2019 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2019 Toyota Sienna

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 Sienna scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the CX-9 and the Sienna 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.

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 Sienna:




Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

1.3/.2 kN

4.3/.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia index R/L



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


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

As tested in Car and Driver the Mazda CX-9 is faster than the Toyota Sienna:




Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

6.9 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.4 sec

3.7 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.7 sec

5.2 sec

Top Speed

132 MPH

112 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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







2.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

22 city/28 hwy

19 city/27 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto


2.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

20 city/26 hwy

18 city/24 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-9 stops shorter than the Sienna:





70 to 0 MPH

178 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

156 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-9 has larger tires than the Sienna (255/60R18 vs. 235/60R17).

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 Sienna L/LE/XLE. The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Sienna SE.

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 Toyota Sienna 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 Sienna 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 Sienna’s (56.3% to 43.7%). This gives the CX-9 more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a 2.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Sienna (8.8 vs. 6.6 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 200 to 350 pounds less than the Toyota Sienna.

Passenger Space

The CX-9 has .5 inches more front legroom and 1.8 inches more rear legroom than the Sienna.


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 Sienna doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Sienna doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the CX-9 and the Sienna offer available heated front seats. The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Sienna.

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 Sienna doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-9 is less expensive to operate than the Sienna because it costs $324 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-9 than the Sienna, including $222 less for a starter, $191 less for fuel injection, $98 less for a fuel pump and $271 less for a timing belt/chain.


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