2021 Mazda CX-9 vs 2021 Toyota Highlander| Milwaukee

2021 CX-9 vs 2021 Highlander

Crossovers and SUVs are incredibly popular. People like them for different reasons, but most people would agree that practicality, seating, and space are high on that list. Two vehicles currently available with those traits are the Mazda CX-9 and the Toyota Highlander. So, let’s take a look at them.

Below, you’ll find our comparison of the 2021 Mazda CX-9 Signature and the 2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum. Which three-row SUV is the better one? We’ll let you decide.

2021 Mazda CX-9 Signature


2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum

$46,805 MSRP $47,065
2.5L turbo 4-cyl Engine 3.5L V6
250 hp / 320 lb-ft Horsepower / Torque 295 hp / 263 lb-ft
6-speed auto Transmission 8-speed auto
AWD Drivetrain FWD or AWD (+$1,950)
20/26/23 Fuel Economy 20/27/23

New Three-row SUV near Milwaukee

Better Drivability

The only thing the 2021 Highlander has over the CX-9 is horsepower, but it’s an empty victory. The 2021 Highlander doesn’t do anything with it. Acceleration is tepid, like the transmission can’t translate the power from the engine to the road. Related to that, its steering feels light, which is compounded by a lack of feedback. Not only that, but even top-tier Highlander doesn’t come standard with AWD.

The 2021 CX-9 has none of these problems. The extra torque from the turbocharger is a huge improvement over the Highlander. The acceleration is immediate. The six-speed automatic is quick to downshift when necessary. The steering has a comfortable feel of weight to it that is very reassuring. Oh yeah, and the CX-9 Signature trim comes standard with AWD.

High-Quality Construction

Recently, Mazda vehicles, like the CX-9, have begun to become more and more luxurious. Part of that is the interior. With genuine wood accents, aluminum inlays, and Nappa leather upholstery in the CX-9, it’s hard not to feel like you’re behind the wheel of something much more expensive. Reviews from numerous publications have compared the Mazda CX-9 to the likes of German luxury brands.

Interested in a 2021 Mazda CX-9? Give Hall Cars a call.