2019 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2018 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the CX-9 and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Mazda CX-9 is safer than the Q7:

 

CX-9

Q7

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

158

225

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

27 cm

30 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

4%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.37/.44

.57/.7

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-9 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 86 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q7 was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

Mazda’s powertrain warranty covers the CX-9 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 2 times as many Mazda dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-9’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 22nd in initial quality. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

Engine

The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 273) than the Q7 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CX-9 AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Q7 2.0T 4 cyl. (20 city/26 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

Tires and Wheels

The CX-9 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the Q7 don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the CX-9’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Q7’s (38.8 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Q7 (8.8 vs. 8.3 inches), allowing the CX-9 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Mazda CX-9 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 700 pounds less than the Audi Q7.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the CX-9 Signature AWD is quieter than the Q7 Prestige:

 

CX-9

Q7

At idle

37 dB

43 dB

Passenger Space

The CX-9 has .9 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more third row legroom and 3.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

Cargo Capacity

The CX-9’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

 

CX-9

Q7

Third Seat Folded

38.2 cubic feet

37.5 cubic feet

The CX-9’s cargo area is larger than the Q7’s in almost every dimension:

 

CX-9

Q7

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

21.4”/49.7”/84.5”

19.5”/44.7”/80.7”

Max Width

57.2”

52.5”

Height

30.3”

30”

Ergonomics

The CX-9 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Q7 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the CX-9 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-9’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Q7’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

Model Availability

The CX-9 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-9 is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because it costs $288 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-9 than the Q7, including $373 less for a muffler, $82 less for front brake pads, $698 less for a starter, $526 less for fuel injection, $415 less for front struts and $314 less for a timing belt/chain.

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

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