2019 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CX-9 has standard Smart Brake Support, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Grand Caravan doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The CX-9 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The CX-9’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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 Grand Caravan only offers a rear monitor.

The CX-9 has standard E911 Automatic Emergency Notification, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the CX-9 and the Grand Caravan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

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

 

CX-9

Grand Caravan

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

212

247

Neck Injury Risk

26%

36%

Neck Stress

309 lbs.

347 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

107/424 lbs.

776/782 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Leg Forces (l/r)

376/375 lbs.

526/665 lbs.

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

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 Grand Caravan:

 

CX-9

Grand Caravan

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

GOOD

POOR

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

158

230

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

 

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

17 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Femur Force R/L

1.3/.2 kN

13.4/4 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

100%/1%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.37/.44

2.29/.9

Tibia forces R/L

1.8/.6 kN

3.5/3.4 kN

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 Mazda CX-9 is safer than the Dodge Grand Caravan:

 

CX-9

Grand Caravan

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.4 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

98 G’s

257 G’s

Hip Force

195 lbs.

625 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

54 G’s

54 G’s

Hip Force

582 lbs.

948 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 inches

15 inches

HIC

249

294

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

47 G’s

Hip Force

553 lbs.

788 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-9 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 62 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Grand Caravan was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CX-9’s reliability 27 points higher than the Grand Caravan.

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’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Dodge is ranked 21st.

Engine

The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 260) than the Grand Caravan’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda CX-9 is faster than the Dodge Grand Caravan:

 

CX-9

Grand Caravan

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

16 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

CX-9

 

FWD

2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

AWD

2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Grand Caravan

 

FWD

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-9 stops shorter than the Grand Caravan:

 

CX-9

Grand Caravan

 

60 to 0 MPH

139 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-9 has larger tires than the Grand Caravan (255/60R18 vs. 225/65R17).

The CX-9 Sport/Touring’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Grand Caravan’s standard 65 series tires. The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Grand Caravan’s 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-9 Sport/Touring has standard 18-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Grand Caravan. The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature has standard 20-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Mazda CX-9 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Dodge Grand Caravan has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The CX-9 has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The CX-9’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.7% to 45.3%) than the Grand Caravan’s (56% to 44%). This gives the CX-9 more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

The Mazda CX-9 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 300 pounds less than the Dodge Grand Caravan.

The CX-9 is 4.3 inches shorter than the Grand Caravan, making the CX-9 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The CX-9 has .3 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more rear headroom and 2.3 inches more rear legroom than the Grand Caravan.

Cargo Capacity

The CX-9’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Grand Caravan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Towing

The CX-9’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Grand Caravan’s (3500 vs. 1600 pounds).

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer memory seats.

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 Grand Caravan 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 Grand Caravan’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully. Only its driver’s window closes automatically.

The Push Button Start standard on the CX-9 allows you to start the engine without removing a key from pocket or purse (CX-9 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s Advanced Keyless Entry and Start will also allow unlocking the driver’s door and cargo door without taking your keys out). The Dodge Grand Caravan doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The CX-9 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The CX-9’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Grand Caravan’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Grand Caravan only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the CX-9 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Grand Caravan doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the CX-9 has standard extendable sun visors. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the CX-9 offers an optional Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Standard Mazda Connect for the CX-9 allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Economic Advantages

The CX-9 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CX-9 will retain 42.75% to 43.92% of its original price after five years, while the Grand Caravan only retains 35.14% to 40.13%.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-9, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Dodge Grand Caravan isn't recommended.

The CX-9 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 4 of the last 12 years. The Grand Caravan 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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