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The X7’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The CX-9 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the middle seat shoulder belts of the BMW X7 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mazda CX-9 doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.
The X7 has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X7. But it costs extra on the CX-9.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X7’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The CX-9 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.
The X7’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the X7 and the CX-9 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.
The BMW X7 weighs 987 to 1400 pounds more than the Mazda CX-9. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The X7 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The CX-9’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The X7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CX-9’s (12 vs. 5 years).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X7 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-9.
The battery on the X7 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the X7’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The CX-9’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.
The X7 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 85 more horsepower (335 vs. 250) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 310) than the CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. The X7 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 206 more horsepower (456 vs. 250) and 169 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 310) than the CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.
Regenerative brakes improve the X7’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X7’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-9 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The X7 has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-9 FWD’s standard fuel tank (21.9 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X7 has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-9 AWD’s standard fuel tank (21.9 vs. 19.5 gallons).
An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X7, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-9.
The X7’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The CX-9 doesn’t offer launch control.
For better stopping power the X7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-9:
X7 M Sport
The X7’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the CX-9 are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the X7 has larger standard tires than the CX-9 (285/45R21 vs. 255/60R18). The X7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-9 (F:275/40R22 & R:315/35R22 vs. 255/60R18).
The X7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-9 Sport/Touring’s standard 60 series tires. The X7’s optional 275/40R22 front and 315/35R22 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X7 has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the CX-9 Sport/Touring. The X7’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The CX-9 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The front and rear suspension of the X7 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the CX-9, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.
The X7 has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The CX-9’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The X7 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The X7’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X7’s wheelbase is 6.9 inches longer than on the CX-9 (122.2 inches vs. 115.3 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X7 is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-9.
The front grille of the X7 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The CX-9 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The X7 has 2.6 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more third row headroom and 3.6 inches more third row legroom than the CX-9.
The X7’s cargo area provides more volume than the CX-9.
Third Seat Folded
48.6 cubic feet
38.2 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
90.4 cubic feet
71.2 cubic feet
Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the X7’s second and third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The CX-9 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X7. The CX-9 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The X7’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The CX-9’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.
The X7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the CX-9’s (7500 vs. 3500 pounds).
The X7 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CX-9 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
The engine in the X7 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the CX-9. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Mazda. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 71% lower rating, Mazda is ranked 27rd.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature, the X7 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The X7’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The CX-9 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The power windows standard on both the X7 and the CX-9 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X7 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-9 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The X7’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The CX-9’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The X7 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The CX-9 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.
The X7’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda charges extra for heated mirrors on the CX-9.
When the X7 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The CX-9’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The X7 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CX-9 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The X7 has standard heated front and optional heated second and third row seats, which keep the driver and passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a third-row heated seat.
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