Mazda CX-7

Launched in 2007, the Mazda CX-7 is the brand’s entry into the hotly contested midsize crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) market. At a time when most automakers still mistook crossover buyers for rugged off-road enthusiasts and weekend warriors who needed a vehicle that could access out-of-the-way locations, Mazda got ahead in the crossover game by recognizing that most crossover SUV drivers never had a reason to leave the pavement.

More on the Mazda CX-7
Mazda CX-7 Origins

With such prescient notions in mind, Mazda brought the CX-7 to the market. It handles well on winding roads, it’s fun to drive but still practical enough to handle family duty, and It’s more often seen at a home, school, or a grocery store parking lot than in a race through the Baja. In short, it shows what crossovers were destined to become.

Over the years of the first generation of this vehicle, drivers have come to realize that it has the Mazda philosophy of enjoying the drive built into it, while still offering cargo space and other SUV necessities. As such, the CX-7 continues with only cosmetic changes and other minor alterations. It remains the choice of crossover buyers that are bored by the utilitarian mainstream offerings and want to enjoy the drive.

About the Mazda CX-7

The CX-7 has a reputation as the crossover that gets the job done and is still fun to drive. Mazda even offers a turbo version. This model still doesn’t accelerate quickly because of the nearly 4,000 pound curb weight (lest we forget this is an SUV), but it is still peppy and provides more driving thrills than most offerings in its class. This crossover performs well at a non-luxury and reasonable price. The turbo model doesn’t get very good gas mileage, but this emphasizes the point that the CX-7 satisfies drivers who seek performance, but still need a vehicle that will pull duty as a family vehicle.

It wasn’t until a few years into production that a more efficient and economical engine became available. Once again, this indicates that Mazda will make concessions to the consumers’ expectations, but the company keeps performance in mind. The CX-7 has always offered car-like handling with a surprising amount of responsiveness while still managing to provide a comfortable ride. These goals came to mark the crossover vehicle itself after a few years of existence.

Mazda CX-7 Features

This model year finds the CX-7 still in its first generation with a mild cosmetic change, but similar to all previous models. After understanding that some crossover buyers want economy with their utility, Mazda included two engine choices for the CX-7: a 161 horsepower, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission (for cars with the ""i"" trim package), or a 244 horsepower, turbocharged, direct-injected 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine (for cars with the ""s"" package trim). The ""i"" comes in front-wheel drive only, while the ""s"" models offer either front- or all-wheel drive.

The ""i"" models divide further, into three trims: i SV, i Sport, and i Touring. The ""s"" models come in two trims: s Touring and s Grand Touring. Mazda has figured out that crossover buyers like their options and choices. This market is so large that it stands to reason that many different needs must be covered.

The CX-7 comes standard with 17-inch wheels, stability control, full power accessories, and a stereo with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack. Higher trims then add features such as Bluetooth, a leather-wrapped steering wheel/gearshift knob, fog lights, 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition/entry, and automatic climate control. Further options include a sunroof, a navigation system, a Bose sound system with satellite radio, and a rearview camera.

This Mazda crossover has a slightly longer than average wheelbase that provides ample interior room. This is a bit offset by the high cargo floor that makes fitting three adults in the back a bit tight and costs some overall cargo space when the rear seat folds down for hauling.

Mazda CX-7 Evolution

There haven’t been many changes thus far in the production run for the CX-7. 2010 saw the introduction of a less gas-thirsty and more economical four-cylinder engine. That year saw a styling change, but not a change in styling philosophy; this crossover still appears sporty. In 2009, Mazda added a new audio jack for more music technology choices, and the options list expanded to include satellite radio and Bluetooth.

Select a Mazda CX-7 Year

2012 Mazda CX-7

SUV, Utility/Offroad

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.

2011 Mazda CX-7

SUV, Utility/Offroad

This attractive, sporty compact crossover has been noted for its excellent handling.

2010 Mazda CX-7

SUV, Utility/Offroad

For 2010 the Mazda CX-7 gets a refreshed exterior and interior, as well as a responsive 2.3-liter urbocharged inline-four cylinder. The use of thicker materials, reinforcements, and weld bonds provides a five percent increase in the CX-7’s torsional rigidity. Interior comfort and quietness is enhanced via higher density insulation throughout the engine compartment and cabin.

2009 Mazda CX-7

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2009 Mazda CX-7 is a unique model within the crossover utility vehicles (CUV) range.

2008 Mazda CX-7

SUV, Utility/Offroad

Somehow Mazda managed to inject the appearance of its sports cars, like the Miata, into the 2008 CX-7.

2007 Mazda CX-7

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2007 Mazda CX-7 classifies as a midsize crossover SUV that seats five.