Disclosure: The 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD was provided for review purposes only by Mazda courtesy of DriveShop.

I have a few more months until it is time to finalize my pick for a new family-friendly SUV. It has to be one that is capable of handling my daily commutes to work, frequent family road trips, and shopping trips to HomeGoods and Home Depot.  It also needs to maneuver well on parkways. Guys, it has been hard. I am picky. As a 30-something mother, minivans just do not suit my taste and style. SUVs have always been my thing, but these days it seems as though more SUVs are looking very similar to minivans, except for the newly designed 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD SUV. It was love at first sight.

The 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD with its sleek Machine Gray Metallic exterior and complimenting auburn Napa leather interior were a perfect match for me. I loved it, and I loved that it did not look like a ‘mom car’, and it did not feel like I was driving a boat. I could not wait to get behind the wheel to test it out besides, I looked good in it.

The luxurious look and feel of the interior made my daily work commute a breeze. On the sunny days, I enjoyed having the sun kiss my skin through the moon roof, and playing my favorite tunes on the BOSE system.  My six-year-old also enjoyed it. She was so comfy in the second row listening to Mary J. Blige that she drifted off to sleep after an afternoon of shopping and Shake Shack.

The reason I am upgrading from my current 5 passenger compact SUV is that space and comfort are a huge concern, especially since we road trip often with my daughter and one or both grandma’s tagging along. And then there are times when I have my nephew and the backseat it overrun with two car seats, leaving no room for anyone else. The 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD second row seating even with two car seats installed leaves enough room for an average sized adult to sit, and if there are more people traveling with you, they can move to the rear. Thankfully, the second-row seating adjusts to increase legroom for passengers using the third row.

Third-row seating in the CX-9 does not come without sacrifices. You lose on trunk space, which means that if you are road tripping with luggage for seven people it will not all fit in the trunk. You will definitely have to invest in a cargo carrier. But, for the days when you do not have a car full of people the third-row seats easily fold down for more space. That aside, I do love that the rear hatch on the Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD opens and closes at a push of a button! It is very convenient when your arms are full of bags.

The shape of the CX-9 would leave you to believe that it is lacking in the headroom area, but it is not. Headroom is pretty impressive. My husband is 2” away from the 6’ mark had more than enough space.  Our daughter who just reached 48” was excited that she was able to comfortably stand up in the second row. It amazes me at the little things that excite kids.

My current SUV does not have all of the bells and whistles, and this time I plan to go all out. I work hard, so why not treat myself to something I will spend most of my time in? I have to be comfortable. I need convenience and most of all up-to-date safety features. The 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD is packed with high-tech features that make commuting safe and convenient all of which moms need in a car, especially when toting around precious cargo – our kids.  Safety features like blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and smart city brake support are perfect for the weekends we drive to Brooklyn to visit grandma. Lane departure warning comes in handy during long road trips.

I hate night driving, and two features in the CX-9 made me embrace driving at night increasing my confidence on the road. The auto-dim rearview mirror helps reduce the blinding glare of vehicles on the road behind me, which is worst at night, while the adaptive front lighting increases visibility on the road. It works the best when coming around bends on dark roads.

Another added convenience of the 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD is the driver seat memory. To be honest, I hate when my husband drives my car. I can’t seem to get my mirrors and seat re-adjusted to where I had them before he drove. In the mornings when I am in a rush to leave for work I spend more time trying to find the perfect adjustment for my seat when I could be on the road and getting to work on time. The CX-9s 2-position driver seat memory takes out that inconvenience, as I will be able to set the perfect seat position for myself, and my husband can set his.

It is not common for larger SUVs to have good fuel economy and smooth maneuverability while being fun behind the wheel. As with other vehicles in the Mazda fleet, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD has a ‘sport’ mode that turns this family SUV into a lane changing powerhouse. It was perfect on the Southern State Parkway, and smooth on the curves. I was sold.

2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD Sport mode

With its sleek curves, stylish and luxurious interior, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD is a far cry from a ‘mom car’. For moms looking for an SUV that does not shout “I’m a mom” then the Mazda CX-9 is for you. You will love the look and feel of luxury, the above average fuel economy (when compared to SUVs in its class), and of course, the price tag, at $45,755 for the Signature AWD model.

2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD Curves

Disclosure: The 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD was provided for review purposes only by Mazda courtesy of DriveShop.