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Mazda CX-7 Luxury 2007 review

EXPERT RATING
7.4

Despite AWD, the chances of the CX-7 being used off-road are slim.

The big Mazda, with limited ground clearance and 18-inch alloy rims, is clearly for the city.

Unlike some of the cars that it will be against, the CX-7 is not a true people mover. The Ford Territory, Holden Captiva and Toyota Kluger have the option of seven seats, but the CX-7 can seat only five people. The Mazda has more of a sports focus than those cars, not just because of its running gear but also its style.

It has a raked windscreen at the angle of many sports cars, has wide arches around alloy wheels and a stylish front end.

The engine is a 2.3-litre turbo four-cylinder with 175kW and 350Nm and a top-mounted intercooler.

This direct-injection engine is the same one that gives the urge in the Mazda6 and Mazda3 MPS.

It has to work harder in the CX-7 given its 1771kg. It manages to lug the wagon from 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds, slower than most big six-cylinder family cars, but not bad compared with bigger and heavier AWD wagons.

A six-speed automatic transmission is standard and there is no manual option. There are two CX-7 models, the base at $39,910 and the Luxury at $45,560.

The entry level car has airconditioning, cruise control, trip computer, six-CD sound and foglights.

The Luxury adds leather trim, heated front seats, sunroof, electrically-adjustable driver's seat, climate control airconditioning and a Bose sound system.

Parking sensors are not standard on either model and cost $396 plus fitment costs.

A rear-view camera is not an option, despite being sold overseas, because it is bundled with satellite navigation, which is not available for Australia.

All cars have a space-saver wheel and have a braked towing capacity of 1600kg. The CX-7 is a size bigger than its existing Tribute AWD, 280mm longer and 47mm wider.

 

On the road 

IT TAKES only a short section of winding road to work out what Mazda is aiming for with the CX-7. This is not an AWD for holidays to Fraser Island, but a sporty wagon made for tarmac touring.

With a multi-link rear suspension set-up, 18-inch wheels with low-profile tyres and a lower ride height than most crossover wagons, the CX-7 handles extremely well.

It laps up corners as a well-sorted sedan and is not unsettled by off-camber bumps.

On gravel, the CX-7 is nimble given its bulk and does exactly what is expected.

The combination of the AWD system and stability control can be felt on slippery gravel where the pair limit the chances of any "moments".

The steering is direct and offers good feedback. The ride is quite good on smoother tarmac, but the CX-7 starts to jolt and jar over second-rate roads.

The biggest downside of the CX-7 ownership is its thirst. Because the CX-7 uses a four-cylinder engine, it often has to call on the turbo to haul its bulk. Most vehicles this size have a six-cylinder, for good reason.

The Mazda cruises the highway using about 9.5-litres for 100km sitting just below 2000 revs, but the figures start to go pear-shaped around town or in any situation that includes acceleration.

It is easy to start using 14 litres for 100km around town, which is painful because the

CX-7 uses only premium unleaded.

The engine is good. There is some delay as the turbo gets going, but most of the time there is more than enough power for enjoyable driving.

Mazda's six-speed automatic is excellent and also has the manual override if you are feeling sporty.

The interior, as in other modern Mazdas, is well designed and put together.

The chrome-ringed instrument cluster with red lighting looks sporty and the combination of black and metal-look trim sections give the CX-7 a prestige/sporty feel.

The test car was the Luxury model with gear including supportive leather seats and a gutsy sound system.

Even small things such as the chrome strip around the side windows lift its presence.

That is nice, but many buyers would trade some of the jewellery for parking sensors, which should be standard.

It can carry five people, but the rear middle seat is uncomfortable and is best only for short stints.

The centre armrest that folds into the back of the middle rear seat means it is quite hard.

There is probably enough space in the cargo area for smaller families, but is not as big as a regular family sedan or mid-sized crossover wagons. Interior storage is good and I really like the cavernous centre area between the driver and passenger.

The bottom line

MODERN family wagon that looks great and drives well but has a disturbing thirst.

Pricing guides

$8,999
Based on 86 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$4,450
Highest Price
$12,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(4X4) 2.3L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $4,700 – 7,590 2007 Mazda CX-7 2007 (4X4) Pricing and Specs
Classic (4x4) 2.3L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $4,100 – 6,600 2007 Mazda CX-7 2007 Classic (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Luxury (4x4) 2.3L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $4,600 – 7,480 2007 Mazda CX-7 2007 Luxury (4x4) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.4
Pricing Guide

$4,450

Lowest price, based on 85 car listings in the last 6 months

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