2020 Chrysler Pacifica vs. 2019 Mazda CX-9

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Chrysler Pacifica 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 Mazda CX-9 doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Pacifica has standard Rear Park Assist with Stop that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The CX-9 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Compared to metal, the Pacifica’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-9 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Pacifica and the CX-9 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

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

Pacifica

CX-9

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

There are over 4 times as many Chrysler dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pacifica’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Pacifica has a standard 180-amp alternator (220-amp - Pacifica optional). The CX-9’s 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chrysler vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chrysler 16th in reliability. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Pacifica Hybrid’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 10 more horsepower (260 vs. 250) than the CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder. The Pacifica’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 37 more horsepower (287 vs. 250) than the CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chrysler Pacifica V6 is faster than the Mazda CX-9:

Pacifica

CX-9

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.1 sec

13.4 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.5 sec

4.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.4 MPH

87.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

On the EPA test cycle the Pacifica Hybrid running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the CX-9 FWD (87 city/76 hwy MPGe vs. 22 city/28 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Pacifica Hybrid running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the CX-9 FWD (29 city/30 hwy vs. 22 city/28 hwy).

The Pacifica Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 32 miles. The CX-9 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the Pacifica Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Pacifica’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-9 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chrysler Pacifica uses regular unleaded gasoline. The CX-9 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Pacifica has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chrysler Pacifica higher (7 out of 10) than the Mazda CX-9 (3). This means the Pacifica produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CX-9 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chrysler Pacifica, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-9.

The Pacifica Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Pacifica’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-9:

Pacifica

CX-9

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.8 inches

The Pacifica stops much shorter than the CX-9:

Pacifica

CX-9

70 to 0 MPH

164 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

The Pacifica’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The CX-9 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pacifica’s wheelbase is 6.3 inches longer than on the CX-9 (121.6 inches vs. 115.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Pacifica is 3 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the CX-9.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Pacifica uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The CX-9 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Pacifica uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The CX-9 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

The Pacifica offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the CX-9 can only carry 7.

The Pacifica has 30 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-9 (165.1 vs. 135.1).

The Pacifica has .8 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 2.3 inches more front hip room, 5.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 7.4 inches more rear hip room, 4.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 3.3 inches more third row headroom, 6.8 inches more third row legroom, 9.4 inches more third row hip room and 8.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the CX-9.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pacifica’s middle and third row seats recline. The CX-9’s third row seats don’t recline.

The front step up height for the Pacifica is 2 inches lower than the CX-9 (16.3” vs. 18.3”). The Pacifica’s rear step up height is .6 inches lower than the CX-9’s (18.2” vs. 18.8”).

Cargo Capacity

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

Pacifica

CX-9

Behind Third Seat

32.3 cubic feet

14.4 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

87.5 cubic feet

38.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

140.5 cubic feet

71.2 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Pacifica easier. The Pacifica’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 24.3 inches, while the CX-9’s liftover is 31.6 inches.

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

Pacifica

CX-9

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

23.2”/57.5”/92.5”

21.4”/49.7”/84.5”

Max Width

49.3”

57.2”

Min Width

48.8”

40”

Height

47.6”

30.3”

The Pacifica has standard Stow ‘n Go™ second and third row seats (except Hybrid for the second row), which fold flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The CX-9 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Pacifica’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The CX-9 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Pacifica. The CX-9 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Pacifica’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The Pacifica’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the CX-9’s (3600 vs. 3500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The Pacifica has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The CX-9 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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The Pacifica Limited non-Hybrid’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The CX-9 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Pacifica’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The CX-9 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Pacifica and the CX-9 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Pacifica is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-9 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Pacifica’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The CX-9’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Pacifica has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The CX-9 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

The Pacifica’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda charges extra for heated mirrors on the CX-9.

When the Pacifica Limited is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The CX-9’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Pacifica Limited has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CX-9 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Pacifica (except Touring L/Hybrid Touring) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Pacifica (except Hybrid Touring)’s optional ParkSense Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, steering and operating the brakes. The CX-9 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pacifica is less expensive to operate than the CX-9 because it costs $291 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pacifica than the CX-9, including $746 less for a water pump, $37 less for fuel injection, $87 less for a fuel pump, $4 less for front struts, $214 less for a timing belt/chain and $287 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Pacifica second among minivans in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The CX-9 isn’t in the top three.

The Chrysler Pacifica outsold the Mazda CX-9 by over four to one during 2018.

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