Mazda CX-9 Years To Avoid (4 Common Problems)

The Mazda CX-9 is one of the top-selling midsize crossover SUVs from the manufacturer. It is a well-built, reliable SUV with a third-row in some models. Mazda CX-9 looks all good both outside and inside. It comes with cutting-edge in-car technologies that make driving fun and easy.

Notwithstanding, if you’re going to buy this SUV, it is important that you know about the various Mazda CX-9 years to avoid. Yeah, some model years of the Mazda CX-9 are quite problematic and cost high to repair annually.

Common problems with Mazda CX-9 include difficulty while braking, water pump failure, coolant leaks, and complete engine failure. The average repair cost of these problems is $4,000.

Mazda CX-9 Overview

CX-9 is a crossover SUV ride introduced in 2006 for the 2007 model year by the top Japanese automaker, Mazda. The first-ever Mazda CX-9 models were produced entirely in Japan but never sold in the country; they were export-only models. Instead of CX-9, Mazda sold the narrower and shorter CX-8 in Japan.

Well, the Mazda CX-9 performed well in the international market and won several awards. There are only two generations of the Mazda CX-9 so far; the second generation started with the 2017 model.

Mazda CX-9 is well balanced, comes with a sturdy engine, and integrates a couple of handy technologies suitable for modern drivers.

Mazda CX-9 Years To Avoid and Why

The main reason you should avoid these Mazda CX-9 model years is that they have a high number of complaints reported by previous people who owned and/or still drive the SUV.

However, while these model years received more complaints online, making them the “Worst Years” to buy, some people still own and drive them, and they’re pretty satisfied with the performance.

What does this mean? This implies that although we list these models as the worst years of the Mazda CX-9, you can still buy them if you’re over convinced you’re getting a great deal after thoroughly inspecting the SUV.

Enough said, hereunder are the Mazda CX-9 models years ranked in the “Worst” category because they give a lot of problems and cost high on maintenance.

  • 2008 Mazda CX-9
  • 2010 Mazda CX-9
  • 2011 Mazda CX-9
  • 2012 Mazda CX-9
  • 2013 Mazda CX-9
  • 2014 Mazda CX-9

These model years have the highest number of complaints on CarComplaints and Consumer Reports. Commonly reported problems are addressed succinctly below.

Common Mazda CX-9 Problems

1. Brake Problems

  • Affected Models: 2010, 2011, and 2012 Mazda CX-9
  • Estimated Repair Cost: $1,200

On the indicated models above, the most common brake issues include hard braking or the brake pedal being too soft/loose. There were complaints about the brake power boost unit not functioning well and premature brake wear.

These brake issues are reported to occur at random mileage; for some people, it occurred before 50k miles, while others experienced their fair share after hitting over 90k miles. The average repair cost is $1,200. Braking issues were mostly reported on the 2012 Mazda CX-9 model.

2. Engine Problems

  • Affected Models: 2008 and 2013 model years
  • Estimated Repair Cost: $4,000

Engine-related problems are the worst any driver or car owner would wish to experience. Not only are they expensive to fix, but they can lead to fatal unplanned scenarios while you’re driving. Quite a number of Mazda CX-9 owners and drivers have reported some engine problems relating to the SUV.

Commonly reported issues are water pump failure, coolant leaks, ignition coil failure, and complete engine failure (probably caused by the lingering of the before-mentioned issues).

Also, the 2008 and 2013 Mazda CX-9’s head gaskets seem fragile; they crack easily, causing coolant liquid to leak away. The estimated repair cost of Mazda CX-9 engine problems is $4,000.

3. Transmission/Drivetrain Issues

  • Affected Models: 2011 and 2012 model years
  • Estimated Repair Cost: $2,000

Well, the number of transmission fault complaints reported on Mazda CX-9s isn’t too many, but significant enough to worth pointing out. The most common problem is transfer case failure; the Mazda CX-9 transmission transfer case received the highest number of complaints from the SUV owners.

2011 and 2012 Mazda CX-9 transfer case/differential failure is the most common transmission/drivetrain-related complaint on the SUV.

You’d pay at least $600 if it’s just the transfer case that needs to be fixed, but if the transmission or differential is affected, it costs around $2,000 on average to get it all fixed.

4. Electrical/Internal Accessories Problems

  • Affected Models: 2008, 2014, and 2016
  • Estimated Repair Cost: $700

There are many internal accessories added to the Mazda CX-9 SUV, and they are all powered by the electrical current generated from the car’s battery. Mazda CX-9 owners allege that most of the interior accessories get faulty after some time, usually after 15,000 miles.

Mazda CX-9 owners indicate common problems include malfunctioning infotainment, GPS problems, faulty alternators, and dead car batteries. Replacing the battery fixed the issues for most people, while others have to pay an average of $700 on repairs.

Now, explained above are the most common reasons why you should avoid the specific Mazda CX-9 worst years. We’ve seen the Mazda CX-9 years to avoid; what then are the best years to buy?

Best Mazda CX-9 Years To Buy

These model years are indicated as the best because they have a very low number of complaints or failure reports by the owners.

If you’re buying a used Mazda CX-9, it is best you pick from these best model years – you’d get more value for your spending.

  • 2007 Mazda CX-9
  • 2009 Mazda CX-9
  • 2015 Mazda CX-9
  • 2016 Mazda CX-9
  • 2017 Mazda CX-9
  • 2018 Mazda CX-9
  • 2019 Mazda CX-9
  • 2020 Mazda CX-9
  • 2021 Mazda CX-9

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Lifespan Of Mazda CX-9?

With proper maintenance and careful driving, the Mazda CX-9 is sure to last over 250,000 miles before needing a major repair. The Mazda CX-9 SUV is built to last a long time, but it all depends on how you drive it and keep up with the maintenance/servicing. A Mazda CX-9 can last well over 10 years if properly taken care of.

Is Mazda CX-9 Expensive To Maintain?

Not really. If you are frequent and keep with the maintenance schedules, you’d roughly spend $550 on your Mazda CX-9 annually; that’s about $5,500 in ten years, a great deal! But then, some parts may get spoilt and cost above $700 to replace. That said, on average, the cost of maintaining a Mazda CX-9 annually is $550 if no significant repair was done within the period.

Are Used Mazda CX-9s Reliable?

Consumer Reports rating for used Mazda CX-9s is quite high. Used Mazda CX-9s have what you’d call a “Perfect” reliability rating across well-known auto review/rating sites. Yes, the Mazda CX-9 is a reliable SUV, whether brand new or used. But ensure to carefully inspect any used Mazda CX-9 before making payment to the seller (dealership or individual).


So, what are the worst Mazda CX-9 years to avoid? 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Mazda CX-9 models are the ones to avoid. It’s safe buying other models that are not mentioned here.

Mazda CX-9 is a big, spacious SUV with enough room for up to seven (7) passengers. You’d love the interior design and cutting-edge features – plus driver assistance technologies.

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