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Both the Discovery Sport and CX-9 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery Sport has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The CX-9’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Discovery Sport. But it costs extra on the CX-9.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Discovery Sport’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The CX-9 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.
The Discovery Sport’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Compared to metal, the Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport and the CX-9 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Discovery Sport comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The CX-9’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Discovery Sport’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CX-9’s (6 vs. 5 years).
The Discovery Sport P290’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid produces 36 more horsepower (286 vs. 250) than the CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder.
Regenerative brakes improve the Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport’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.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Land Rover Discovery Sport, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-9.
For better stopping power the Discovery Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-9:
The Discovery Sport’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Discovery Sport offers optional 21-inch wheels. The CX-9’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The CX-9’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Discovery Sport S handles at .82 G’s, while the CX-9 Touring pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Discovery Sport is 1 foot, 6.4 inches shorter than the CX-9, making the Discovery Sport easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Discovery Sport has .2 inches more front headroom and .2 inches more rear headroom than the CX-9.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Discovery Sport with 5+2 Seating’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The CX-9 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Discovery Sport’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the CX-9’s (4409 vs. 3500 pounds).
The Discovery Sport uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CX-9 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
The Discovery Sport 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.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature, the Discovery Sport (except Base) offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The power windows standard on both the Discovery Sport and the CX-9 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Discovery Sport 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.
If the windows are left open on the Discovery Sport the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the CX-9 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Discovery Sport offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CX-9 doesn’t offer headlight washers.
When the Discovery Sport with available tilt-down mirrors 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 Discovery Sport’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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 Discovery Sport HSE offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the CX-9.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Land Rover Discovery Sport offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The CX-9 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Discovery Sport’s optional Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The CX-9 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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