Few three-row SUVs are fun to drive. Fewer still come with high-end cabin materials and design, offer strong acceleration and sporty handling, and are quiet and comfortable on the highway. The very few with all these qualities require you to pay extra for all-wheel drive (AWD).
The Mazda CX-9 offers all these features and more. The 2022 CX-9 has received a combined fuel economy rating of 23 mpg (20 city/26 highway) from the EPA, which is higher than average for this class. As such, you can count on this three-row SUV not to punish you at the pump.
All in all, if you want the cabin space of a three-row SUV but the handling and interior of a luxury vehicle, the Mazda CX-9 will have your back. The only thing this vehicle would need from you is to pair it with quality tires that can maintain, if not elevate, its plush ride quality.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll review and rate the top 10 best tires for Mazda CX9. The list was drawn based on the opinions of CX9 drivers like you and our own experience with these tires. So, you can count on all these tires to take your driving experience to the next level.
#1. General Grabber HTS 60 – Best Overall
The General Grabber HTS 60 is one of the best tires for the Mazda CX9. This highway tire offers excellent year-round performance, is quiet and comfortable on the highway, and is backed with a decent treadwear warranty. Best of all, it can resist puncture with ease.
A cut- and chip-resistant tread compound is responsible for this tire’s excellent puncture resistance, not letting sharp objects easily penetrate the rubber. Aside from that, the compound’s flexibility makes the Grabber HTS 60 a reliable option in wet conditions.
The credit for this model’s excellent road manners goes to two features: unique sound barrier ribs that absorb road vibrations and Comfort Balance Technology that helps the rubber deflect road noise before it could reach the cabin and ruin the driving experience.
Wide circumferential grooves around the tread give it confident handling on wet roads. The grooves are optimized to channel water away from the tread area to reduce the risk of hydroplaning. Also, their quick action keeps the contact patch dry, increasing wet traction.
The HTS 60 also gives an enhanced steering response for a highway tire, thanks to its continuous center rib, notched shoulders, and intermediate tread blocks. The trio also improves this model’s dry traction and handling while also giving it a good on-center feel.
- Available at a mid-range price point
- Backed with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Provides excellent high-speed stability
- Isn’t a reliable performer on thick snow
#2. Michelin Defender LTX M/S – Best Premium All-Season
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S ticks all the right boxes or a premium all-season tire. It performs reliably on dry and wet roads as well as on light snow. A plush ride quality and 70,000-mile treadwear warranty further distinguish this model from the competition.
An EverTread compound helps it deliver excellent year-round performance. The compound features the right mix of firmness (needed for confident driving on dry roads) and flexibility (which keeps this tire glued to the highway in wet and light wintry conditions).
MaxTouch construction helps this model in more ways than one. For starters, the round contact patch that it ensures better road contact for an enhanced grip. This, as you might guess, helps the LTX M/S wear evenly, translating into an extended treadlife.
A symmetric tread pattern absorbs road shocks for a smoother driving experience. Right next to the tread pattern are independent tread blocks. These raised rubber segments are the reason why this model delivers enhanced performance than most A/S tires.
All in all, if you can afford to pay its exorbitant asking price, we see no reason why you might want to decide against pairing your CX9 with the Defender LTX M/S.
- Comes in a large number of sizes
- Backed with an excellent 70,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Offers excellent grip and traction on dry and wet roads
- Doesn’t come cheap
#3. Yokohama YK-HTX – Best Budget All-Season
The Yokohama YK-HTX is a pocket-friendly option for CX9 drivers. But don’t let its budget asking price make you think that this model is in any way inferior to its competitors above. Had that been the case, this tire wouldn’t have made a part of this list.
A silica and Orange oil tread compound helps the YK-HTX in the same manner as its EverTread compound aided the Defender LTX M/S. Silica and orange oil provide the rubber with firmness and flexibility, respectively, to help it perform confidently year-round.
Its reinforced sidewall strikes a balance between compliant and sporty, helping provide a cushion against road shocks while also improving handling. To make the ride quality even plusher, an extra layer of rubber aids the sidewall, keeping your CX9’s cabin luxury-level quiet.
The sipes on the tread area back Yokohama’s claim that this tire has 20 percent reduced braking distances than rivals from other manufacturers. While we haven’t tested this claim, the biting edges’ aggressiveness indicates that Yokohama might be speaking the truth.
On top of everything else, the Japanese tire manufacturer backs the standard sizes of this tire with a 70,000-mile and the LT tires with a 50,000-mile warranty.
- Has a stable footprint
- Is quiet on the highway
- Reliable on wet and wintry roads
- Smaller treadwear warranty on LT tires
#4. Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus – Best Touring All-Season
The Pirelli Scorpion Verde is one of the most fuel-efficient tires on the market. Compared to its rivals, this touring tire consumes 3.9% less fuel during city driving. On mixed routes, the fuel savings can be as high as 3.5%, a remarkable number no matter how you slice it.
In case you’re wondering, all these fuel savings have been made possible by two features: a computer-optimized pitch sequence (which helps this tire stay glued to the surface) and a symmetric tread pattern (which increases road grip for low rolling resistance).
Another area where the Scorpion Verde performs better than its competitors is ride comfort. A sound-absorbing device placed between the treads keeps the ride super-quiet, with the above symmetric tread pattern absorbing vibrations for the same purpose.
Four circumferential grooves and multiple lateral grooves help with water evacuation, keeping the contact patch dry for enhanced wet traction. Moreover, a specially-optimized rubber-to-void ratio promotes even tread wear, all but guaranteeing a long tread life.
Small wonder, then, that Pirelli backs this model with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty. The Italian tire manufacturer also produces this tire in multiple sizes from 16- to 22-inches, so there’s an excellent chance that the Scorpion Verde All Season Plus can go on every CX9’s trim.
- Offers enhanced fuel economy
- Provides a comfortable and noise-free ride
- Great handling and traction across dry and wet terrains
- Wet handling could be better
#5. Continental CrossContact LX Sport – Best Premium Touring All-Season
Excellent dry and wet handling? Check. Superb manners across various terrains? Yes. Performs reliably in mild-to-moderate wintry conditions? Absolutely. All these and other qualities make the CrossContact LX Sport one of the best premium touring tires for Mazda CX9.
A tri-net silica tread compound enables this tire to offer the best of both worlds. On one end, silica enhances the rubber’s ability to gain traction on dry and wet surfaces. Silica also helps avoid the loss of traction on snow, albeit with the help of siping on the tread.
The fact that the CrossContact LX Sport comes with an asymmetric tread design might surprise some of you, since most touring tires open for a symmetric tread pattern. That is because the latter tread design offers better ride quality and comfort than the former.
Per drivers who have used this tire, the asymmetric tread design compensates for the ride’s firmness by improving your CX9’s responsiveness and handling. You can thus expect the CrossContact LX Sport to be much more dynamic and agile than its fellow touring tires.
Wet weather performance is enhanced by circumferential grooves and jointless cap piles. The grooves traverse through snow and water while resisting hydroplaning, with the cap piles offering better vehicle response, letting you make quick turns on wet pavement.
- Excellent wet performance
- Dynamic and responsive
- Keeps noise levels low
- Ride could be a bit firm
#6. Hankook DynaPro HP2 – Best Budget Touring All-Season
Hankook tires are renowned worldwide for three sought-after features: excellent mileage warranty, extended tread life, and superb hydroplaning resistance. A pocket-friendly asking price also attracts people towards Hankook tires like DynaPro HP2.
Compared to the DynaPro HP, its predecessor, the HP2 offers a much more comfortable ride, especially on the highway and paved surfaces. Its wet traction is also much improved, thanks to the addition of channels in the tread area that help with water evacuation.
High-speed stability is another area where the HP2 fares better. A new center rib and reshaped shoulders make sure that you get better handling when driving close to or even above the speed limit. An updated tread design helps with even tread wear for a long tread life.
As stated above, this tire features extra grooves and sipes that its predecessor lacked. Both these design elements help it plow through (light) snow and ice. Best of all, despite featuring so many improvements, the DynaPro HP2 costs less than the model it replaced.
That said, there remain a few areas where this tire could do better. If you have ever used a premium touring tire before, the noise difference – the HP2 is much louder – will be easily felt. Similarly, this model’s treadwear warranty (40,000 miles) is relatively small.
- Extremely short braking distances on wet roads
- Offers above-average handling on dry surfaces
- Costs less than its predecessor
- Relatively loud for a touring tire
#7. Nitto NT 421Q – Best Mid-Range High-Performance
The Nitto 421 Q isn’t your average high-performance tire. Mainly because this model can perform reliably in wet and light wintry conditions. But also because this high-performance tire doesn’t make a lot of noise, even at speeds where its competitors tend to growl.
Yet it has all the attributes you may expect from a premium touring tire. Steering response and feedback are kept high by a continuous center rib running along its circumference. Cornering performance is excellent thanks to external shoulder blocks.
Speaking of outer shoulder blocks, they also improve the NT 421Q’s high-speed stability. At the same time, they enhance its traction and handling on dry roads. In contrast, the inner shoulder blocks keep this tire glued to the road in rainy and snowy conditions.
Its 3D interlocking sipe design helps the tire in more ways than one. The sipes have an uncanny ability of coming together when you apply brakes, ensuring short braking distances. Their coming together also expands this tire’s contact patch for better traction.
On top of everything else, the 421Q’s come with maintenance indicators. You can use them to check how much treadlife is remaining and whether the wheels are aligned. A 60,000- or 75,000-mile warranty (depending on the tire size you pick) is also on offer.
- Comes with an above-average treadwear warranty
- Best-in-class dry, wet, and winter traction
- Offers a comfortable and quiet driving experience
- Comfort could be better
#8. Falken Ziex S/TZ-05 – Best High-Performance
The Falken Ziex S/TZ05 is a high-performance tire designed for driving in all-season conditions, including moderate snow and ice. This model offers three features that you don’t get from your standard high-performance tire, regardless of the asking price.
Firstly, it is equipped with an all-season tread compound that is M+S rated, meaning this tire can perform well in mild-to-moderate wintry conditions. The tread compound has been molded into a 5-rib tread pattern for enhanced traction on wet and dry pavements.
Secondly, this tire comes with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is 50,000 miles more than what most high-performance tire comes with. This guarantee means that you can easily get 3 to 4 years out of this tire, even if you regularly push it to its limits.
Thirdly, Falken has virtually eliminated road noise with this tire. It has done that by staggering the shoulder lug grooves so that each of them cancels out the noise produced by the other. As a result, the Ziex S/TZ05 is one of the quietest high-performance tires on the market.
The only potential deal-breaker with this tire would be its astronomical asking price which takes it out of the budget of most shoppers. Other than that, we see no real glaring negative in this model.
- Comes in a large number of sizes
- Backed with an impressive treadwear guarantee
- Dry and wet handling is outstanding
- Doesn’t come cheap
#9. Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus – Best OEM Tire
The Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus is one of the few tires that could go on multiple Mazda vehicles. This highway tire is the original equipment (OEM) for Mazda CX9, as well as Mazda CX5 and CX50. Here’s why the Japanese car manufacturer trusts this tire so much.
Its symmetric tread design enables this tire to offer smooth ride quality and minimal road noise, earning the H/L 422 Plus a place on our quiet-tires list. The tread design is also to credit for this model’s extended road contact, and, by extension, even treadwear.
A quartet of circumferential grooves enhance wet traction by quickly and effectively evacuating water from within the tread area. Furthermore, Bridgestone has done some tweaking to this model’s sidewall in order to help you save money on gas.
Throw into the mix its 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, and it might seem that this tire is faultless. Which is obviously not the case otherwise you wouldn’t be here searching for replacement tires. The 422 Plus does suffer from a few deal-breaking shortcomings.
The first of which is that this tire is useless in harsher wintry conditions. Secondly, despite being a highway tire, its handling isn’t responsive. So expect a muted ride on the road.
- Outstanding dry performance
- Very stable at higher speeds in heavy rain
- Extremely well-refined
Handling isn’t the most responsive in this category
#10. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 – Best Winter
The Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 is one of the best winter tires out there. This tire is meant to fit sedans, sport coupes, SUVs, and even light trucks. If you want a safe driving experience in harsh wintry conditions, look no further than the WS90.
A super-flexible tread compound is why this tire can do without studs which most tires need studs for: carrying you safely from point A to point B on hardpacked snow and ice. The tread compound’s flexibility can also withstand sub-zero temperatures.
MultiCell Technology is another reason behind this tire’s excellent snow performance. This technology traps snow within the treads and uses the resulting friction to plow through snow and ice. Bear in mind, though, that the MultiCell structure only covers 55% of the tread.
In case you still have doubts about this model’s reliability on snow, the fact that it comes with the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol should erase all your worries. That’s because the 3PMSF symbol is only awarded to tires that can perform well in winter.
To further sweeten the deal, Bridgestone has equipped the WS90 with its standard TWS (tread wear indicators). These narrow rubber bars will become visible as the tread depth decreases, eventually getting flush with the surface as the tread hits dangerous levels.
- 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol
- Offers excellent traction on snow and ice
- Comes with dedicated winter wear bars
- No treadwear warranty
Best Tires for Mazda CX9
All-Season Touring Tires
All-season touring tires are the best option for the average Mazda CX9 driver. Why is that so? The main reason is their affordable asking price, which, when supplemented with an extended treadwear warranty (most touring tires are backed for 50,000+ miles) seems even more reasonable.
Touring tires also have excellent road manners, dry and wet performance, and high-speed stability. You can count on them to perform well in mild-to-moderate wintry conditions too.
Performance tires might be a worthy option for you if a) you aren’t worried about their astronomical asking prices and b) you regularly push your CX9 to its limits. These tires’ stickier rubber compounds and stiff sidewalls make them an absolute must-have for frequent high-speed driving.
Bear in mind, though, that the tweaks made to improve these tires’ high-speed and cornering performance has a negative impact on their ride quality and treadlife.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Mazda CX-9 a luxury car?
The Mazda CX9 is a three-row sport utility vehicle (SUV), even though rich its interior does the best impression of a luxury car.
What brand of tires does Mazda use?
The brand of tires Mazda uses depends on the vehicle you’re using, model year and delivery location. For instance, the 2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD comes with Bridgestone’s Ecopia H/L 422 Plus tires. In contrast, 2023 Mazda CX-50 comes is paired with Goodyear Eagle Touring tires.
Mazda XC9 is one of the best three-row SUVs money can buy. However, to take full advantage of this vehicle, it’s imperative that you pair it with a set of premium tires that can complement road conditions, your driving style, and weather conditions. Only then this vehicle would be able to perform at its best.