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If there's one thing I've learned over the past two years, it's that of all the cars I've test-driven, SUVs consistently emerge as the car of choice when it comes to practicality.Enter the 2017 CX-9, a car that defies just about everything I believed to be true about large SUVs. Seeing as it arrives at a time when Mazda has embraced the Kodo Soul of Motion design language across its entire lineup, initially I even had doubts regarding how such a sensual and dynamic styling philosophy could even be applied to an SUV – it just didn't seem achievable. This SUV comes exclusively with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder SKYACTIV mill that puts out 250 ponies, and those ponies can gallop, taking the CX-9 to 100 kilometers per hour in under 7.4 seconds.What's also enticing is that when you set the drive mode in Sport, the CX-9 starts to think it's an MX-5 Cup car, and acts accordingly with even quicker throttle response, sportier gear shifts and more agility, with the six-speed automatic transmission downshifting rapidly as you decelerate.
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