Mazda is a brand that we haven't had much exposure to recently but it continues to fill a very nice niche of affordable luxury and because it isn't focused on serving a mass-market customer, it can deliver a different design experience than other manufactures. For some people this is the right fit and understandably for others it isn't right. That's why test drives are so important and why I enjoy spending time driving these vehicles over a series of days on different terrain. For this road trip, we took the Mazda CX-9 up to Palm Springs and tested it on a mixture of suburban streets, high-speed interstates, and twisty mountain roads. What we found was a very enjoyable and comfortable ride that while not a standout in terms of power or luxury amenities - hit a very attractive price point that is thousands less than comparable 3-row SUVs from luxury brands like Cadillac.