2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature Review: Mazda At Its Best

2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature tall grass
Mazda is learning lessons.

The third-generation Mazda 6 is is hugely agile and interactive, gorgeous outside, and handsome inside.

+ Strong Mazda dynamics

+ Torquey powerplant
+ Big second row space
+ Not the typical choice
+ Hugely attractive
– Dreadful A/C
– Tiny third row
– Missing key equipment
– LATCH access sucks
– Whole lotta money
It's also dreadfully unpopular, a genuine marketplace flop. The 6 offers no high-power engine, rides stiffly, and lacks the dramatic reduction in noise, vibration, and harshness we've come to expect even from mainstream family vehicles in 2016.

Mazda's second effort at the three-row crossover, the second incarnation of the CX-9, couldn't succeed purely on the merits of a pretty face and on-road poise. 

The price point is too high, competitors have come too far, and the first-generation CX-9 was so rare that built-in loyalty remains a scarcely existent force for the automaker's most expensive product.

The 2016 Mazda CX-9, however, is not merely Mazda's version of a jacked-up 6 wagon. The Mazda CX-9 is surprisingly agile, gorgeous inside and out, plenty powerful, rides smoothly, and is sufficiently quiet inside.

Yet given the nameplate's history, that's no guarantee of popularity for the second-generation Mazda CX-9.

After Brexit: British Auto Brand Sales In The United Kingdom In 2016

2016 Bentley Mulsanne Blue
Jaguar and Land Rover are owned by Tata. Mini and Rolls-Royce are in BMW's hands. Bentley belongs to Volkswagen. Vauxhall is a General Motors outlet.

You get the picture. The "British" auto industry of 2016 has very little to do with specific "British" auto bands and everything to do with a large number of automakers, including Nissan, Toyota, General Motors, and Honda.

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars In The UK In 2015
Here's The State Of The British Auto Industry In America

Nevertheless, there remains a unique Britishness when it comes to a consumer considering the purchase of a new Bentley or Aston Martin. 

With the UK's Brexit vote ending in a Leave result – the United Kingdom has chosen to leave the European Union – we thought there was no time like the present to look at the UK sales performance of traditional British brands in their homeland. 

After Brexit: Here's The State Of The British Auto Industry In America

2017 Jaguar F-Pace S
The UK's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is tasked with, according to the SMMT, promoting "the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad."

Prior to the June 23 Brexit vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the SMMT insisted that voting remain was critical to the UK automotive industry. Brexit could jeopardise jobs, automakers were in agreement that remaining was important, and pointed to the UK's 800,000 auto industry jobs and its £15.5 billion contribution to the economy as reasons to stay in the European Union.

But the Brexit vote to leave, led largely by UKIP's Nigel Farage, produced a 52% in favour result, a margin of victory valued at 1.27 million votes. Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron will resign. Economic predictors, predicted to stabilize, rode a rollercoaster overnight. Says the SMMT's Mike Hawes today: "Government must now maintain economic stability and secure a deal with the EU which safeguards UK automotive interests. This includes securing tariff-free access to European and other global markets."

Ferrari U.S. Sales In 2016: Better Than Hyundai Equus, Audi A4 Allroad, Volvo V60 CC, Acura RLX

2012 ferrari ff
How does one measure the sales success of a five-year-old luxury sedan from a mainstream automaker, a car which will soon be released in second-generation form under an all-new luxury banner?

Compare it with Ferrari, of course.

Through the first five months of 2016, Hyundai USA sold 904 copies of their Equus sedan, a 9% year-over-year decrease for the cut-price Mercedes-Benz S-Class alternative.

Just how rare does that make the Equus? According to The Wall Street Journal, Ferrari sold 960 cars in America during the same period.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5T Review – Downright Competitive

2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5T
Times have changed. Expectations have been altered.

A decade ago, in 2006, GM Canada sold more than 18,000 Chevrolet Malibus and more than 18,000 Pontiac G6s.

+ Terrific ride and handling

+ Cooperative transmission
+ Straightforward interior
+ Roomy back seat
+ Rather stylish, no?
– No seat bolstering
– Interior's hard plastics
– The competition is excellent
– 1.5T isn't a wonder
– Poor visibility
Not only is GM Canada no longer the force it was then – GM's Canadian market share is currently 13.1%, down from 25.9% in 2006 – but the midsize sedan market has taken a tumble.

The Malibu and its rivals, a list which no longer includes the G6 from GM's defunct Pontiac brand, will struggle to generate 100,000 Canadian sales in 2016, a 40% drop over the course of a decade.

Under the midsize segment's cloud, GM is releasing an all-new Malibu. The intermediate car market may be shrinking both north and south of the border, but it's still a vast and highly competitive market in the United States. 

GM could sell more than a quarter-million Malibus in the U.S. this year.

There's no point giving up on such volume simply because 460,000 buyers will choose a GM small SUV/crossover instead; particularly now that GM has completely sorted out how to make a midsize sedan handle and ride very, very well, indeed.

Small And Midsize Luxury SUV Sales In Canada - May 2016 YTD

2016 Audi Q3
A trio of compact German luxury crossovers showed up to a Canadian race in May 2016 and left with essentially the same scores.

Canada Vehicle Sales By Model - April 2016 YTD
Canada SUV/Crossover Sales By Model - May 2016 YTD

Only 13 sales separated Canada's top-selling compact luxury utility vehicle, the Audi Q3, from the lowest-volume vehicle in the trio, BMW's X1. The Mercedes-Benz GLA finished May only three sales back of the Audi; only ten sales ahead of the BMW.

Large Luxury SUV Sales In Canada - May 2016 YTD

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS63 AMG
Despite an industry-wide slowdown caused in part by May 2016's abbreviated Canadian auto sales calendar – which didn't begin until May 3, strangely – full-size luxury SUVs posted a 7% increase. 

Canada Vehicle Sales By Model - April 2016 YTD
Canada SUV/Crossover Sales By Model - May 2016 YTD

Thanks to gains from the Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, Lexus LX570, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, sales of flagship luxury SUVs were on the rise as new vehicle sales declined. Indeed, this group of luxury SUVs grew faster than the overall SUV/crossover sector, which jumped 5.3% in May 2016.

What's Going On At GoodCarBadCar In June 2016?

Every month, you visit GoodCarBadCar.net in order to examine a wealth of U.S. and Canadian best seller lists, segment breakdowns, brand rankings, and sales tracking pages. Yet every month, content supplied by GCBC's founder, Timothy Cain, is published at Autofocus.ca and The Truth About Cars.

Here's a more detailed rundown of some of the May 2016 YTD-oriented content you can read elsewhere.