2020 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2021 Volkswagen Atlas

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/06/05

Both the CX-9 and the Atlas have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 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 Mazda CX-9 is safer than the Volkswagen Atlas:

CX-9

Atlas

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

212

232

Neck Injury Risk

26%

34%

Neck Stress

309 lbs.

441 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

51 lbs.

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

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Mazda CX-9 is safer than the Volkswagen Atlas:

CX-9

Atlas

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.4 inches

.5 inches

Hip Force

195 lbs.

345 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

249

279

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

51 G’s

Hip Force

553 lbs.

800 lbs.

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

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 Atlas last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

© 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 2020/06/05

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

The CX-9’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Atlas’ (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

© 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 2020/06/05

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 74 points higher than the Atlas.

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 12th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda second in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 27th.

Engine

© 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 2020/06/05

The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 15 more horsepower (250 vs. 235) and 62 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 258) than the Atlas’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 266) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Mazda CX-9 is faster than the Volkswagen Atlas V6:

CX-9

Atlas

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

19 sec

20.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.5 sec

8.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.4 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.7 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

116 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 2020/06/05

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

MPG

CX-9

FWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Atlas

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/24 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/23 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/24 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/22 hwy

The CX-9 AWD’s standard fuel tank has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Atlas (19.5 vs. 18.6 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/06/05

The CX-9 stops much shorter than the Atlas:

CX-9

Atlas

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

139 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/06/05

The CX-9 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the CX-9 flat and controlled during cornering. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The CX-9 Signature AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CX-9 Signature AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Atlas SEL 4Motion (26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

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

Chassis

© 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 2020/06/05

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the CX-9 Signature AWD is quieter than the Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion:

CX-9

Atlas

At idle

37 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

68 dB

Towing

© 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 2020/06/05

The CX-9’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Atlas’ (3500 vs. 2000 pounds).

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/06/05

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 Atlas doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the CX-9 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Atlas only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-9’s headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Atlas’ headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/06/05

Insurance will cost less for the CX-9 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CX-9 will cost $650 less than the Atlas 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 Atlas only retains 39.77% to 41.75%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-9 is less expensive to operate than the Atlas because it costs $291 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-9 than the Atlas, including $317 less for a muffler, $48 less for front brake pads, $433 less for a starter, $298 less for fuel injection, $167 less for front struts, $292 less for a timing belt/chain and $436 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/06/05

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-9, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its August 2017 issue and the Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD won out over the Volkswagen Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion.

The CX-9 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 4 of the last 13 years. The Atlas 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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