2019 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2019 Dodge Durango

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Smart Brake Support optional in the CX-9 as “Superior.” The Durango scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature has a standard 360° View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Durango only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the CX-9 and the Durango 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, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

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 Durango:




Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

1.3/.2 kN

5.3/2.5 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia index R/L



Tibia forces R/L

1.8/.6 kN

1.9/1.4 kN

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 Durango was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.


The CX-9’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Durango runs out after 60,000 miles.


For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the CX-9 has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Durango.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda 12 places higher in reliability than Dodge.


The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 260) than the Durango’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6. The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 260) than the Durango Dual Exhaust’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Mazda CX-9 is faster than the Durango Dual Exhaust 3.6 DOHC V6:




Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

19 sec

20.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.5 sec

8.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.4 sec

4.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.7 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

117 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CX-9 gets better fuel mileage than the Durango:







2.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

22 city/28 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto


2.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

20 city/26 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-9 stops much shorter than the Durango:





70 to 0 MPH

178 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

142 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The CX-9 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the CX-9 flat and controlled during cornering. The Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-9 is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Durango.

The CX-9 Signature AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Durango GT pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CX-9 Signature AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the Durango GT 4x4 (26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CX-9’s turning circle is 2.2 feet tighter than the Durango’s (38.8 feet vs. 41 feet).

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Durango (8.8 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the CX-9 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.


The Mazda CX-9 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 1050 pounds less than the Dodge Durango.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the CX-9 Signature AWD is quieter than the Durango GT 4x4:




At idle

37 dB

38 dB


71 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

67 dB

Passenger Space

The CX-9 has .7 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more rear legroom, 1.9 inches more rear hip room, .4 inches more rear shoulder room and 2.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the Durango.

The front step up height for the CX-9 is 2.2 inches lower than the Durango (18.3” vs. 20.5”). The CX-9’s rear step up height is 1.8 inches lower than the Durango’s (18.8” vs. 20.6”).


The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Durango doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-9’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Durango’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 Durango’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Durango doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the CX-9, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Durango.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-9 is less expensive to operate than the Durango because it costs $126 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the CX-9 than the Durango, including $38 less for front brake pads, $167 less for a starter, $6 less for fuel injection and $113 less for front struts.


Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its August 2017 issue and they ranked the Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD first. They ranked the Dodge Durango GT 4x4 fourth.

The CX-9 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 11 years. The Durango has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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