This attractive, sporty compact crossover has been noted for its excellent handling. It was designed to compete with similar crossover vehicles, such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Chevy Equinox. One thing is for sure, the 2011 Mazda CX-7 has all of those vehicles beat when it comes to looks.
Looks, however, aren't everything. In some respects, the 2011 CX-7 is less practical than its competitors. It lacks the storage space that busy families often need. It also lacks the power that other SUVs offer (unless you decide to spent considerably more money on the supercharged engine, which is peppy).
The 2011 Mazda CX-7 is available in five trim levels: i SV, i Sport, s Touring, i Touring, and s Grand Touring. Trim levels with an ""i"" in the name come standard with a base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that offers 161 hp and 161 lb-ft of torque. Those with an ""s"" have supercharged four-cylinder engines that create 244 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. However, this extra power reduces the vehicle's fuel efficiency.
Body Styles: compact crossover SUV
Engines: 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, turbocharged four-cylinder engine
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: i SV, i Sport, s Touring, i Touring, and s Grand Touring
There are no notable changes to this year's model.
The base i SV and i Sport offer 17-inch alloy wheels. The s Touring gets all of the features included in the i Sport, plus 18-inch wheels. The s Grand Touring gets bigger, 19-inch wheels.
Drivers might want to purchase some popular parts to customize the 2011 Mazda CX-7. Adding a roof rack-mount increases cargo space and gives your family a place to keep bikes, skis, and snowboards. If you do not like roof racks, then choose rear-mount options. Trailer hitches are also available for hauling boats, trailers, and other items.
As the trim levels become more expensive, consumers will find more options that improve comfort and power. The base i SV offers AC, cruise control, adjustable height for the driver's seat, keyless entry, and a four-speaker stereo.
Move up one level to the i Sport and you get those along with Bluetooth compatibility, leather accents on the gear shift knob and steering wheel, and privacy glass. Buyers also have the option to add a Convenience Package to the i Sport. This package includes heated front seats, a rearview camera, a full-color trip computer, sunroof, automatic climate control, and a driver seat with a manual eight-way lumbar adjustment.
The i Touring includes all of the features included in the Convenience Package. It also includes leather upholstery and a navigation system. A nine-speaker sound system by Bose, satellite radio, and a six-CD changer adds more comfort to the ride.
The s Touring and s Grand Touring are the two highest trim levels. The s Touring gets all of the features included in the i Sport, plus you get leather upholstery, manual lumbar adjustment, a cargo cover, and heated front seats. Buyers that want the other features included in the i Touring can add the Touring Technology package to their vehicles.
At the highest level (the s Grand Touring), drivers get all of the features included in the lower trim levels. The s Grand Touring also includes some features that the other levels do not offer, such as heated mirrors, a blind-spot warning system, driver memory, automatic windshield wipers, automatic headlights, fog lamps, keyless ignition and entry, a four-way passenger seat, and electroluminescent gauges that are both beautiful and easy to read.
Performance & Handling
The 2011 Mazda CX-7 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that offers 161 hp and 161 lb-ft or torque. The supercharged engine available with the top two trim levels is a 2.3 liter four-cylinder that creates 244 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That's a considerable difference from drivers that want more pep from their vehicles. The supercharged engine goes from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds compared to the standard engine, which goes from zero to 60 in 9.8 seconds. It is not the slowest crossover on the road, but it certainly isn't the fastest, either.
The extra pep from the supercharged engine means that you lose a little fuel efficiency. With a standard engine, the 2011 Mazda CX-7 gets 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway for a combined 23 mpg. With a supercharged engine and front-wheel drive, the CX-7 fuel efficiency drops considerably to 18/24/20. Choose the all-wheel drive option and you lose even more efficiency (17/21/19). Again, these are terrible numbers for a crossover SUV. There are much worse options, but better cars exist as well at a similar price.
Standard safety features on the 2011 Mazda CX-7 include traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, side curtain airbags, and front-side airbags. It received a perfect five-star rating in government crash tests of front and side collisions.
EPA Fuel Economy
i SV, i Sport, and i Touring: 20/28 mpg city/highway
Supercharged trim levels with front-wheel drive: 18/24 mpg city/highway
All-wheel drive: 17/21 mpg city/highway
- Strong performance
- Responsive handling
- Stylish exterior design
You Won't Like
- Insufficient base engine power
- Interior design is lacking
The CX-7 is particularly attractive to drivers that want a fun experience behind the wheel. It comes with some disadvantages, though. Buyers that want a reliable family car might find that the CX-7 doesn't offer enough roominess or cargo space for their needs.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda CR-V
- Toyota RAV4
- Chevy Equinox
- Hyundai Tucson
- Kia Sportage
- Subaru Forester