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2012 Mazda CX-7

Overview
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2012 Mazda CX-7 Review

By

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.
Favorite Features

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 307 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.2/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

NUMBER 1 VEHICLE IVE EVER OWNED.

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "WONT FIND A BETTER AUTO."

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

"MY VERY FIRST MAZDA. YOU WONT FIND A BETTER AUTO FOR THE MONEY. I JUST LOVE THIS CAR. GREAT SPEED AND PERFECT RIDE."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Not so great

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good looking, comfortable on long trips."

Cons: "Bad turning radius and blind spots"

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

"Very comfortable interior and a good looking car. But...yes, replaced the turbo at 40,000 miles under warranty luckily. The tires that came on the car were lousy in rain and snow. The blind spots are terrible. And the turning radius makes it difficult to pull into traffic easily and to park it. I lack confidence when driving this vehicle. Our other car is a Mazda 3 and we love it. It has 150,000 miles on it and never a problem."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Not so great

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good looking, comfortable on long trips."

Cons: "Bad turning radius and blind spots"

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

"Very comfortable interior and a good looking car. But...yes, replaced the turbo at 40,000 miles under warranty luckily. The tires that came on the car were lousy in rain and snow. The blind spots are terrible. And the turning radius makes it difficult to pull into traffic easily and to park it. I lack confidence when driving this vehicle. Our other car is a Mazda 3 and we love it. It has 150,000 miles on it and never a problem."

Love it for looks, ease of driving and comfort

By on Sunday, April 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Too many negatives for me"

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

"Experience within the time I bought it till now has been horrible. I went thru two turbo's and now the engine is gone. I followed every instruction in the manual, maintained the car properly and now I just paid my last payment and have no car. The car is in excellent shape but I am scared to buy another engine as the two turbos cost about $4700 and now an engine would be about $8K... The car cost $32K so am going to see if I can find a mechanic to buy it cheap. Am going back to a Honda."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Decent crossover. You get what you pay for.

By on Monday, March 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Cheap price"

Cons: "You get what you pay for"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Drives ok. It's a mid grade crossover. Headlight bulbs constantly need replacing. Very annoying. Nothing major ever failed on vehicle."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Wonderful Suv,perfect size

By on Friday, February 28, 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
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive plus great mileage"

Cons: "None,wish they still made it."

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

"What a great Suv,it does everything right. Great handling and unbelievable mileage. I have got 32 mpg on the highway and consistently get 26 around town. This car is fun to drive,you will love it.Like Mazda says zoom zoom!"

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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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