The 2008 Mazda CX-9 crossover sport utility vehicle is powered by a 273-horsepower, 3.7L DOHC V6 engine with variable valve timing and an electronic throttle. It is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission, and delivers its power through either front-wheel drive or the Active Torque-Split all-wheel drive system, which uses sensors and a computer-controlled coupling to bring up to 50 percent of drive power to the rear wheels for surefooted traction. The Mazda CX-9's interior packaging is designed to be very flexible. The second row is split 60/40, the seatback reclines, and it can slide forward about five inches fore and aft, or fold flat. The third row, which is split 50/50, can also be folded flat for an expanded cargo floor, and it includes a hand strap for easily folding it or setting it back up. Entry to the third row is easier than most vehicles because of the second-row's folding abilities. Though the Mazda CX-9 is designed primarily for on-road operation, a full perimeter frame adds toughness to its uni-body construction, making it suitable for towing boats or small trailers (up to 3,500 pounds), and a multi-link rear suspension brings more secure on-road ride and handling attributes than other SUVs. Several important safety features not offered by all the competition are standard on the Mazda CX-9, including dynamic stability control with roll stability control, a system that helps take minor corrective action to avoid loss of control on slippery roads or during abrupt maneuvers, anti-lock brakes with brakeforce distribution, and side-curtain air bags that extend to all three rows. Three different trim levels--Sports, Touring, and Grand Touring--are offered. Sports and Touring models get 18-inch wheels, while Grand Touring models ride on flashy, bright-finish 20-inch wheels with high-speed, V-rated tires. Standard equipment on Sports models includes keyless illuminated entry, cruise control, a three-zone automatic climate control system with rear-seat ducts, a six-speaker CD sound system, and power windows, locks, and mirrors. The Touring model upgrades to heated mirrors and leather first- and second-row seats with heated front seats, while the top-of-the-range Grand Touring adds fog lamps, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, a Smart Card keyless entry/start system, and upgraded lighting and trim. Key options include a power-operated liftgate, a moonroof, a backup-camera system, a rear entertainment system package with a nine-inch screen, and a Bose Centerpoint surround sound system with eleven speakers.