2019 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2019 GMC Acadia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mazda CX-9 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 GMC Acadia doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Both the CX-9 and the Acadia 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, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

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 Acadia was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.


The CX-9’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Acadia’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).


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 GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 18th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda 14 places higher in reliability than GMC.


The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 57 more horsepower (250 vs. 193) and 122 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 188) than the Acadia’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 271) than the Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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








21 city/26 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto


2.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

22 city/28 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto


2.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

20 city/26 hwy

17 city/25 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-9 stops shorter than the Acadia:





60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-9 has larger tires than the Acadia (255/60R18 vs. 235/65R18).

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 Acadia’s standard 65 series tires. The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Acadia’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-9 Sport/Touring has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Acadia.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-9’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the Acadia (115.3 inches vs. 112.5 inches).

The CX-9’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.7% to 45.3%) than the Acadia’s (56.5% to 43.5%). This gives the CX-9 more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Acadia (8.8 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the CX-9 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The CX-9’s minimum ground clearance is 1 inch higher than on the Acadia All Terrain (8.8 vs. 7.8 inches).


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




At idle

37 dB

41 dB


71 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space

The CX-9 has 1 inch more front hip room and 4.1 inches more rear hip room than the Acadia.

Cargo Capacity

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




Behind Third Seat

14.4 cubic feet

12.8 cubic feet

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




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



Max Width




The CX-9’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Acadia’s (3500 vs. 1000 pounds).


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 Acadia 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 Acadia’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically. The Acadia’s optional windows’ passenger windows don’t close automatically.

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 Acadia 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 Acadia’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 Acadia’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 Acadia doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-9 is less expensive to operate than the Acadia because it costs $414 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-9 than the Acadia, including $8 less for a muffler, $89 less for front brake pads, $74 less for a starter, $77 less for fuel injection, $54 less for a timing belt/chain and $404 less for a power steering pump.


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 GMC Acadia Denali AWD third.

The CX-9 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 11 years. The Acadia 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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