2020 Toyota Sienna vs. 2019 Mazda CX-9

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Sienna Limited Premium FWD’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The CX-9 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Sienna 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 seat belts.

The Sienna has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Compared to metal, the Sienna’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 Sienna and the CX-9 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Toyota Sienna is safer than the Mazda CX-9:

Sienna

CX-9

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

201

212

Neck Stress

260 lbs.

309 lbs.

Neck Compression

50 lbs.

51 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

35%

40%

Neck Compression

80 lbs.

165 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 Toyota Sienna is safer than the Mazda CX-9:

Sienna

CX-9

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

49

88

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

143

208

Spine Acceleration

52 G’s

54 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

35 G’s

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

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Sienna 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 Sienna’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sienna third among minivans 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 Sienna’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 46 more horsepower (296 vs. 250) than the CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Toyota Sienna is faster than the Mazda CX-9:

Sienna

CX-9

Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

7.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

18.1 sec

21.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.1 sec

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The Sienna has a gallon more fuel capacity than the CX-9 FWD’s standard fuel tank (20 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Toyota Sienna, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-9.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Sienna

CX-9

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.6 inches

The Sienna stops shorter than the CX-9:

Sienna

CX-9

70 to 0 MPH

177 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Sienna can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The CX-9 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sienna’s wheelbase is 4 inches longer than on the CX-9 (119.3 inches vs. 115.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Sienna is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-9.

For better maneuverability, the Sienna AWD’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the CX-9’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.8 feet). The Sienna’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the CX-9’s (37.5 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Passenger Space

The Sienna offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the CX-9 can only carry 7.

The Sienna has 29.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-9 (164.4 vs. 135.1).

The Sienna has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 7.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 8.7 inches more rear hip room, 6.5 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.9 inches more third row headroom, 6.6 inches more third row legroom, 10.2 inches more third row hip room and 8 inches more third row shoulder room than the CX-9.

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

The front step up height for the Sienna is 1.6 inches lower than the CX-9 (16.7” vs. 18.3”).

Cargo Capacity

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

Sienna

CX-9

Behind Third Seat

39.1 cubic feet

14.4 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

n/a

38.2 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

87.1 cubic feet

n/a

Second Seat Folded

117.8 cubic feet

71.2 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

150 cubic feet

71.2 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Sienna easier. The Sienna’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 23.6 inches, while the CX-9’s liftover is 31.6 inches.

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

Sienna

CX-9

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

23.5”/54”/74”

21.4”/49.7”/84.5”

Max Width

51.5”

57.2”

Min Width

47.5”

40”

Height

45”

30.3”

The Sienna has a standard Split & Stow 3rd Row third row seat, which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The CX-9 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

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

Servicing Ease

The Sienna 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 Sienna Limited’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back 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 power windows standard on both the Sienna and the CX-9 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Sienna 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.

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

The Sienna 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.

When the Sienna Limited 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 Sienna Limited 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 Sienna Premium has a 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

Insurance will cost less for the Sienna owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Sienna with a number “5” insurance rate while the CX-9 is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The Sienna will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Sienna will retain 45.34% to 51.03% of its original price after five years, while the CX-9 only retains 42.75% to 43.92%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sienna is less expensive to operate than the CX-9 because typical repairs cost much less on the Sienna than the CX-9, including $540 less for a water pump, $61 less for a muffler, $34 less for front brake pads, $137 less for front struts and $202 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

The Toyota Sienna outsold the Mazda CX-9 by over three to one during 2018.

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

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