GMC Acadia Vs. Mazda CX-9: A Comprehensive Review

Looking for your next family SUV and stuck between the GMC Acadia and Mazda CX-9? You’re in the right place! 

This in-depth review of the GMC Acadia and Mazda CX-9 will help you navigate through the top features, pros, and cons of each vehicle, and guide you towards the SUV that suits your needs best.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureGMC AcadiaMazda CX-9
PerformanceSmooth with V6, underpowered with base engineSporty and engaging
Interior DesignLuxurious and spaciousSleek and minimalist
Seating & SpaceComfortable for 7, tight third rowComfortable but limited third-row space
Fuel EfficiencyGood, varies with engineBetter efficiency
Safety FeaturesMore advanced optionsStandard features
Towing CapacitySignificantLimited
Aesthetic DesignConservative and traditionalSleek and eye-catching

GMC Acadia: Features and Pros

GMC Acadia
GMC Acadia
  1. Performance

The GMC Acadia offers a robust set of engine options, with V6 power providing an energetic driving experience. Its fuel efficiency is commendable, making long road trips a breeze.

  1. Interior and Comfort

With a spacious interior that can accommodate up to seven passengers, the GMC Acadia promises comfort. The high-quality materials give the cabin a luxurious feel, while the user-friendly infotainment system keeps everyone entertained.

  1. Safety Features

The GMC Acadia prioritizes safety, offering an impressive array of standard and optional features such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

  1. Towing Capacity

For those adventurous weekends, the GMC Acadia’s significant towing capacity means you can haul a boat or camper with ease.

GMC Acadia: Cons

  1. Cargo Space

Although spacious for passengers, the GMC Acadia does fall slightly short when it comes to cargo space, especially with all seats occupied.

  1. Base Engine Performance

The base engine option may feel underpowered for some drivers, particularly when fully loaded.

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Mazda CX-9: Features and Pros

Mazda CX-9
Mazda CX-9
  1. Engaging Driving Experience

Mazda CX-9 offers a dynamic driving experience. Its responsive steering and sporty feel make it a joy to drive.

  1. Aesthetic Design

The exterior design of the Mazda CX-9 is sleek and eye-catching, making it stand out on the road.

  1. Fuel Efficiency

Despite its sporty nature, the Mazda CX-9 doesn’t compromise on fuel efficiency, keeping your travel costs in check.

  1. Advanced Technology

The tech-savvy will appreciate the Mazda CX-9’s cutting-edge infotainment system and advanced driver assistance features.

Mazda CX-9: Cons

  1. Limited Third-Row Space

The Mazda CX-9’s third-row seating can be cramped for adult passengers, potentially making it less suitable for large families.

  1. Cargo Capacity

Similar to the GMC Acadia, the Mazda CX-9 has limited cargo space when fully loaded with passengers.

Key Differences Between GMC Acadia and Mazda CX-9

The GMC Acadia and Mazda CX-9, while being contenders in the same market, are different in many aspects. Let’s break down these differences to help you make an informed decision.

  1. Performance and Handling

The GMC Acadia offers a smooth ride, particularly with its V6 engine options. However, if you opt for the base engine, you might find it a bit lacking, especially when the vehicle is loaded.

The Mazda CX-9, on the other hand, shines with its performance. It has a responsive steering and sporty feel that provides a more engaging driving experience. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine offers a punchy performance that’s hard to match.

  1. Interior Design and Comfort

The Acadia emphasizes comfort and luxury. The well-appointed cabin, quality materials, and user-friendly infotainment system all contribute to an upscale feel.

The CX-9, while also luxurious, takes a more minimalist approach. Its sleek and elegant interior design is appealing to the eye but doesn’t necessarily match the Acadia’s opulence.

  1. Seating and Space

The GMC Acadia offers seating for up to seven passengers, with comfortable space in the first and second rows. The third row, however, can be a bit tight, especially for adults.

The Mazda CX-9, though also offering third-row seating, falls behind the Acadia in this regard. The third row is best suited for children or short trips with adults.

  1. Fuel Efficiency

While both vehicles offer decent fuel efficiency, the CX-9 has the edge. The Acadia’s performance, especially with the V6, can take a toll on its fuel economy.

  1. Safety Features

Both the Acadia and CX-9 prioritize safety, but the Acadia tends to have more advanced features available, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. These advanced safety features can be a decisive factor for many buyers.

  1. Towing Capacity

The Acadia clearly leads in this department, with a towing capacity that significantly outpaces the CX-9. This is essential for those who plan to haul heavy loads regularly.

  1. Aesthetic Design

The Mazda CX-9 offers a sleek, eye-catching design that stands out on the road. Its athletic build contrasts with the more conservative and traditional design of the GMC Acadia.

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FAQ Section

What does GMC Acadia compare to?

Apart from the Mazda CX-9, the GMC Acadia can be compared to other midsize SUVs like the Chevrolet Traverse and Honda Pilot.

What car is comparable to Acadia?

The Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, and Honda Pilot are commonly compared to the GMC Acadia.

Are Mazda CX-9 SUVs reliable?

Yes, the Mazda CX-9 has earned praise for its reliability, with good ratings in most major reliability surveys.

What Mazda is replacing the CX-9?

As of my knowledge cut-off date, there’s no specific information about a replacement model for the Mazda CX-9.

Which SUV is better, Traverse or Acadia?

Both have their merits, but the GMC Acadia generally offers a more luxurious interior, while the Chevrolet Traverse has more cargo space.

What is the reliability of a GMC Acadia?

The GMC Acadia has a mixed reputation for reliability. Newer models have seen improvements, but it’s advisable to consult specific year reviews and recall information.

When it comes to choosing between the GMC Acadia and Mazda CX-9, the decision largely depends on individual needs and preferences. If performance and interior luxury are priorities, the GMC Acadia might be your choice. If you’re after a sporty, fuel-efficient drive, the Mazda CX-9 could be the way to go.

Test drive both and see which one speaks to you. Ultimately, both the GMC Acadia and Mazda CX-9 offer a compelling set of features that make them strong contenders in the midsize SUV market.


Choosing between the GMC Acadia and Mazda CX-9 boils down to personal preferences and specific needs. If towing capacity, interior luxury, and advanced safety features are your top priorities, the Acadia might be the better choice. If you value sporty performance, fuel efficiency, and aesthetic design, the CX-9 could be the way to go.

These differences underscore the importance of understanding your individual requirements and priorities. Taking both vehicles for a test drive will undoubtedly provide valuable insights into which SUV is the right fit for you and your family. Both the GMC Acadia and Mazda CX-9 offer unique characteristics that cater to different tastes, lifestyles, and needs, making them stand out in the highly competitive midsize SUV market.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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