Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Volkswagen Atlas VS 2017 Mazda CX-9 Near Washington, NC

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas

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2017 Mazda CX-9

Safety Comparison

The Atlas has standard post collision braking, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The CX-9 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Atlas 4Motion’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The CX-9 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Atlas SEL Premium has a standard Overhead View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The CX-9 only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Atlas and the CX-9 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty Comparison

The Atlas comes with a full 6 year/72000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The CX-9’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Atlas’ corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the CX-9’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability Comparison

The Volkswagen Atlas’ engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the CX-9’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 26th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 26 more horsepower (276 vs. 250) than the CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Atlas’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-9 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Atlas’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-9:




Front Rotors

13.2 inches

12.6 inches

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Atlas’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The CX-9 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Atlas’ wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the CX-9 (117.3 inches vs. 115.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-9.

For better maneuverability, the Atlas’ turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the CX-9’s (38.1 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Atlas has 18.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-9 (153.7 vs. 135.1).

The Atlas has 2 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front hip room, 3.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear hip room, 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.9 inches more third row headroom, 4 inches more third row legroom, 5 inches more third row hip room and 1.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the CX-9.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Atlas’ cargo area provides more volume than the CX-9.




Behind Third Seat

20.6 cubic feet

14.4 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.5 cubic feet

38.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

96.8 cubic feet

71.2 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Atlas easier. The Atlas’ cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.7 inches, while the CX-9’s liftover is 31.6 inches.

The Atlas’ cargo area is larger than the CX-9’s in almost every dimension:




Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Atlas. The CX-9 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Atlas SEL/SEL Premium’s cargo door can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the Atlas and the CX-9 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Atlas is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-9 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The CX-9 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Both the Atlas and the CX-9 offer available heated front seats. The Atlas SEL Premium also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the CX-9.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Atlas SEL Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The CX-9 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Atlas SEL Premium’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Atlas SEL Premium’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The CX-9 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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