The 2012 Mazda CX-7 maintains its reputation as a fun, sporty SUV. Available with two engines, the crossover features a newer 2.5-liter inline-four cylinder that joined the powerful 2.3-liter turbocharged four on the CX-7's engine option list. The CX-7 is an attractive crossover SUV with a sports-car like attitude.
Bodystyle: Crossover SUV
Engines: 2.5-liter inline-4, 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmissions: six-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: i SV front-wheel drive, i Sport front-wheel drive, s Touring front- and all-wheel drive, s Grand Touring front- and all-wheel drive
No changes are made for Mazda's two-row midsize crossover this year. A mid-cycle refresh in 2010 added a 161-hp, 2.5-liter, inline-4 as the base engine. Last year brought an i Touring model, with a rearview camera, moonroof, leather seats, and Bose stereo. The turbo 2.3-liter inline-4 engine still sits at the top of the CX-7's lineup.
The CX-7's athletic appearance builds on an expectation of performance, for a segment that is often more concerned with the utility aspect of a sport/utility. Depending on the trim, the CX-7 has 17-, 18-, and 19-inch alloy wheels that, paired with the prominent five-point grille, give the impression of a sporty crossover.
The 2012 Mazda CX-7 has a well-designed interior, among the top of the class. Sporty accents such as a three spoke steering wheel and chrome rings around the vents keep things lively. Mazda's LCD Multi-Information Display screen is available in a 3.5-inch or 4.1-inch size, both are relatively small compared to new offerings on the market. Some models have a rearview backup camera option and blind spot monitoring.
Performance & Handling
The 2012 Mazda CX-7's available engines are powerful and responsive, though not as fuel efficient as others in the class. Still, you don't expect sporty driving dynamics from a crossover, and the competition certainly doesn't offer as much as Mazda in that regard. Regular soft-roaders or anybody who tows should consider the all-wheel drive option and 2.3-liter turbo, while urbanites can live happily with the two-wheel drive model with a less powerful 2.5-liter.
Traction and stability are standard on all CX-7s; as are antilock brakes and brake assist. Driver and passenger front and side airbags come standard on the CX-7, as do front side curtains. A fold away collapsible brake pedal assembly and side impact beams are included as well.
EPA Fuel Economy
2.5-liter four-cylinder, front-wheel drive: 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy.
2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, front-wheel drive: 18 mpg city/24 mpg hwy
2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, all-wheel drive: 17 mpg city/21 mpg hwy
- Turbocharged engine performance
Taut, yet comfortable ride quality
You Won't Like
Fuel economy with turbo engine
Back seats don't recline
The CX-7 puts the sport in sport/utility vehicle.
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