2020 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2020 Lexus GX460

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For better protection of the passenger compartment, the CX-9 uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The GX460 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the CX-9 and the GX460 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

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 GX460 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 2 times as many Mazda dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-9’s warranty.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the CX-9’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the GX460’s camshafts. If the GX460’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

Engine

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As tested in Car and Driver the Mazda CX-9 is faster than the Lexus GX460:

CX-9

GX460

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

19 sec

21.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.5 sec

7.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.4 sec

3.7 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.7 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

111 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/08/03

On the EPA test cycle the CX-9 gets better fuel mileage than the GX460:

MPG

CX-9

FWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

GX460

AWD

4.6 DOHC V8

15 city/19 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda CX-9 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GX460 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

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The CX-9 stops shorter than the GX460:

CX-9

GX460

70 to 0 MPH

178 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GX460’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature has standard 20-inch wheels. The GX460’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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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 Lexus GX460 has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-9’s wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer than on the GX460 (115.3 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-9 is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the GX460.

The CX-9 Signature AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the GX460 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CX-9 Signature AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the GX460 (26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CX-9’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the GX460’s (38.8 feet vs. 41.1 feet).

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the GX460 (8.8 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the CX-9 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Mazda CX-9 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 to 900 pounds less than the Lexus GX460.

Unibody construction lowers the CX-9’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The GX460 uses body-on-frame design instead.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the CX-9 Signature AWD is quieter than the GX460:

CX-9

GX460

At idle

37 dB

43 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

66 dB

Passenger Space

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The CX-9 has 5.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GX460 (135.1 vs. 129.7).

The CX-9 has 1.3 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front hip room, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, 5.3 inches more rear legroom, 2.2 inches more rear hip room, .8 inches more rear shoulder room, .2 inches more third row headroom and .4 inches more third row legroom than the GX460.

The front step up height for the CX-9 is 3.4 inches lower than the GX460 (18.3” vs. 21.7”). The CX-9’s rear step up height is 3.2 inches lower than the GX460’s (18.8” vs. 22”).

Cargo Capacity

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The CX-9’s cargo area provides more volume than the GX460.

CX-9

GX460

Behind Third Seat

14.4 cubic feet

11.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

71.2 cubic feet

64.7 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CX-9 easier. The CX-9’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 31.6 inches, while the GX460’s liftover is 33.8 inches.

The CX-9’s cargo area is larger than the GX460’s in almost every dimension:

CX-9

GX460

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

21.4”/49.7”/84.5”

9.8”/39”/75”

Max Width

57.2”

54.6”

Min Width

40”

43.4”

Height

30.3”

35.5”

The CX-9’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The GX460’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the CX-9 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s power cargo door can be opened or closed just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The GX460 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.

Ergonomics

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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 GX460 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-9’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch. The GX460

The CX-9’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The GX460’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The CX-9’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GX460’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

Model Availability

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The CX-9 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GX460 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-9 is less expensive to operate than the GX460 because it costs $27 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-9 than the GX460, including $147 less for a muffler, $484 less for a starter, $204 less for fuel injection, $24 less for a fuel pump, $137 less for a timing belt/chain and $454 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-9 will be $13963 to $14559 less than for the Lexus GX460.

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 2020/08/03

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda CX-9 and the Lexus GX460, 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 GX460 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Mazda CX-9 outsold the Lexus GX460 by 916 units during 2019.

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