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Mazda CX-9 Signature. Photo courtesy of Mazda

This week I'm driving the 2019 Mazda CX-9, the largest vehicle in Mazda's lineup.

The big picture: I've always been a Mazda fan. Their cars are stylish, fun to drive and generally offer great gas mileage.

Details: The CX-9 Signature, which is their $45,365 top-of-the-line model, feels like a luxury car, with heated and cooled Nappa leather upholstery, rosewood trim and LED accent lighting.

  • It features a 250-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission that gets 23 mpg in combined city/highway driving.
  • As with other Mazdas, the CX-9's ride and handling set it apart from the competition, hugging the road on tight curves instead of that tippy feeling you get in most 3-row SUVs.
  • The CX-9 has a superb head-up display and offers a full suite of active safety features, including blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist as well as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability in traffic.

The downside: If you've got a big family, the CX-9 isn't as roomy as other 3-row crossovers like the Honda Pilot, Volkswagen Atlas or Kia Telluride.

  • And while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard, you still have to use Mazda's center console knob to control the screen while driving. It's a safety decision, I know — touchscreens are incredibly distracting while driving — but it's still annoying.

The bottom line: The Mazda CX-9, starting at $32,280, is a family car you'll enjoy driving.

Go deeper

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Far-right figure "Baked Alaska" arrested for involvement in Capitol siege

Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The FBI arrested far-right media figure Tim Gionet, known as "Baked Alaska," on Saturday for his involvement in last week's Capitol riot, according to a statement of facts filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

The state of play: Gionet was arrested in Houston on charges related to disorderly or disruptive conduct on the Capitol grounds or in any of the Capitol buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session, per AP.