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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

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

4 hours ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.