2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2019 Mazda CX-9

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The Acadia Denali’s optional 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 GMC Acadia’s middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mazda CX-9 doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Acadia are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Acadia has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The CX-9 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Acadia SLE/SLT’s optional Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The CX-9 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Compared to metal, the Acadia’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-9 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Acadia and the CX-9 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Mazda CX-9:

 

Acadia

CX-9

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

138

212

Neck Injury Risk

22%

26%

Neck Stress

162 lbs.

309 lbs.

Neck Compression

16 lbs.

51 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

112/392 lbs.

107/424 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

37%

40%

Neck Stress

152 lbs.

183 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

10/95 lbs.

376/375 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Mazda CX-9:

 

Acadia

CX-9

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

54 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

35 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Acadia’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CX-9’s (6 vs. 5 years).

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Acadia for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-9.

There are almost 3 times as many GMC dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Acadia’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Acadia has a standard 150-amp alternator (155-amp - Acadia V6 and 170 V6). The CX-9’s 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that GMC vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 20th in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd.

Engine

The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 60 more horsepower (310 vs. 250) than the CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the GMC Acadia V6 is faster than the Mazda CX-9:

 

Acadia

CX-9

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

7.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.2 sec

21.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.4 sec

7.7 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.3 sec

3.6 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.8 sec

4.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Acadia 4 cyl.’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.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Acadia uses regular unleaded gasoline. The CX-9 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-9 AWD’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 19.5 gallons).

The Acadia has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the GMC Acadia higher (5 to 6 out of 10) than the Mazda CX-9 (3). This means the Acadia produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CX-9 every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The Acadia’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.

The Acadia stops shorter than the CX-9:

 

Acadia

CX-9

 

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mazda CX-9 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Acadia has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The CX-9 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Acadia offers an available 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 Acadia Denali AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the CX-9 Signature AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the CX-9 Touring (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis

The GMC Acadia may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 250 pounds less than the Mazda CX-9.

The Acadia is 5.8 inches shorter than the CX-9, making the Acadia easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Acadia FWD 4 cyl. 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 Acadia uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The CX-9 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Acadia has 8.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-9 (143.8 vs. 135.1).

The Acadia has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear legroom, .6 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.8 inches more third row headroom, 1.4 inches more third row legroom, 2.8 inches more third row hip room and 1.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the CX-9.

Cargo Capacity

The Acadia’s cargo area provides more volume than the CX-9.

 

Acadia

CX-9

Third Seat Folded

41.7 cubic feet

38.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79 cubic feet

71.2 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Acadia’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The CX-9 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Acadia Denali’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Mazda CX-9 is limited to 3500 pounds. The Acadia offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Acadia 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 Acadia has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The CX-9 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The Acadia (except SL/SLE)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, 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 Acadia and the CX-9 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Acadia 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 Acadia’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The CX-9’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Acadia 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 Acadia’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 Acadia with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The CX-9’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Acadia SLT/Denali 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 Acadia SLT/Denali has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the CX-9 because typical repairs cost much less on the Acadia than the CX-9, including $594 less for a water pump, $59 less for a fuel pump and $134 less for front struts.

Recommendations

The GMC Acadia outsold the Mazda CX-9 by over three to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos