21 December 2014
While the compact SUV market is a competitive sector, Mazda’s effort is a stellar one; even if its approach is a one-engine, one-trim attempt to capture the market. Handling and performance are standout, while equipment levels are pretty impressive too. It may be the only model, but don’t overlook it, as the new CX-7 now comes with a diesel engine; correcting the major flaw of the first, where a thirsty petrol engine kept buyers away. Those that rejected it before should look again at the CX-7; it won’t disappoint.
The Mazda CX-7 is available only with a 2.2 litre diesel engine, which produces 173ps at 3,500 rpm and up to 400Nm of torque. This might be the only engine on offer, but it is to no detriment to Mazda; proving itself capable on B-roads and around town. Where it really comes into its own however, is on long distance motorway journeys. Acceleration is strong from low revs right the way through to 6th gear, where the CX-7 can comfortably remain, unless decelerating to meet slowest, crawling traffic. A 0-60 mph time of 11.3 seconds doesn’t really do the car justice, as the CX-7 actually pulls away willingly and offers very comfortable and quiet cruising too.
I drove a total of around 600 miles in the CX-7 while it was on test with us and I can state unequivocally that this car made a real difference to how I felt after enduring long drives. The CX-7 is comfortable in the extreme with well cushioned leather seats as standard and 6-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat taking the strain. It is understandable that droves of customers are changing for 4 door saloons and large hatchbacks to crossover and SUV style vehicle such as the CX-7 where ride quality appears to be more assured without really sacrificing the driving experience. Throw the CX-7 into a corner and it responds well with only a touch of body roll evident; not nearly enough to concern the driver during every day journeys.
The CX-7 seems to be every bit as well put together as other vehicles within the Mazda range. Legendary build quality has been partly responsible for huge success of models such as the MX-5 and RX-8; and the CX-7 feels like it continues with this theme. The CX-7 only comes with one spec level, though this is very high and the materials used in the interior are of good quality with a premium feel. The high quality of service which customers often report at Mazda dealers only adds to the proposition.
The CX-7 comes is well-equipped as standard with a Traction Control System (TCS) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) complimenting its active 4-wheel drive, and ensuring that the car is able to cope with a range of difficult road conditions such as wet, snowy or loose, rocky surfaces. Also included is ABS, EBD and a Rear Vehicle Monitoring (RVM) lane change assist system, which complimented by the car’s commanding view of the road; only adds to the feel that this is a safe and secure car to drive. The RVM system warns the driver of approaching cars prior to a lane changes while the rear view camera assists in reversing, by providing a view of what is directly behind the car. Engine immobiliser and Thatcham Category 1 anti-theft alarm ensure the CX-7 will be where you left it.
The CX-7 is a spacious vehicle anyway but add this to the fact that it is very adaptable too and you have a winner in this category. The boot load floor is reversible with carpet on one side and durable plastic on the other so you can adapt the load carrying space to whatever conditions you come into contact with. Boot space stands at 455 litres, extending to 1,348 litres with the back seats down. On a weekend fishing trip, the CX-7 provided plenty space all round for three adult men to sit comfortably, and fitted all their fishing paraphernalia in too.
The CX-7 is definitely much improved for its diesel engine, previous models came with a petrol engine, a mistake in this sector. A diesel engine means that economy is now respectable at 37.7mpg. The standard equipment list is also encouraging; with integrated Sat Nav, Bose stereo, heated leather seats and 19” alloys all included. At £27,580 the CX-7 rates stacks up well against other premium SUV offerings from other manufacturers. Residual values should be helped by the presence of a diesel engine and a generous spec level. Although business users should note that the emissions of 199g/km mean that the CX-7 sits 33% BiK bracket.
Submitted: 23/08/2011 14:01:23
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