Family SUV – Toyota Vs Mazda




The Family SUV is on our radar. We compare the two top contenders in our opinion so far for 2017. The Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD and the Toyota Kluger GXL AWD. The Mazda brand continues to stand out with the arrival of the 2017 Mazda Cx-9 and turn heads, with their progressive design. But is it enough to lure the buyer away from the original heavy hitter in the Family SUV class – the ever trustworthy Toyota Kluger? It is a very close contest and for good reason.






It used to be that the Family SUV was purchased because of the 7- seat capacity or towing ability but not anymore. Car manufacturers have created people movers that don’t look like people movers and Mazda has played a defining role in this.

Let’s start with Mazda’s own words, ‘designed to be practical but elegant’. We agree and also believe this car is a game changer, bridging the gap between mainstream brands and European brands but without the price tag.



Good looking sporty exterior design with deep angled grille, long hood and an integrated rear spoiler. Dare we say it? The Mazda CX-9 has an aggressive stance back and front. There is no denying, this is a good-looking car.

  • Achieves maximum 5-star ANCAP Safety rating
  • MZD connect
  • Active Driving Display projects to the windscreen safety and navigation alerts
  • i-ACTIVSENSE, designed to help prevent accidents. Includes; Radar Cruise Control, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring and Forward and Rear Collision Warning Alert with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
  • A ground-breaking pressure turbo engine in a 4-cylinder engine providing smooth immediate power
  • Delivers 420 Nm of torque and 170nKw of power achieved at lower RPM
  • i-ACTIVE AWD constantly monitors road conditions and adjusts traction to suit giving assurance and confidence
  • European like quality interior and design finishes
  • Leather seats
  • Easy access to 3rd row, Kluger a little easier
  • Tablet like connect screen
  • 8inch central infotainment screen managed by the MZD Connect System
  • 4 x USB ports through the cabin
  • 6 speaker sound system
  • 18inch alloys
  • 3Yr unlimited Klms
  • Towing 2000Kg

8.4L P/100Kms




Traditionalists will appreciate the subtle changes to the 2017 Toyota Kluger, just enough to get people noticing but not too much to alienate the loyalists. The Toyota Kluger has dominated the Family SUV class for years. What we are finding now is when our Toyota loyalists come to us to update their current Toyota Kluger they are throwing the Mazda CX-9 into the mix. Before you jump to the final conclusion let’s not forget Toyota has a strong history with its loyal customer base and the latest model continues to deliver in our view.

Before you jump to the final conclusion don’t forget Toyota has a strong history with its loyal customer base and the latest model continues to deliver in our view.


Small design changes of note; exterior is looking more sporty and the new 18inch multi-spoke ‘turbine’ style alloys look the deal and the interior cabin has been spruced up with some silver highlights. Just enough of a refresh for the traditionalists.

  • 5-star ANCAP Safety rating
  • 7 air-bags
  • Rear view camera
  • ABS (Anti-skid brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution) but no AEB ( Autonomous Emergency Braking )
  • New 3.5litre petrol V6 with direct injection for improved performance
  • Power now 218Kw at 6600rpm
  • Torque is 350Nm
  • New 8 speed gearbox
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Roof rails
  • Premium steering wheel and gear knob
  • Leather accented seats, front heated
  • Quality finishes that are more practical than plush
  • Considered useful storage throughout
  • Flat foot space in 2nd-row allowing more legroom
  • Reasonable 3rd-row seating
  • 8inch touch screen infotainment system
  • Satellite navigation
  • 4 x USB ports
  • 6 speaker sound system
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Towing 2000kg

10.6L P/100Kms


These two Family SUVs the Toyota Kluger GXL AWD and the Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD drive really well and both do the job of being a comfortable Family SUV. However, it is the Mazda that comes standard with the latest bells and whistles. This combined with a fresh sporty new look is what has us excited. It’s not from the German stable but it almost could be. It just doesn’t come with the same price tag!

If its power at the lights and in a straight line that pushes your buttons then the Toyota Kluger has that well sorted.  In addition, Toyota has built a legacy based on reliability and hauling people; the go-to Family SUV.

We are talking nuances here between the two that is how close these two Family Suv’s come.

However, the new Mazda CX-9 has the more efficient engine, with sophisticated active safety features as standard. It is the Mazda that has delivered a game changer in our view. They have held true to Japanese quality but closed the gap between mainstream brands and what are consider luxury German brands.

Finally, as we are considering a Family SUV the cost is critical and we can’t look past the value for money in the Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD. There is quite a price difference between the two based on recommended retail.


In conclusion, it is our humble opinion, that the Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD is the winner of the Family SUV comparison based on value for money, styling and active safety features that come standard.

The Mazda CX-9 look has us wanting it as a family car we want to drive and not because we need to tow or need 7 seats but because it is a really good looking car that is for the driver.

P.S This comparison is between the two heavy hitters in the market and the two we are receiving the most inquiry on. However, we would also strongly recommend the Kia Sorrento based on price, warranty and the option of a diesel engine to throw into the mix in the Family SUV class.

P.P.S We are not the only ones who arrived at this view. The Mazda CX-9 was awarded car of the year by the prestigious motoring magazine Wheels.


Want to learn more Call Us and we will happily answer you questions.

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