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2012 Mazda CX-7

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2012 Mazda CX-7 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

While most Sport Utility Vehicles, or SUVS, place the emphasis on utility, the Mazda CX-7 gives equal time to the "sport" part of the SUV equation. The 2012 Mazda CX-7 SUV is admittedly getting a bit old, but its styling is holding up well, and its still strikes us as one of the nicer crossover SUVs in the mid-size field. With its 5-passenger seating, the Mazda CX-7 can't compete with other SUVs that offer a third-row seat, but its big brother, the CX-9, has that base covered. With the CX-7, you have a sporty crossover with exceptionally good handling, an elegant and refined interior and an available 244-horsepower turbocharged engine that helps the CX-7 live up to is Mazda pedigree.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you love the feeling of a performance-oriented sedan, but you need the space, ground clearance and all-wheel-drive (AWD) capability of an SUV, the 2012 Mazda CX-7 deserves a test drive.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need room for six or more people, the 2012 Mazda CX-7 won't fit your needs. While the base model's naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine helps move the price down and the fuel economy up, it doesn't do much to move the CX-7 SUV quickly.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Mazda CX-7 SUV moves into the 2012 with no major changes.

Driving the CX-7

Driving Impressions To make a sport utility vehicle ride and handle like a low-slung sport sedan takes a bit of tweaking in both the engine and suspension department. In the case of...

the 2012 CX-7 SUV, Mazda engineers have accomplished their goals without sacrificing ride comfort or a quiet cabin. 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, however, that makes the Mazda 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. Better yet, the turbo runs on regular gas, a bonus for high-performance fans.

Folding Rear Seats
The 2012 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.

2012 Mazda CX-7 Details
Interior

If you had to pick one area where Mazda products truly outpace their competitions, we'd have to pick interior design. In the case of the 2012 Mazda CX-7 SUV's, that interior would be a highly functional, meticulously-assembled grouping of high-quality plastics shaped into handsome, streamlined forms. Attractive orange and orange with blue backlighting brings the CX-7's dash to life, and you'll appreciate the well-placed stalk and steering wheel-mounted fingertip controls. We don't particularly care for the small display screen containing readouts for the ventilation and audio, as well as the equally-small navigation screen that doubles as the rear backup camera display. The CX-7's seats are excellent, with good long distance comfort and handsome coverings of cloth or leather. Rear-seat passengers enjoy ample room and even tall passengers will find much to like. Cargo space can be increased by folding the rear seats flat, a chore made all the simpler by a set of easy-to-reach release levers located near the hatchback opening.

Exterior

Examining the 2012 Mazda CX-7's exterior reveals an SUV that has more sports car-like styling cues (many of them lifted from the now-deceased RX-8) than trendy truck overtures. The CX-7's front wheels are moved as far forward as they can go, covered by bugling fender flares and an RX-8-inspired hood design. The curves continue as the eyes move rearward, making us conclude this SUV looks like it would much rather be tearing up a twisting back road than picking up the kids from school. Setting the 2012 Mazda CX-7 SUV apart from its truck-like counterparts is its 66-degree angled windshield and racy 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels that further emphasis the vehicle's sporting intentions

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Mazda CX-7 SUV is offered in five trim levels. The i SV, i Sport, and i Touring models feature a 161-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The s Touring and s Grand Touring are fitted with a 244-horsepower, turbocharged engine connected to a 6-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. The base i SV sound system is an AM/FM stereo with single MP3-compatible CD player and auxiliary audio input jack. All models except the i SV include Bluetooth. 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 s Grand Touring adds high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, automatic climate control, 19-inch wheels, DVD navigation, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry and Start, and the Blind Spot Monitoring system.

Optional Equipment

Most Mazda CX-7 options are bundled into groups. One such is the Touring Technology Package, which adds a Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound System with nine speakers, a 6-disc CD/MP3 changer and a color multi-function LCD screen with rear back-up camera. Stand-alone options include fog lamps, remote engine start, rear back-up camera and a DVD entertainment system.

Under the Hood

The 2012 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 4-cylinder engine with a 5-speed Sport automatic transmission. The s Touring and s Grand Touring models have a 244-horsepower, 2.3-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. Though similar in design to the engine used in the Mazdaspeed3, the CX-7 uses a different turbocharger. This contributes to more power 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 6-speed automatic transmission that features a manual-shift mode for a more spirited driving experience.

2.5-liter inline-4
161 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
161 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27

2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4
244 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 (front-wheel drive), 17/21 (AWD)

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2012 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."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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!!"

2 people out of 2 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!!"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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"

10 people out of 16 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."

10 people out of 16 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 6 found this review helpful

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