2020 Toyota Sequoia vs. 2019 Mazda CX-9

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Sequoia 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 or rear seat belts.

The Sequoia’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 Sequoia’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 Sequoia and the CX-9 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available four-wheel drive.

The Toyota Sequoia weighs 1347 to 1783 pounds more than the Mazda CX-9. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Sequoia for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-9.

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

Reliability

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sequoia second among large suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The CX-9 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Mazda is ranked third.

Engine

The Sequoia’s 5.7 DOHC V8 produces 131 more horsepower (381 vs. 250) and 91 lbs.-ft. more torque (401 vs. 310) than the CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Sequoia is faster than the Mazda CX-9:

Sequoia

CX-9

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10.7 sec

13.4 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.2 sec

4.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

87.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The Sequoia has 7.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-9 FWD’s standard fuel tank (26.4 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Sequoia has 6.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-9 AWD’s standard fuel tank (26.4 vs. 19.5 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Sequoia higher (5 out of 10) than the Mazda CX-9 (3). This means the Sequoia produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CX-9 every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Sequoia

CX-9

Front Rotors

13.9 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.8 inches

The Sequoia’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the CX-9 are solid, not vented.

The Sequoia stops shorter than the CX-9:

Sequoia

CX-9

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sequoia has larger tires than the CX-9 (275/65R18 vs. 255/60R18).

Suspension and Handling

The Sequoia offers an available 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 Sequoia offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sequoia’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the CX-9 (122 inches vs. 115.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Sequoia is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 3.9 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-9.

The Sequoia’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.4% to 49.6%) than the CX-9’s (54.7% to 45.3%). This gives the Sequoia more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Sequoia’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the CX-9’s (38.1 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Sequoia Platinum has a greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-9 (9.6 vs. 8.8 inches), allowing the Sequoia to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Sequoia’s minimum ground clearance is 1.2 inches higher than on the CX-9 (10 vs. 8.8 inches).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Sequoia Platinum 4x4 is quieter than the CX-9 Signature AWD (71 vs. 73 dB).

Passenger Space

The Sequoia has standard seating for 8 passengers; the CX-9 can only carry 7.

The Sequoia has 1.5 inches more front legroom, 5.8 inches more front hip room, 8.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear legroom, 2.5 inches more rear hip room, 7.5 inches more rear shoulder room, 5.6 inches more third row legroom, 10.3 inches more third row hip room and 12.6 inches more third row shoulder room than the CX-9.

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Sequoia

CX-9

Behind Third Seat

18.9 cubic feet

14.4 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

66.6 cubic feet

38.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

120.1 cubic feet

71.2 cubic feet

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

Sequoia

CX-9

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

18.5”/52.5”/90.5”

21.4”/49.7”/84.5”

Max Width

54.5”

57.2”

Min Width

50”

40”

Height

36”

30.3”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Sequoia’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 Sequoia. The CX-9 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The Sequoia’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The CX-9’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The Sequoia’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the CX-9’s (7100 vs. 3500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The Sequoia 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 engine in the Sequoia is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the CX-9. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

The Sequoia 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

The Sequoia Platinum’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel 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 Sequoia’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.

If the front windows are left open on the Sequoia the driver can close them at the outside door handle. 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.

Consumer Reports rated the Sequoia’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the CX-9’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Sequoia has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CX-9 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Sequoia 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 Sequoia’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 Sequoia Platinum 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 Sequoia Limited/Platinum/TRD Pro 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 Sequoia (except SR5/TRD Sport/TRD Pro) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, 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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sequoia is less expensive to operate than the CX-9 because typical repairs cost much less on the Sequoia than the CX-9, including $626 less for a water pump, $272 less for a muffler and $512 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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