By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.9
Mazda didn't pioneer the crossover sport utility vehicle, but with the introduction of the 2011 Mazda CX-7 it certainly made the SUV more fun to drive. With styling inspired by the company's flagship RX-8 sports car and a chassis co-engineered with former partner Ford, the CX-7 is a five-passenger family hauler with the heart and soul of a sports car. Inside the 2011 Mazda CX-7 there is room for five and a spacious cargo hold. The 2011 Mazda CX-7 offers two engines: A 244-horsepower, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and a non-turbocharged, 161-horsepower, 2.5-liter engine. The turbo engine delivers V6 power with little loss of fuel economy, while the non-turbo engine shaves a few thousand dollars from the purchase price.
If you desire a vehicle worthy of driving on winding roads, but you have the responsibility of safely transporting your family, the CX-7 is one crossover SUV that can satisfy both demands.
If you require a third-row seat or the ability to tow more than 2,000 pounds, the CX-7 probably won't make the cut.
For 2011, Mazda adds a luxury-oriented Touring trim to the i line. The 2011 Mazda CX-7 i Touring costs about the same as the turbocharged 2011 Mazda CX-7 s Touring.
Driving Impressions To make the Mazda "zoom-zoom" story work with a sport utility vehicle requires quite a bit of engine and suspension tuning. In the case of the 2011 Mazda CX-7, the...goal has been accomplished while delivering a firm, but comfortable ride and adequate fuel economy. When equipped with the 161-horsepower engine, the CX-7's driving experience is still fun, if not fast. It's the 244-horsepower turbocharged engine that makes the CX-7 a blast to drive. The turbo engine delivers 90 percent of its peak toque at very low engine speeds, providing great acceleration from rest and when merging into fast-moving traffic.
Folding Rear Seats
The 2011 Mazda CX-7's 60/40-split folding rear seats can be lowered via a remote release located at the rear of the cargo hold. The seatbacks fold flat without the need to remove the headrests.
Advanced Keyless Entry and Start System
With the key fob-shaped remote securely in one's pocket or purse, the CX-7's doors can be unlocked simply by approaching the vehicle.
Matching the CX-7's sporty exterior is an equally handsome interior, highlighted by high-quality plastics, attractive orange dash lighting and comfortable front bucket seats. Base models feature cloth seats with chrome accents, while higher-end cars come with leather seating surfaces, automatic climate control and an available Bose audio system. Also available is a tiny navigation screen which doubles as the view screen for the rear back-up camera. The navigation screen display is too small and too busy to be effective. Rear-seat headroom and legroom is excellent. When more cargo room is required, an easy-to-reach lever folds the rear-seat backs forward.Exterior
It takes only one glance to see the 2011 Mazda CX-7 is no ordinary SUV. With its front wheels pushed far forward and covered with RX-8-inspired hood and fender flares, the 2011 Mazda CX-7 looks like it would be happier on a racetrack rather than at soccer practice. A sleek 66-degree windshield angle furthers the CX-7's racy exterior, as do more subtle touches such as a blacked-out lower air intake, chrome door handles and large round dual exhaust tailpipes. Sporty 18- and 19-inch wheels are available.
The 2011 Mazda CX-7 is offered in five trim levels. The i SV, i Sport, and i Touring models feature a 161-horsepower, four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The s Touring and s Grand Touring are fitted with a 244-horsepower, turbocharged engine connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. Both automatics feature a manual-shift mode. The base i SV model includes power windows, power door locks, 17-inch wheels and cruise control. Base sound system is an AM/FM stereo with single MP3-compatible CD player and auxiliary audio input jack. The s Touring model gains 18-inch wheels, leather seating, a power adjustable driver's seat and a retractable cargo cover. The i Touring model has a Bose audio system, SIRIUS satellite radio, a rear back-up camera and a color Multi-Information Display. The i Grand Touring adds high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, automatic climate control, 19-inch wheels, DVD navigation, Smart Key keyless entry and start and the Blind Spot Monitoring system.
Most options are bundled into groups. One such is the Touring Technology Package, which adds a Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound System with nine speakers and a six-disc CD/MP3 changer and a color multi-function LCD screen with rear back-up camera. Stand-alone options include fog lamps, six-disc CD/MP3 changer, remote engine start, rear back-up camera and a DVD entertainment system.
The 2011 Mazda CX-7 offers a choice of two engines. The base i SV, i Sport and i Touring use a 161-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine teamed to a five-speed Sport automatic transmission. The s Touring and s Grand Touring models employ a 244-horsepower, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. Though similar in design to the engine used in the MAZDASPEED3, the CX-7 uses a different turbocharger. This permits more power to be produced at a lower rpm and makes the engine act like a much larger naturally-aspirated V6. Assisting the smooth transfer of power from the turbocharged engine is a six-speed automatic transmission that features a manual shift mode for a more spirited driving experience.
2.5-liter in-line 4
161 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
161 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28
2.3-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
244 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 (FWD), 17/21 (AWD)
By Lizz on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,091overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Smooth drive, comfortable, stylish"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I purchased this vehicle used at 50k miles around a week ago. I am very impressed with the control and smooth drive of the vehicle. I strongly wanted to get another Nissan Murano, but decided to go with the CX7 and have no regrets! I am pleased with the gas mileage. I do not drive many miles on a daily bases and have only 1 child to tote around. It is perfect for our lifestyle. The seats are also noticeably comfortable. I am 6'1 so seating space is very important. A tall-friendly ride!"
16 people out of 27 found this review helpful
By dkmdp on Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "styling, value, reliabile (non turbo version)"
Cons: "dead pedal for left foot could be a bit closer"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I would like to have gotten power seats. But gets about 27-28 mpg all day long highway avg, around town I get an average of about 24-25. I like the satellite radio, and Bluetooth options installed on the car. My beef is that Mazdas tend not to hold value as well as Toyota or Honda. at the rate I have driven my car, the miles are killing my value! I do like the styling and it has gone pretty good in the snow too,"
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Doug on Sunday, August 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Excellent car, never owned a Mazda before, but would definitely buy one again. The only drawback, is the mileage was not as great as I had hoped gets about 22 miles to the gallon..... but other than that, very reliable and nice car. :)"
7 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Snuff on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "body style, comfort, happy gas mileage"
Cons: "pearl paint tough touch-up, leather not very soft"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Went to the Honda/Mazda dealer thinking Honda was the way to go, but after driving the CX we were impressed with its more carlike feel combined with SUV cargo space. The paint quality and fit of parts is very good, and who would have believed those skinny environmental tires would produce over 30MPG highway, BETTER than the EPA rating! The only gripe we've had is the slight occasional bog/lag when turning left, dealer says fairly common and not very fixable on the 4-cyl engine."
7 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Liz on Monday, June 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sleek, comfortable, reliable"
Cons: "Mediocre gas mileage, HORRIBLE blind spots"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I bought my CX-7 Grand Touring used (40,000 miles) and have had no problems with reliability thus far. The gas mileage is good, not great, for what it is, but the car is insanely comfortable. It might be a little loud, but otherwise this is a great car if you do a lot of long-distance highway driving. However, I have noticed that the blind spots are HORRIBLE. The design of the car is very sleek, but some of that comes from forfeiting visibility, especially around the corners of the car. Although I love my CX-7, I don't think I would get another one specifically because of how bad the blind spots are."
7 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Rick on Tuesday, May 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "excellent cost, comfortable driving, 3rd row handy"
Cons: "no center consol, improve on front storage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"some road noise at high speeds, avg. GPM 24/?? no trips yet. Leather interior not factory but professionally installed before pickup from dealer . door slots work but could have been longer for envelope to store insurance and registration (for example). Rear storage excellent, even more than had in Tribute (great for wheelchair)."
10 people out of 16 found this review helpful