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2008 Mazda CX-7

Overview
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2008 Mazda CX-7 Review

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With the full-size SUVs falling from public favor, manufacturers are pinning their hopes on a new class of SUV, commonly referred to as the crossover. The crossover combines the ride and handling of a car with the high seating position and spacious cargo hold of a large SUV, but without the larger vehicle's penalties for fuel economy and maneuverability. One such vehicle is the 2008 Mazda CX-7, a sleek, five-passenger SUV with the heart of a sports car. Designed to evoke the same sporty image as Mazda's flagship performance coupe, the RX-8, the CX-7 may be the sportiest crossover you can buy for under $25,000. Although the CX-7's turbocharged four-cylinder engine may be a radical departure for those accustomed to a big V8, we think consumers will quickly warm up to its powerful performance and reasonable fuel consumption.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're the type who prefers a sport coupe to a station wagon, but the realities of family life mean you need interior space and versatility, the 2008 Mazda CX-7's roomy rear seat, optional all-wheel drive and seductive good looks present a workable compromise.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those who require seating for seven or the ability to tow more than 2000 pounds won't be enthusiastic about the CX-7. Drivers accustomed to a permanently-engaged four-wheel-drive system may not warm to the CX-7's Active Torque Split all-wheel-drive system that engages only when the front tires slip.

What's Significant About This Car?

A new catalytic converter and engine tuning mean premium fuel is now recommended, but not required.

Driving the CX-7

Driving Impressions While Mazda's "zoom-zoom" driving experience may be easily blended into a small sports car, doing so with a five-passenger crossover SUV is quite another story. Fortunately, this one has a...

happy ending as the CX-7 excels in the areas of handling, braking, acceleration and overall ride comfort. The all-aluminum 2.3-liter turbocharged engine is powerful enough to move the CX-7 with ease, delivering 90 percent of its power in the 2000-2500 rpm range. More importantly, the engine's lightweight construction places less weight over the front wheels, helping improve steering response and maneuverability as well as creating a more evenly balanced chassis. From behind the wheel, the CX-7 feels more like the Mazda6 Sport Wagon than it does a crossover SUV, displaying level cornering, immediate turn-in response and excellent straight-line stability.

Folding Rear Seats
The CX-7's 60/40-split folding rear seats can be lowered via a spring-loaded release located at the rear of the cargo hold. The seatbacks are designed to fold flat without needing to remove the adjustable headrests.

Advanced Keyless Entry and Start System
With the card-shaped remote securely in one's pocket or purse, the CX-7's doors can be unlocked simply by approaching the vehicle.

2008 Mazda CX-7 Details
Interior

Mazda is known for its high-quality interiors and the 2008 CX-7 is no exception. A tasteful blend of textured black plastic and chrome surrounds make up the instrument cluster and center console, while the optional beige leather seating creates a striking contrast. The broad dashboard features a hooded crease that parallels the base of the windshield, beneath which resides a glowing orange display for the audio and heating readouts. A sporty three-spoke steering wheel borrowed from the MX-5 roadster is an unexpected treat, and the comfortable front bucket seats offer excellent support for spirited driving. An easy-to-reach lever located in the cargo area activates the spring-loaded rear-seat backs, allowing them to be folded flat without having to make a long and awkward reach.

Exterior

The 2008 Mazda CX-7 is not your father's chunky SUV. With a windshield fixed at a sleek 66-degree angle, front wheels pushed far forward and an RX-8-inspired hood and front fenders, the CX-7 looks almost as though it was built to race rather than commute. Strong character lines sweep from the front A-pillars to the familiar Mazda five-point grille, while bulging wheel flairs combined with a gently rising beltline help accentuate the CX-7's sports car-like nature. Subtle touches, such as the blacked-out lower air intake, chrome door handles and large round dual exhaust tailpipes further separate the CX-7 from more traditionally-styled crossovers. Bolstering the CX-7's "zoom-zoom" attitude are handsome 18-inch wheels, which Mazda includes as standard equipment on all three trim levels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The CX-7 comes in three trim levels, each fitted with the same 2.3-liter, turbocharged engine and six-speed Sport automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Base models include manual air-conditioning, power windows, power door locks, 18-inch wheels, front side-impact and front and rear head-curtain airbags, cruise control, AM/FM stereo with single CD, anti-lock brakes, traction control and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). The Touring model gains leather seating, a power adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats and a retractable cargo cover. The Grand Touring adds high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, automatic climate control, body-colored mirrors, chrome door handles and fog lamps.

Optional Equipment

Most options are bundled into groups, such as the Technology Package that adds DVD-based navigation, a rear backup camera, a Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound System with nine speakers and a six-disc CD/MP3 changer, a power moonroof and Mazda's Advanced Keyless Entry and Start. A less expensive Sun and Sound package includes just the moonroof and Bose audio system. Stand-alone options include a power driver's seat, fog lamps, six-disc CD/MP3 changer, remote engine start, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and a retractable cargo cover.

Under the Hood

The CX-7 is powered by a 244-horsepower, 2.3-liter intercooled and turbocharged Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) engine. Though similar in design to the engine used in the MAZDASPEED3, the CX-7's uses a different turbocharger with a smaller turbine inlet. This design permits more power to be produced at a lower rpm, creating a more linear acceleration curve comparable to one produced by a larger, normally-aspirated V6. In fact, the CX-7's 2.3-liter powerplant displays none of the characteristics inherent with turbocharging, showing no noticeable rush of power as the turbo builds boost with essentially imperceptible turbo lag. Assisting the smooth transfer of power is a six-speed Sport automatic transmission featuring a manual shift mode for a more spirited driving experience.

2.3-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
244 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/22 (FWD), 16/22 (AWD)

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2008 Mazda CX-7 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 331 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.2/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Close to perfect

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Car-like handling"

Cons: "Engine noise - won't bother most people"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This SUV is not perfect, but close! Style, comfort, handling, economy are all excellent. This SUV drives like a car, with car-like handling and fuel economy. My vehicle has over 50,000 miles and is tight, solid and rattle free. The "non-perfect" element is the engine. It has adequate power, especially at low end, and is fuel efficient. I get 18 to 25 mpg depending on driving trips. But, the engine is harsh, with some vibration at certain RPMs and is noisy, the noise enters the cabin at all speeds. I'm critical, most people will just turn up the radio."

Love our CX-7

By on Sunday, July 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fast, Fun Ride"

Cons: "a bit loud on the HWY"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Lets just say we are a family who travels a lot. Since we bought her back in 2010 our CX-7 has been nothing but fantastic!! We have not had any issues and have kept up on all the maintenance! The ONLY thing I may have to say is that can be a somewhat loud ride on the highway but def. nothing to stop me from buying another Mazda!!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

My Mazda CX-7 i-Sport is Awesome

By on Thursday, July 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great Car!! The power in this car for a 4 cylinder is Crazy Good. you can't compare it to an American Car. I had a 1992 Ford Van when I purchased this car. My insurance dropped because of all the safety features. It's July 2015 and It's never been to a shop for repairs. Just for it's normal services. My husband is 6'4" and he fits in it great. Plenty of head room. It holds a good residual value too!! Love It!!"

LOUSYSERVICE

By on Sunday, May 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,335

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "quick ride"

Cons: "lousy service deptment"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Bought 2008 Mazda CX7 brand new from the dealer,7 years & only 50335 miles. I've had it with service dept, my 1st yr the plastic a/c vents came apart, went to mazda for replacement, they accused me of breaking them. The brakes are constantly making noise, according to them, build up of dust in the brake ducts. 2012 broken motor mount car has less then 35000 miles. Fast forward 2015 white smoke, smell of burning rubber, hot air coming from vents. A/C compressor a recalled item stalls, take it 2 Mazda service your warranty years have expired cost 2 fix $909+tax no discount on repair for a recalled/defective part"

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Lots of compliments

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Microfiber material, no power seats or privacy gla"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I've had more compliments with this vehicle than any other I've owned. This is the first Mazda I've ever purchased, I've had this car 2.5 years and I am very pleased with it. It's very reliable, sporty, stylish and roomy enough my 6'.5" spouse fits comfortably in it. Back seats fold down leaving plenty of space for our 3 dogs, hauling furniture like dressers and tables. Middle consul opens up and has 3 separate compartments which is nice. The adapter to plug in Ipod or cell phone for music is also a nice addition. I do wish it had power seats, privacy glass and the microfiber material is NOT pet friendly. The value however... isn't there. It's rapidly dropping each year I own the vehicle by thousands of dollars than what I paid for and I bought it used."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Love it

By on Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Maybe the best car I've ever owned. Nice styling ; better than the CX5. Very nice ride. Comfortable to drive on long trips. Great gas mileage. 25/mpg in town; 31 on trips."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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