When you take responsive handling and fuel-efficient engine options, and you pair them up with a stunning exterior, you get a winning vehicle for sure. The 2012 Mazda CX-7 SUV Crossover fits this description perfectly. There are two engines available, and the one you get depends on the trim you choose.
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The first is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that delivers 161 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. It accelerates zero to 60 mph in a slow 9.8 seconds, but makes up for its lack of power returning 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Five-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard. For a little more power, a 2.3-liter four-cylinder produces 244 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This improves acceleration considerably, taking only 7.7 seconds to reach 60 mph. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard as is front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available. Fuel-economy is still quite good at 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.
This crossover is confident with turns, steering feels nicely weighted and it has a very small turning circle, so parking is a breeze.
Other available or standard features include speed sensitive volume control, MP3 audio input, DVD entertainment system, Bluetooth wireless and universal remote transmitter.
When tested, the CX-7 did receive a “Good” rating in both side and front-impact crash tests. On the downside, it only scored a “Marginal” rating for roof-strength. Braking is also a little sluggish, taking 131 feet to stop from 60 mph.
The “Triple H” body construction of this SUV encases the cabin to provide maximum protection. Safety features to offer peace-of-mind include:
Not enough good can be said about the styling; the 2012 CX-7 is a definite showstopper. Although the lines are simple, the vehicle is aerodynamic with sculpted features. The front fascia and five-point grille is iconic of the Mazda family while dual chrome exhaust tips found on the S trims emphasize the turbocharged performance.
Five-passenger seating is comfortable, even with three adults in the rear seat, but legroom does fall a little short especially compared to the Equinox, a chief competitor. Still, the athletic exterior styling continues with an edgy vibe in the cabin. Although the use of hard plastic is noticeable, the attractive graining even makes plastic have a bit of sophistication.
The three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls was a favorite feature of the Miata years ago. The downfall is that the navigation display is a little hard to see and radio controls are a bit complicated.
When compared to Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, the CX-7 falls short in cargo capacity, but it is right on target with Hyundai models. Behind the second row, you are granted 30 cubic feet and when you fold the seat flat, you get 59 cubic feet .