Verdict

While this comparison has shown both midsize SUVs offer a number of outstanding qualities in terms of performance, design, and technology, it’s clear that the Mazda CX-9 comes out on top in every category.

For drivers near Harrisburg, Hershey, and Mechanicsburg interested in taking a closer look for themselves, visit Faulkner Mazda or go online and schedule a test drive today!


1 Up to an EPA-estimated 22 city/28 highway MPG for 2018 Mazda CX-9 FWD models. AWD models, 20 city/26 highway MPG. Actual results will vary.