On the verge of retirement in favor of its successor, the Mazda CX-5, the Mazda 2011 CX-7 Crossover represents the end of the manufacturer's first foray into the mid-size SUV market since its first effort, the Mazda Navajo, was retired in 1994. Typically for Mazda, the CX-7 is geared towards those who enjoy a more sporty and exciting ride. While a compact family SUV might not be the first vehicle that springs to mind when one thinks of purchasing a thrill ride, it does hit all of the marks when it comes to what makes these crossover SUVs popular: a larger body matched with responsive handling and respectable trunk room. The relatively low starting price of $22,190 is also a point in its favor.
|ReviewitOnline Ratings are based on a number of factors including reputation, appearance, model age, engine & other comparative aspects.|
The four cylinder 2.5 liter engine as standard packs a wallop, pushing out around 160 horsepower according to reviews. Technological innovations such as a keyless ignition and entry system and Satnav are optional. The interior ought to be familiar to those accustomed to the Mazda design philosophy. Like the sportier MX-5 Roadster the gearbox, steering wheel and seat layout is sleek and stylish. Having said that, the higher riding height can make the boy racer interior seems a little out of place. A welcome distinction from the Roadster is the wealth of cargo space. For the driver, there is ample storage space between the driver and passenger sides. The rear seats are foldable which allows the full length of the Mazda CX-7's body to be employed.
For those who are after more power, there is an option to upgrade the base 2.5 liter engine to a turbocharged 2.7 liter, but this has attracted criticism in some reviews for having poor gas mileage. Indeed, even the base 2.5 liter engine has been poorly compared in reviews to the far more fuel efficient Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and the GMC Terrain. The Outlander Sport's basic model is also cheaper than the Mazda CX-7, going for around $19,000.The GMC Terrain, by contrast, is an expensive purchase at $26,000 and suffers in terms of engine performance as compared to the Mazda CX-7, but reviews have praised its far greater cargo space. In short, if you're after a reasonably economic SUV that has the look, performance and handling of a sportier model, then the Mazda CX-7 is your best option. If you want a vehicle more specialized for engine performance or maximum storage then better options are available.