Bus Battle: Mazda CX-9 vs. Dodge Journey R/T

Now that gas is cheap suddenly again, maybe you’ve reconsidered downsizing, and you still want a big people-mover for your softball team, salsa band, family or self. We present some pros and cons of two substantial crossovers.

Mazda CX-9 SUV
Seats: Seven

Pros
1) It won the 2008 NAIAS North American Truck of the Year award. 2) The 3.7L V6 engine with 273 horses at 6250 rpm moves well but there’s a lot of automobile here, measuring over five metres long and nearly two wide, and weighing over two metric tonnes with four-wheel drive. 3) A lot of luxuries come standard. And some marvelous extras are available, including the way-fun keyless entry and start, and 11-speaker entertainment system, complete with DVD screen (wisely visible only in the rear) and personal headphones.

Cons
1) It burns a mediocre 14L/100 km in the city and 9.7 on the highway. 2) Its sleek design is loved by many respected auto journalists but you may still feel like a pitbull in lipstick.

Base price: $46,825

Dodge Journey R/T
Seats: Seven

Pros
1) If budget is important, you’re in the right place. 2) It packs loads of features in, from a camping-friendly drink cooler in the glove box to a sunglasses cache overhead to a “free” year of satellite radio. 3) The wide 19″ tires adhere close to the road in turns, making fun safer. 4) The 3.5L V6 is adequate but with 235 hp you wish it had just a few more horses.

Cons
1) It’s a Dodge. You’d better be really confident or really good-looking. 2) Again, if budget is an issue, the so-so 13.5 L/100 km fuel consumption in the city and 8.6 on the highway may cause the sweats. After all, what if gas suddenly doubles in price again next month?

Base price: $29,995

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