2019 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2020 Kia Telluride

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the CX-9 and the Telluride 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, 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 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Telluride has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The CX-9’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Telluride runs out after 100,000 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 21 points higher than the Telluride.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.

Engine

The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 262) than the Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Mazda CX-9 is faster than the Kia Telluride:

CX-9

Telluride

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.4 sec

3.7 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

CX-9

FWD

2.5 Turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.5 Turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Telluride

FWD

3.8 DOHC V6

20 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.8 DOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-9 has larger tires than the Telluride (255/60R18 vs. 245/60R18).

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-9’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Telluride (115.3 inches vs. 114.2 inches).

The CX-9 Signature AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Telluride SX 4x4 pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Telluride (8.8 vs. 8 inches), allowing the CX-9 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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

CX-9

Telluride

Full-Throttle

71 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

67 dB

Passenger Space

The front step up height for the CX-9 is 1.2 inches lower than the Telluride (18.3” vs. 19.5”). The CX-9’s rear step up height is .5 inches lower than the Telluride’s (18.8” vs. 19.3”).

Ergonomics

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 Telluride doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The CX-9 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Telluride EX/SX.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda CX-9 and the Kia Telluride, 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 Telluride 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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