Don't Buy Mazda CX-9

On Tuesday 9th February 2008 I picked up my new CX-9 from Penfolds Mazda, Burwood Victoria, Australia.

I must say I was very impressed by salesman Ivan Tang's very thoughtful 30 minute explanation of the car, its features and how they worked.

But suddenly it all turned sour.

When he opened the rear door/bootlid, I noticed that the 'cargo cover' that these cars all have over the luggage compartment was missing.

When I asked him where it was, he was like: “Its an optional extra on these cars ! It is not an optional extra on the CX-7, but for a CX-9 its an optional extra because Mazda Australia have decided its an optional extra. It is not cheap either, its around $479. And you can't get one now anyway because spare parts will be closed.”

It turns out they are between $317 and $416, although in the US they are around $240 AUD. (They look like they probably only cost $20 to make.)

After listening to my reaction Ivan brought in his boss the sales manager, who apologised but confirmed what Ivan had said.

(Here is a picture of one: Please Click Here: If you can't find it don't worry. Penfold Mazda's 'Dealer principal' had trouble too. Go to 'accessories', and if you get stuck at that point click on - "protect inside" of all places )

Well !! It just goes to show. One obviously can't assume anything. Any progress made with one model disappears again with the next. Some penny pinching manager somewhere has again made a decision to improve his short term bonus,and hang the company's long term profits. Or maybe its the Ford influence creeping in. Lockable petrol caps one year, not lockable the next.

How can this be an optional extra ?

It was not an optional extra on my 1983 base model Ford laser.

It was not an optional extra on my 1987 base model Holden Astra.

It was not an optional extra on my 1995 Mitsubishi Lancer hatch

It is not an optional extra on the CX-7

It is not an optional extra on the current model Mazda 6 hatch that my wife drives

and it is not an optional extra with any other hatch I have ever heard of.

Making this an optional extra is just totally extraordinary. The car is virtually un-usable in this day and age without one. You can't take it anywhere without having anything you take fully exposed to prying eyes and thieves.

My boot is presently filled with an assortment of tools and equipment. I was nearly going to buy a Triton Ute.

What Mazda is doing with its CX-9 is like making the spare wheel an optional extra, or a jack into an optional extra, (maybe it is... I haven't checked yet), and then not telling you until you have signed the papers, paid your money and are driving out the door, in the full knowledge that you can't be without one and you will have to pay another couple of hundred before you leave.

We wrote to Penfolds Mazda Burwood and we wrote to Mazda Head Office in Mount Waverley VIC.

Letter to Penfolds Mazda Burwood Victoria

Letter to Mazda Australian Head Office Mount Waverley Victoria

Letter to the Age

The following day, Penfold's “dealer principal” called us. But rather than trying to learn how frustrated and angry we had become, and then perhaps calling Mazda Australia to influence a change in its its stance, he immediately went to what is supposedly the company line:

“Mazda are not trying to save costs. Most people would use the vehicle as a 7 seater. The cover doesn't work when the 2 back seats are up. So the cover would just sit in most people's garages unused. ”


Well if there are no cost savings, why not issue 'cargo covers' with each car, and anyone who doesn't want one can leave it with their dealer.

And if they are not standard equipment because they would hardly ever be used, how long before they stop issuing a wheel jack or spare tyre for the same reason ?

Oh, and by the way, their brochure doesn't even mention it - as an optional extra or otherwise - nor did the lady who cold called me the day before pickup suggesting I pay extra for scotch-guarding the seats because otherwise they were bound to be ruined. (Really if that is the case Mazda should scotchguard the seat too). .

We will not take this off our website until Mazda CX-9 supplies cargo covers as part of the car and issues a refund for anyone they have charged to date. To us this is only the first shot in this war and we will update this site with all developments as they happen.

14 Feb: Posted on Product Reviews. Click here to view

Further Developments

25 Feb 2008.

Mazda Australia wrote us a letter along the lines that the CX-9 was really just a "soccer mum" style people mover. The guys at work actually called the Mazda CX-9 a girlie car. So if you're a true blue guy - don't but a Mazda CX-9. Remember: The dealer himself said: "No-one really would contemplate using one to carry goods in. So it clearly doesn't need a hatch cover". (Obviously 'the shopping' doesn't warrant one, and too bad if mum has a laptop or something).

5 March 2008.

Steven Johnstone from Penfolds Mazda called. He was like: "Obviously you have the website up. If Mazda were to provide you with a free cargo cover, would you be prepared to take it down ?!"

So there you go. If you want a free cargo cover, just put up a website like this !


Sure we want a free cargo cover. If we get one we will let everyone know. But that doesn't mean we take the site down. It only means we don't go to the small claims court with the matter.

For an update on the cargo cover issue - see below

Other Mazda CX-9 Problems, issues and complaints:

The super wide and too high central consoleis becoming a real problem. One simply can't rest one's arm on it. It is just too high. Its like sitting in a airplane with a passenger whose arm is on "your" armrest. One feels like constantly elbowing it aside. Check this out carefully before you are tempted to buy. (Now, 2 months later it has become the absolute main reason why I'm still to driving my wonderful 1999 Magna to work. The relief from not having to elbow a centre console out the way ever Monday morning is just superb.)

The rear door won't close properly when the car is parked "sideways" on a slope. It seems as if the top, hinged area, becomes warped or buckled under the weight of the door, and when closing it, the door does not snap cleanly into its bottom catch.

Fuel consumption over the first 1000 km is averaging 15.6 Lt per 100 Km.

The Clock Problem: If you switch to viewing fuel consumption, 'distance to destination' or any of those options, you lose the clock ! You then have to reach right over past the centre to get the clock display back (and lose whatever else you were looking at instead.) Looks like after 100 years of car design, they've suddenly forgotten about the clock,and how every other car in the world has it constantly on display somewhere.

Maybe they think people would rather dig out their phone to see the time if they are also watching the fuel consumption.

There are so many things wrong with this car that we are beginning to think the glowing blog reports are written by Ford's advertising writers.

More on Cargo Covers: They also need a small cover for behind the back row seats. But guess what ? They don't even make one. ..

Whilst this is not really a public blogging site we have had some interesting feedback from quite a few readers.

If you want them put up I''ll put them up !!


Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2009 12:00 PM

If you are still taking CX9 complaints, let me add to the list:


In August 2008 I purchased a new CX9 luxury, my wife thought it was a
nice car! I told the sales person of my specific requirement for full
size spare as I drive in NSW country. The sales person specifically
told me that the CX9 tyre was full size. I looked under the car and
it did appear to be full size.

OK, no problem until June 2009, but then I got a damaged side wall
150km from home. When I changed the tyre - shock horror - it's a
yellow space saver with an 80km max speed limit (you can't see the
yellow because the yellow side is on the topside when the spare is in
position under the car)

OK, I was angry, but I thought there you go, the sales person will say
anything to get the sale, what did I really expect, so I'll fix that
myself by buying a spare full size rim and tyre - but, then came the
2nd and 3rd problems:


I continue my trip, a further 40km on the space saver to my
destination and pull into a major tyre distributor and ask them to
replace the tyre.

Whoops, they make a call, and then tell me: 'We can't get one of
these tyres, there are none in Australia.'

I then phone the local Mazda dealer, and they tell me:'We don't have
any of these tyres, we can't fit one today.'

I then phone my selling dealer, and they tell me:
'We can't supply one of these tyres, we don't have them, we get our
tyres from Bob Jane, try them.'

So, I am faced with a trip home over 160km on an 80km limited space
saver - it takes 3 hours instead of the usual 2 hrs. You can imagine
I'm pretty fed up!!

Next day is Saturday and I go to nearest Bob Jane outlet and ask them
to supply a new tyre - whoops: 'We don't have one of these tyres, but
we'll try and get one for you, call us Monday.'

I ask them can they also get me 2 x tyres and a new rim as well so I
can replace the space saver - more of this below...

Monday, call Bob Jane - 'bad news, we can't get one of these tyres,
there are none in Australia.'

Monday, contact Mazda customer relations - tell them the problem and
ask what's going on? Why aren't there any tyres available? No real
answer, but faced with choice of getting a tyre or paying for me to
hire a 4WD the following Friday for a long trip- they tell me they
will have a tyre for me, so I will only have to drive around on a
space saver for 6 days - I use one of my other cars.

Thursday, tyre is available and I am told to go to local Bridgestone
dealer for supply.


Contrary to my specific requirement of a full size spare because of
country driving long distances, not only does the CX9 have 80km speed
limited space saver, it also has a moulded space under the petrol
tank, and can only fit a space saver. You cannot carry a full size
spare unless you put it in the rear cargo area.


All round disappointment and bitterness. Just coming up to 12 months
on current lease, as soon as I get to break even point for lease pay
out / trade in on this CX9 I will be selling it.



YES, I WILL BE BUYING ANOTHER HOLDEN (I have 3 holdens at the moment 2
x Astra and 1 x 1 tonner), AND NEVER AGAIN WILL I CONSIDER A MAZDA.




???? How are you meant to know which gear you select between forward,
neutral and reverse??? Its all by touch, and guess work - Yes I have
mis-selected between forward, neutral and reverse, fortunately no
accident (so far).

Feel free to post these problems - I want to tell at least 100 people
of my bad experience





Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2009 2:03 AM
Subject: My 2008 Mazda CX9 Brakes Squeal

Lets see - Brakes squeal like hell when backing up, notified Mazda, who stated this matter is not covered under warranty (car had 13k miles/7 months of use) - Got the major runaround from corporate regarding this issue - finally came down to regional manager stating they will not fix the brake issue - I have not fixed the brakes, and I enjoy people expressions when they look at a new car with horrible screeching brakes that Mazda will not fix.

I understand why there is not a mileage monitor - My guess is that we get @ 10 mpg. Overall, this is without a doubt, the worst car that I have ever owned. Plan on selling it soon and buying an American made car.

Mazda CX-9 - the Blue Tooth Hand Free kit:

The following contribution regarding Mazda Australia's provision of the optional Blue Tooth Hands free kit is a must read for anyone wanting to purchase a CX-9 in Australia:

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 1:35 PM
Subject: Re Mazda CX-9 Review

Just thought I would let you know that we have had a CX-9 for around 6 months and I agree with most you said. My issues are also a little different.

1) our fuel consumption is around 17.5/100 km and that is only if we do a 3 hr country round trip once a month at around 110 km/hr approx as I reset it when we started doing this. This is also with me driving continuously with the display showing current l/km (therefore no clock) so I can change the way I drive saving me around 12% from the way I used to drive. Prior to the regular country round trip, when we where only driving around town, we where averaging 19litres/100km

2) The other issue is the “Mazda Genuine integrated Bluetooth”. We ordered this at $500 extra when purchasing the cars (Toyota etc all offer it standard). We asked the dealer what it was and how it worked. They all said they had never seen one and know little about it. They had no pictures or brochures and still do not today. We looked up the US web page and it showed a button on the steering wheel and the Large LCD display showing numbers and signal strength etc. What we got was a cheap after market computer mouse stuck to our windscreen that I could have got for $200 after market. The only integration is that it mutes the radio/CD when the phone is being used. To answer the phone I have to reach up and aim very carefully to press a very small button on the mouse that is stuck to my windscreen. While doing this I have to tale my eyes off the road etc. Why they get away saying it is a Mazda Genuine part I will never know.

Overall the car is great but they have to spoil the whole experience with penny pinching stunts, not to mention unrealistic fuel consumption figures which cost us a whole lot more. Isn’t that false advertising and against the law.

I am actually thinking of coping a loss and selling mine to move into the Hyundai Santa fe Diesel as longer term I feel the CX-9 will be worth nothing in a couple of years with the way petrol is going.
Cheers Anon

When asked whether we could publish these comments 'Anon' replied:

Feel free to publish my comments.

When I filled out my after sales experience, I mentioned the Bluetooth.
Someone rang me and they actually admitted that they got the Bluetooth locally from some car accessory place in Australia.
This means it can not actually be Genuine Mazda Part. Once again false advertising.

If you have the Luxury model, you will probably notice in the roof control panel where you activate the sunroof from etc, that there is a small hole which emits a blue light. This is the integrated Bluetooth microphone that the rest of the world get. You can add that to my comments as well. Pictures below of the US Bluetooth.

Mazda Genuine integrated Bluetooth from the rest of the world.

Above shows you the signal strength connectivity etc


Above actually states the steering wheel has the Bluetooth handsfree

See the handset Bluetooth integrated button on the steering wheel left hand side.
What we get in Australia is:

What we actually get as a Genuine Mazda Part stuck to our windscreen for the privilege of paying $500 for. You can get it after market for $200. The integration is only a muting of the radio/CD player. Not like the overseas integration. Try and find a picture of this pitiful attempt of a Bluetooth on the Australian Mazda web page. No luck so we buy what we think the rest of the world has got as they are the only pictures we can get and end up with the picture above.
Compare the size of the “mouse” stuck to my screen with the service sticker and you will realise how hard it is to answer the phone by pressing the handset button under the plus and minus buttons when driving to answer.

Remnants of overseas Bluetooth with Blue light showing where Bluetooth Microphone should be
Hope this helps your cause and other owners and makes Mazda Australia treat their clients better. Remember we are buying one of their most expensive cars and this is what they do. Imagine if BMW or Mercedes etc treated the clients who bought their most expensive cars like this.
Cheers again Anon


Now lets see how long before Mazda want their Bluetooth brochure pictures taken off. We'll see how petty they are and we'll let everyone know how it goes.


Cargo Cover Update:

Update: In May 2009 we met with Sam Johnston from Penfold Mazda for a preliminary hearing at VCAT = Victoria's small claims tribunal..

He seemed to be mainly concerned about getting this information removed from the website.

We would have liked them to take back the car. But in the knowledge that any such action might well involve a lengthy and costly legal journey from one court to the next, we settled the matter on the basis of Mazda giving us a free cargo cover.

During the negotiations, Sam stated it may be some months before they could get one as they had to come from Japan ! (So what if its an urgent spare part and the car won't go till it gets here ?)

It turned out it only took a week or so. Then when I went to collect it, their Spare Parts guy pulled the box right out from under the counter. It even had our company name on it. "Has anyone quoted you for this yet? ", I was asked as he tapped into his computer.

In the ensuing 10 minutes, I explained it was free, explained the whole case, tried to ring Sam Johnston - who was said to be unavailable all week, and eventually left without the Mazda CX-9 Cargo Cover.

After writing to Penfolds Mazda once again, it was finally delivered to us.

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