With almost 27,000 miles on the odometer and countless road tips, photo shoots, and weekend errands, my time shepherding our long-term 2017 Mazda CX-9 will soon be ending, and I find myself reflecting back on some of the less exciting and adventurous parts of my year of “ownership.”
During my 11 months with the CX-9, I’ve taken the vehicle in for service at my local dealer, South Bay Mazda in Torrance, California, three times. At each of these services, the CX-9 has had its oil changed and tires rotated. During the second service, the cabin air filter was replaced and a minor issue with the sunroof seal was repaired. In the course of my chaperoning period, I also picked up a nail in the CX-9’s tire, which had to be patched. All in, including the tire patch, I’ve spent $316.25 on basic maintenance and an additional $155.10 on other issues. The friendly service representatives at South Bay Mazda have always worked quickly to make my visits as enjoyable as possible. I would never make an automotive purchasing decision based on my experience with any one dealership, but it definitely helps lessen the sting when it comes to spending your hard-earned money on maintenance.
When I hopped into the CX-9 after an abnormally long stretch of out-of-state and international travel, I noticed that the interior was holding up pretty well. For the most part, the CX-9 looks as good today as it did when I first got the keys 11 months ago. The leather and other soft surfaces have withstood the abuse that a vehicle takes after driving 27,000 miles in less than a year. The one glaring exception to this observation, though, is the heavily scratched piano black finish on the center console and door armrest. As good as piano black may look in a design sketch, it just doesn’t make sense to use it on a surface that takes so much abuse. I would rather have more durable but less attractive textured black plastic on those surfaces than for it to look like a cheap pair of road-worn sunglasses that flew out of someone’s car onto the highway.
With only a month or so to go with the CX-9, I’ll continue to enjoy my time with it. I don’t know yet what my next long-term test vehicle will be, but whatever it is, I hope it will provide me with as much enjoyment as the Mazda has.