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Used Mazda CX-7 review: 2009-2012

Mazda CX-7 Classic
EXPERT RATING
7
Mazda's heavy use of "Zoom Zoom" in its advertising was enough to tell you it was playing the sports card with its cars, no matter the model. The CX-7 SUV was no different. New From the moment the CX-7 was launched in 2006 Mazda pushed the sporty message, and it didn't back off with the introduction of the Series 2 in

Mazda's heavy use of "Zoom Zoom" in its advertising was enough to tell you it was playing the sports card with its cars, no matter the model. The CX-7 SUV was no different.

New

From the moment the CX-7 was launched in 2006 Mazda pushed the sporty message, and it didn't back off with the introduction of the Series 2 in 2009.

Sleek, flowing lines helped smooth the traditional boxy SUV shape without affecting the all-important cabin space, while the traditional and popular high-riding stance was maintained to give CX-7 riders the great view of the road they so craved.

The CX-7 was a five-seater wagon that came in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions, and with petrol or diesel power options. At the bottom of the totem was the Classic front-wheel drive model, which offered a more affordable way into the CX-7 family.

As well as front-wheel drive the Classic had a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission. The bulk of the range boasted all-wheel drive, which carried the Sports tag. In most driving situations it worked as a regular front-driver, until slip was detected at the front wheels and then drive was directed to the rear wheels as well.

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Two engines were on offer in the all-wheel drive models. They were a turbocharged 2.3-litre direct injection four-cylinder engine and a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel.

When the 2.3-litre turbo engine was chosen it was coupled to a six-speed sports auto; when the turbo-diesel was in play the transmission was a six-speed manual. Sadly, there was no auto option for diesel lovers.

On the open road the CX-7 was poised and assured with a nice balance of ride comfort and grip. The performance of the Classic's petrol four with the five-speed automatic was modest rather than inspiring; for that level of performance you needed to step up to the turbocharged four in the Sports models. And then you paid the penalty at the bowser.

With 400 Nm of torque the diesel happily pulled hard from low engine revs and delivered decent fuel economy.

Now

Mazdas are well built and generally reliable, but it's still important to carefully check any car before buying it; you don't know what use/abuse previous owners have possibly subjected it to.

Servicing is one thing that is vital to long-term good health, particularly of the engines, and even more important with turbocharged engines. Regular oil changes avoid the build-up of sludge in an engine, and sludge is the number one killer of modern powerplants.

Of the CX-7 engines the 2.3-litre turbocharged engine is the one that needs extra special care when buying, the others are generally sound and reliable. Before buying a CX-7 with the turbocharged engine it's best to have it checked by a mechanic experienced in what to look for.

If you choose to check it yourself look for oil leaks around the engine, particularly around the turbocharger. An oil leak points to a problem with the turbo seal, a relatively common problem.

Reports from owners suggest that the turbocharger can also be problematic. If you believe that the performance of your potential purchase is not up to par when you road test it, walk away, it could be a sign the turbo is on its way out. If you see smoke coming from the exhaust definitely pass on the car, that's a sure sign of turbo trouble.

Listen intently for noise from the timing chain. It's quite common, and problems with the chain can lead to problems with the VVTi camshaft timing system. The VVTi sensor is an often-reported problem area.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2012 $9,900 $16,060
2011 $8,690 $14,410
2010 $7,700 $12,870
2009 $6,820 $11,880

View all Mazda CX-7 pricing and specifications

Pricing Guides

$10,995
Based on 78 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$4,990
Highest Price
$15,500

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Classic (4x4) 2.3L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $7,799 – 11,990 2009 Mazda CX-7 2009 Classic (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Classic (FWD) 2.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $7,689 – 11,990 2009 Mazda CX-7 2009 Classic (FWD) Pricing and Specs
Classic Sports (4x4) 2.3L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $7,999 – 10,999 2009 Mazda CX-7 2009 Classic Sports (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Diesel Sports (4x4) 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $4,990 – 13,990 2009 Mazda CX-7 2009 Diesel Sports (4x4) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$3,950

Lowest price, based on 134 car listings in the last 6 months

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