It isn’t often you find a vehicle that makes you question the one you currently own. I love my SUV, but I recently had a chance to test drive a Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD, and was completely blown away. From the beautiful interior to the extensive safety features, the CX-9 offers everything my SUV has and more. I really enjoyed driving it on a recent road trip from Dallas to Austin.
*We partnered with Mazda USA and DriveShop for the purpose of this review. All opinions share are 100% our own.
Texas Road Trip with Mazda
What makes the Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD special?
The Mazda CX-9 is a SUV with four doors that can seat seven people (2 front, 3 middle, and 2 in the back). I was traveling on my own, so there was plenty of room for my luggage both with the back row seats up or down. The Mazda has beautiful Nappa leather seats and Santos rosewood trim on the console and doors.
There’s an easy to use 8” touchscreen dashboard display (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), along with a 12 speaker BOSE audio system. Let’s just say I had a fun time rocking out to the Siriux XM satellite radio on this trip. The music system is truly fantastic.
One thing that makes this vehicle better than mine is all of its safety features. The driving speed is projected in the front window, alongside the speed limit. There’s also lane assist and lane departure warning, and a 360 degree view monitor, allowing drivers to see around the entirety of the SUV.
Perhaps my favorite feature is the heated and air conditioned seats. Yes, you read that correctly, if it gets too hot, there’s a fan to take care of that.
Where to stop between Dallas and Austin
It was a quick and easy hour and half drive from Dallas to Waco, making it the perfect half way stop between Dallas and Austin. I pulled off the highway and headed to my first stop, Magnolia Table. Many people who visit Waco are huge fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines, and their show “Fixer Upper”. I’ve seen the show a handful of times, so I wasn’t sure why everyone is so enamored.
As I pulled into the parking lot of Magnolia Table, I could tell this was no ordinary restaurant. Patrons were taking selfies outside the building and on the outdoor patio, as well as at the walk up coffee bar. Inside was no different, with its delightful black and white decor, inspirational sayings on the wall, and cozy ambience, it was certainly Instagram worthy.
I ordered a cup of coffee and the avocado toast, and I must say, the service was quick and the food was delicious. Magnolia Table prides itself on farm fresh ingredients and old fashioned cooking. It definitely ticked all the boxes.
What is there to do at Magnolia Market?
The next stop was the Magnolia Market Silos, located about 5 minutes from Magnolia Table. I was able to find free street parking, but there are pay lots nearby if it’s crowded.
I think visiting Magnolia during the week is a good idea, because I have heard the weekends can be crazy. The Silos are a complex with several stores, a large grassy area, and food trucks. My first stop was Magnolia Market, a home decor dream store. The store was decked out for the holidays, and I wanted to buy everything.
In the center of the complex is a large grassy area, and families were sprawled out, playing lawn games, having picnics, and enjoying the weather. This area is surrounded by a dozen or so food trucks, serving up everything from BBQ to Mac n’ cheese to pizza.
Other shops to enjoy in this complex include Magnolia Seed and Supply, with gardening tools and a seasonal garden, and Silos Baking Co., a bakery serving up delicious treats. I purchased a half dozen assorted cupcakes to take to my friends in Austin, and it was hard not to eat them all myself!
What to do in Austin
Austin is a major city, with a major university (University of Texas – Austin), so there is a ton to do. I headed to South Congress Avenue with its fun shops like Big Top Candy Shop and Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds (the coolest costume store). It’s my favorite spot to find street art, with plenty of spots just off Congress Avenue.
There’s also trendy stores like TOMS, Cove Boutique, and Teysha Shoes. Be sure to grab a slice of oversized pizza at Home Slice or chips and queso at the infamous Torchy’s Tacos. If you’re looking for the perfect pick me up, hit up Jo’s Coffee.
Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD important specs
- The Mazda CX-9 AWD gets pretty good gas mileage for a SUV, 20 city/28 highway. I traveled just over 400 miles and only had to fill up for gas one time.
- The Signature model is the top end of the CX-9 family. Signature features on this model include the Nappa leather seats, a power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support (very comfortable I might add), the 8” full color touch screen display with BOSE audio system, ventilated and heated front seats, LED interior lighting, and a powered moonroof with sunshade. In the back, passengers have two USB ports available for charging (which my current car doesn’t have and the kids fight over the USB port all the time).
- The CX-9 has a suite of safety features that includes:
• Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring
• Adaptive Front-lighting System
• Distance Recognition Support System and Forward Obstruction Warning
• High Beam Control
• Lane-Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning
• Mazda Radar Cruise Control with stop and go
• Smart Brake Control and City Brake Support (So basically, the car protects you on all levels).
- The vehicle has a 3 yr/36,000 mi basic warranty, and a 5 yr/60,000 mi powertrain warranty.
Have I convinced you this could be your next car? Learn more at Mazda USA.