2019 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2019 Lexus RXL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the CX-9 and the RXL 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

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 RXL has not been fully tested, yet.


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


The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 47 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 263) than the RX 350L’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda CX-9 is faster than the RX 350L:




Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

15.8 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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








2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy



2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

RXL Series



350 3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy



350 3.5 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda CX-9 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The RX 450hL requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The CX-9 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the RXL Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-9 stops much shorter than the RXL:





60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-9 has larger tires than the RXL (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 RXL’s standard 65 series tires. The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the RXL’s optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-9’s wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer than on the RXL (115.3 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-9 is .9 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the RXL.

The CX-9 Signature AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the RX 350L AWD pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-9 Signature AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the RX 350L (26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the RXL (8.8 vs. 8.2 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 250 to 500 pounds less than the Lexus RXL.

Passenger Space

The CX-9 has .9 inches more front hip room, 8.5 inches more rear legroom, 1.6 inches more rear hip room, .3 inches more rear shoulder room, .6 inches more third row headroom, 6.2 inches more third row legroom and 7.4 inches more third row shoulder room than the RXL.

Cargo Capacity

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




Third Seat Folded

38.2 cubic feet

33.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

71.2 cubic feet

70.7 cubic feet


The CX-9’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RXL’s (3500 vs. 0 pounds).

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-9 is less expensive to operate than the RXL because it costs $108 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-9 than the RXL, including $59 less for a water pump, $83 less for a muffler, $39 less for front brake pads, $411 less for a starter, $83 less for fuel injection, $892 less for a timing belt/chain and $1393 less for a power steering pump.


Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda CX-9 and the Lexus RXL, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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