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2012 Mazda CX-7

Overview
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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 315 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

Mazda is good quality

By on Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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."

5 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Great car, but blind spots are a serious issue

By on Monday, June 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great rear storage-Excellent Vehicle-3rd row handy

By on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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)."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Disappointments

By on Sunday, May 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,276

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Cons: "Overpriced & Overrated."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"This Mazda cx7 with Turbo costs way too much in fuel considering other vehicle types on the market in this price range and trim package. Cannot use standard 87 octane gasoline and you can only use synthetic oils. You must also remember to idle the vehicle after each trip prior to turning off the engine. The technologies afforded this touring model are difficult to understand even with the owners manual and quick start guide. Road noise is highly prevalent and the interior finish collects dust daily during normal operation. It's back up camera gives an image that is squatty. Of course, these are my observations and opinions. It would be more fuel efficient for anyone considering to purchase a vehicle and more cost effective to buy an older model vehicle and not on credit. 'Buy an old one. Fix it up and keep it running.'"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Nice reliable vehicle

By on Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good gas milage, sturdy interior, lots of extras"

Cons: "Back seat"

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

"I leased this car for 3 1/2 years and am very happy with it. Not one single problem. When I was shopping I felt like I got the most bells and whistles for the money with this car, and still had a reasonable lease payment. My highway mileage was about 29mpg and locally about 22mpg. The cons would be the comfort of the back seat. I didn't care for it, but I don't have people in the back very often. When I did have passengers, they said it was fine, so maybe it was just me, feeling like I was sitting much lower than the drivers. They have improved the backup camera in the newer models, and that was something I didn't love, but it was ok. It got around in the snow just fine, never a problem. It also had good pick up entering the highway. I will be turning this in soon and would love to get a CX-5. Hope I have the same good luck that I had with this CX-7."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

AWD great in Snow

By on Monday, April 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Turbo Power is good & Stable in Snow"

Cons: "Expensive to drive, Not reliable"

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

"I bought the AWD model of the '07 CX7 while living in snow country. It was great in the snow, but that's where Great ends with this car. It is now a burden, and cost a ton of money to drive and maintain. Having to use 91 Octane hurts the back, especially with the poor MPG (Avg. 16). The tires cost a fortune to replace and it seems there is always a repair needed when taking it in for an oil change. Have had numerous electrical issues with warning lights, CD not working and power window issues."

4 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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