Zoom-Zoom into the Mazda CX 7

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Have a look at the compact crossover SUV, the Mazda CX 7, known for precise handling, a spacious interior, distinctive exterior design, and a high-performing turbocharged engine. Even with all these, this vehicle couldn’t stand longer in the market. Was that the “Zoom-Zoom” dynamics didn’t work, or was there something else that we were missing out on? Let’s find out.

Overview of Mazda CX 7

Have you ever dreamt of a family car that also provides sporty feels and is truly practical at the same time? The Mazda CX 7 is one amazing example that not only serves the purpose but also serves the looks. It is athletic, distinctive, and gives an amazing driving experience too. Moreover, getting an SUV and the sporty features together is a rare case, but not with the CX 7.

This vehicle started with a turbocharged engine but later brought a diesel and aspirated engine as well to improve fuel efficiency. Though it became successful in reducing fuel consumption to quite an extent, things didn’t stay smooth for long, and its production finally ceased after only a few years of its production.

However, there’s a lot more to the story than this that you would love to know. From the introduction of the very first model to the facelift and change in engines to the final cessation, let’s look into the Mazda CX 7 in detail.

History

Mazda, a Japanese automaker that is well-known for making fuel-efficient and high-quality vehicles, produced the Mazda CX 7 from 2006 to 2012. Its first-ever model was shown at the LA Auto Show in January 2006, which was actually a 2007 model year. CX 7 essentially came as a sportier alternative to traditional SUVs. The major aim behind this vehicle’s development was to combine the features of an SUV with that of a sports car. Mazda introduced this concept as “Zoom-Zoom,” and fortunately, it did work well.

CX 7 is actually a mid-size crossover SUV and comes below the larger Mazda CX 9. These vehicles didn’t even share the same platforms. Rather, the CX 7 was built on the Ford C1 platform and shares this platform with Mazda 3 and Ford Focus as Ford had a stake in Mazda at that time.

Model YearEnginePowerTorqueTransmission0-60 mph (approx)
2007-20092.3L Turbo I4244 hp258 lb-ft6-speed Auto7.7 seconds
2010-20122.5L I4161 hp161 lb-ft5-speed Auto9.0 seconds

This vehicle received a mid-cycle refresh in 2010 that resulted in a change in the turbocharged engine. Its front received the larger five-point grille design that’s similar to the MX-5 and RX-8.

However, being a mid-size crossover, this vehicle didn’t turn out to be space-efficient. Moreover, only a non-turbo engine was introduced in North America that obviously drinks more fuel than usual. Things didn’t really work out due to these problems; hence, the production of CX-7 was ceased. After that the attention was fully diverted to other SUV models like the Mazda CX-5, which offered a lot better fuel economy.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The initial models of the Mazda CX 7 were powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that was also used to power the Mazdaspeed 3 and Mazdaspeed 6. This engine was capable of generating 244 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.

After the mid-cycle refresh in 2010, Mazda also replaced the turbocharged engine with the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for the 2010-2012 models. This one could produce 161 horsepower and torque to 161 lb-ft, thereby giving better fuel efficiency and even lower maintenance costs. This engine was coupled with a 5-speed automatic transmission for smooth shifts and an amazing driving experience.

Though the CX 7 turned out amazing in all other aspects, it didn’t really do well in terms of mileage. Considering this, the later models of Mazda CX 7 demonstrated better mileage, with the 2.5-liter engine contributing to better overall efficiency. The 2010-2012 models even achieved approximately 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Exterior

Mazda focused on providing an attractive design with this mid-size crossover SUV. This vehicle contained Mazda’s signature five-point grille that creates a front fascia. This looks assertive and super stylish. This grille was further flanked by elongated yet expressive headlights, which also played a role in giving this car a sporty touch. Moreover, you will find the vehicle characterized by sculpted lines and contours that give a sense of motion. To add a touch of aggression, it also carries pronounced wheel arches.

As for the roofline, the CX 7 carries a coupe-like slope, which, again, creates a sporty silhouette. While at the rear, you will meet with the distinctive tailgate design with integrated tail lights. Cohesive balance is maintained well through the rear and front lights.

After the facelift in 2010, the Mazda CX 7 got some exterior changes as well. The prominent ones include new alloy wheel designs and a refined front grille.

To add more to the aesthetic appeal, the CX 7 was made available in different exterior colors. The popular ones are blues, metallic finishes, and vibrant red.

Inside the Mazda CX 7

Step inside the Mazda CX 7, and you will instantly recognize the athletic styling throughout the cabin. The design is not only attractive but also fully functional and practical. There’s a small navigation system and a three-spoke steering wheel similar to that of the Miata. The headroom and legroom are ample for a mid-size SUV.

The five-occupant seat is designed keeping comfort in mind, and the cockpit is completely driver oriented. Higher trim levels like the Grand Touring offer better quality materials like leather upholstery and additional interior accents. With climate control and adjustable seats, the driver gets to personalize comfort.

Moving onto the trunk space, there are approximately 30 cubic feet of space for the car behind the second-row seat. The rear seats can be folded flat to further expand the cargo space up to 59 cubic feet.

The infotainment system of this vehicle was quite basic, featuring a CD player, AM/FM radio, and auxiliary input for external devices. However, the higher trim levels did have an optional touchscreen and voice-activated navigation system.

Grand touring trims offer a moonroof, heated mirrors, a navigation system, automatic climate control, and a SmartKey entry system. There’s a Bluetooth hands-free interface as well in all the models except the base SV.

The launch price of the Mazda CX 7 was around $24,310 for the base Sport trim. Since this vehicle is no longer in production, you may find a used one for around $2,500 to $4,000.

Driving Experience

Everything under the bonnet and inside the cabin contributes very well to give an exceptional driving experience with the Mazda CX 7. It particularly has an amazing grip that increases even more when turning the corners.

The suspension system and chassis further contribute to the handling and comfort. Since this vehicle turned to aspirated engines in its later models, there was a nice balance between fuel efficiency and performance. Furthermore, the automatic transmissions contributed to a smooth driving experience.

Conclusion

Considering the size and other features, this vehicle was priced really well. Though its fuel consumption turned out to be the major issue, much of it was resolved with the diesel and aspirated engine options. Another downside was its infotainment system, which was pretty outdated for the time the Mazda CX 7 was manufactured.

Other than that, it was quite a practical car consisting of modest cargo space with folded rear seats. The Interior comes out spacious and comfortable, good for even long-distance commuting. The exterior design, colors, performance, and driving experience were all exceptional.

Pros

  • Agile handling
  • Amazing built quality
  • Suitable for different cargo needs
  • Strong acceleration in earlier models

Cons

  • Reduced power in later models
  • Outdated infotainment system

Automotive Journalist Verdict

The sharp handling and design of the Mazda CX 7, particularly of the later models, became the most talked about features among automotive experts. However, this exact feature increased so much practicality. Moreover, its earlier turbocharged models garnered attention for their performance. However, criticisms often centered on fuel efficiency concerns, the transition to a naturally aspirated engine, and the model’s eventual discontinuation.

FAQs

Was there any high-performance version of the Mazda CX 7?

The Grand Touring version offered additional amenities and features for the Mazda CX 7.

What were the common issues with the Mazda CX 7?

The common issues reported by Mazda include problems with steering components, suspension, and turbocharger reliability.

What were the common aftermarket updates for the Mazda CX 7?

The common modifications include aftermarket exhaust for a sportier sound and suspension upgrades for better handling. Other cosmetic enhancements like body kits and custom wheels were also very common.

What were the safety features of the CX 7?

Its safety features include anti-lock brakes, airbags, and stability control. In general, the safety features in this vehicle were quite modest at that time.

Written by: Motorcardata

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