The Auto Trader expert verdict:
The Mazda CX-7 is an impressive all-rounder. It’s well styled, roomy, offers lots of kit and it’s good to drive too.
Reasons to buy:
- Enjoyable drive
- Spacious interior
- Impressive level of kit
How good does it look?
Mazda makes some of the most distinctive cars on the road, and it’s no different with the Mazda CX-7. While some would say Mazda’s cars are over-styled, we think they have just the right amount of aggression. The rakish window line, sculpted nose and jewelled rear lights all look superb, as do the polished 19-inch spoked alloy wheels.
What's the interior like?
At first the CX-7’s dash is a bit overwhelming, because it’s so well stocked with buttons and dials. However, with familiarisation it all works very well, even if some things aren’t intuitive. It’s all very well built too, although the quality of the materials used isn’t quite on a par with key rivals such as the Audi Q5 or Land Rover Freelander.
How practical is it?
As a mid-sized 4×4, there’s masses of interior space in the CX-7, but seating only for five. There’s ample head and leg room for everyone, while the rear seat backs can be dropped at the pull of a lever – from inside the car or the boot. Seats up there’s a 455-litre load bay, fold them and this increases to 774 litres, which isn’t especially impressive – the Freelander, for example, can offer up to 1,670 litres of carrying capacity.
What's it like to drive?
The CX-7 is heavy and has a raised ride height, so you can’t expect the driving experience of a hot hatch. However, even though the ride is very comfortable, the handling is excellent too. Indeed, the steering feels exceptionally good, while the six-speed manual gearbox is great to use. When you consider that the CX-7’s body control is excellent too, despite its size, the CX-7 is surprisingly fun to drive.
How powerful is it?
The 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine gives the CX-7 a 124mph top speed, and it can sprint from 0-62mph in 11.3 seconds. Those figures are courtesy of the 171bhp and 295 lb/ft of torque on offer, while all cars have a six-speed manual gearbox – there’s no automatic option. While those figures might not sound impressive, there’s always plenty of power for getting away from awkward junctions or overtaking.
How much will it cost me?
You can’t expect to run such a large car on a shoestring, but Mazda claims the CX-7 can average 37.7mpg. Over 600 miles of mixed driving, we returned around 35mpg, which is a respectable figure. Maintenance is required every 12,000 miles, although inspection services are also needed at 3,000 and 9,000 miles from new.
How reliable is it?
Mazda is renowned for its cars’ reliability, so your money should be safe with a CX-7. Not only is the company’s track record very good, but our test car had no squeaks or rattles, no loose trim and everything worked as it should. For peace of mind, there’s a three-year/60,000-mile warranty.
How safe is it?
The CX-7 has received a four-star score in EuroNCAP crash tests. While adult occupant protection is generally good, rear impact (whiplash) results were described as poor by EuroNCAP. As well as brake assist, ESP, electronic brake force distribution and traction control, all cars come with Emergency Stop Signalling (which activates the hazard lights), lane change assist and a Thatcham category 1 security system.
How much equipment do I get?
With just one trim level offered, Mazda includes everything you could want, for the £26,340 asking price. Metallic paint is an extra £460, but the standard kit list includes xenon headlights, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers and a rear-view camera. Also included is leather trim along with heated and electrically adjustable front seats, plus a multimedia system.
The looks and the driving experience are both superb, but it’s as an all-round package that the CX-7 impresses because you don’t have to compromise. With most cars you lose out in some areas to gain in others, but not here – the CX-7 really is a superb all rounder.