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2020 Mazda CX-9 Review: CX-9 vs. Kia Telluride

2020 Mazda CX-9 Review: CX-9 vs. Kia Telluride

Competition in the three-row SUV market is hotting up as more and more people discover the convenience, comfort, and power that the format offers. One of the most popular and well-established models in this segment is the Mazda CX-9, now in its second generation after over a decade of development and refinement.

However, there's a new rival on the scene, the Kia Telluride. How do the two cars compare? Read our 2020 Mazda CX-9 vs. Kia Telluride review to find out.

Powertrain and Performance


Powertrain and Performance


In terms of raw power, the Telluride has the edge over the CX-9, producing 291 horsepower compared to the Mazda's 227hp. However, that's far from the end of the story. Using high-octane fuel in the Mazda pushes its horsepower much closer at 250hp, but it's in the torque ratings that the CX-9 really shines.


The CX-9 produces up to 320lb-ft of torque compared to the Kia's 262lb-ft, and what's more, the Mazda's power is available at the low revolutions point of just 2,000rpm.


In practice, it means that the Mazda has far more responsive acceleration performance, both from a standing start and when passing, even if the top-line output isn't quite as high.

Fuel Economy


Fuel Economy


In fuel economy terms, the CX-9 is the outright winner. The Kia produces its extra power through a thirsty 3.7L V8 engine, leading to figures of 12.3L / 100km in the city and 9.8L / 100km on the highway.


The 2020 Mazda CX-9 has a 2.5L turbocharged engine which is considerably more efficient, producing much more economical ratings of 11.6L / 100km in the city and an excellent 9.1L / 100km for highway driving.

Transmission and Ride Quality


The Mazda is fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission, which may at first glance seem a little basic compared to the Kia's eight-speed model. However, the number of gears doesn't give the full picture.


The Mazda's transmission is closely matched to the engine output - particularly the high torque at low revs - to give an exceptionally smooth drive, with reviewers reporting impressively seamless shifting at precisely the right times.


There's nothing wrong with the Kia's transmission, but for sheer ride quality, the Mazda has a definite advantage.

Safety Features


Both cars received the top-pick safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and both feature impressive active safety systems as standard. Highlights on both cars include:


- Forward collision warnings with emergency braking and pedestrian detection.

- Blind spot monitoring.

- Rear cross-traffic alert.

- Lane keeping assistance with departure warnings.


Moving up the trims adds extra features to both SUVs, including a head-up display and driver alert systems. However, only the Mazda offers the option of a 360-degree camera for excellent all-round traffic visibility.

2020 Mazda CX-9 vs Kia Telluride Review: The Verdict


2020 Mazda CX-9 vs Kia Telluride Review


Both the CX-9 and the Telluride are excellent SUVs, packed with features and with great safety records. However, the immaculate ride quality, the zippy acceleration performance, and the superior fuel economy put the 2020 Mazda CX-9 firmly out in front.

Categories: Mazda CX Comparison, Mazda CX-9, CX-9 vs. Kia Telluride