2020 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mazda CX-9 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 Land Rover Discovery Sport doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature has a standard 360° View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Discovery Sport only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the CX-9 and the Discovery Sport 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 and available all wheel drive.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-9 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 31 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Discovery Sport has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Mazda’s powertrain warranty covers the CX-9 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Land Rover covers the Discovery Sport. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Discovery Sport ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Mazda dealers as there are Land Rover dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-9’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 77 points higher than the Discovery Sport.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are better in initial quality than Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 12th in initial quality. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 32nd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 21st in reliability. With 62 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Engine

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The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 4 more horsepower (250 vs. 246) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 269) than the Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 295) than the Discovery Sport P290’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

CX-9

FWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Discovery Sport

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

P290 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. Hybrid

19 city/24 hwy

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

The CX-9 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Discovery Sport (19 vs. 17.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The CX-9 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Discovery Sport (19.5 vs. 17.7 gallons).

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-9’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the Discovery Sport (115.3 inches vs. 107.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-9 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Discovery Sport.

The CX-9 Signature AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Discovery Sport S pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-9 Signature AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Discovery Sport S (26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Discovery Sport (8.8 vs. 8.3 inches), allowing the CX-9 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The CX-9 has 1.9 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear legroom, 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room, 1 inch more third row headroom, 4.1 inches more third row legroom and 6 inches more third row shoulder room than the Discovery Sport.

Cargo Capacity

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

CX-9

Discovery Sport

Behind Third Seat

14.4 cubic feet

4.1 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

38.2 cubic feet

23.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

71.2 cubic feet

55.6 cubic feet

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

CX-9

Discovery Sport

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

21.4”/49.7”/84.5”

8.9”/38.1”/69.7”

Max Width

57.2”

52.1”

Min Width

40”

43.5”

Height

30.3”

n/a

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

Ergonomics

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To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the CX-9 has standard extendable sun visors. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the CX-9 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

Model Availability

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The CX-9 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the CX-9 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CX-9 will cost $50 to $2595 less than the Discovery Sport over a five-year period.

The CX-9 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CX-9 will retain 40.78% to 94.55% of its original price after five years, while the Discovery Sport only retains 42.13% to 42.27%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-9 will be $8099 to $11369 less than for the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/10

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-9, 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 13 years. The Discovery Sport has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Mazda CX-9 outsold the Land Rover Discovery Sport by over two to one during 2019.

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