Almost every carmaker these days have at least one SUV model in their production line. For European markets Mazda is offering the sporty CX-7, which is a real Sport Utility Vehicle, at least by it’s looks. The front of the car is pretty similar to other Mazda-models making CX-7 easily recognisable. Steeply sloped windshield looks sleek and aerodynamic. Other details include Xenon headlights, front fog lights, chrome door handles, rain-sensing windshield wipers and big alloy wheels. Normally these muscular wheel arches are filled with 19” alloys, but for the winter time this car was equipped with more moderate 17” wheels.
One useful feature is Mazda’s keyless entry and start system, which lets you to lock and unlock the doors and start the car while the key is in your pocket. Inside of the car there is pretty luxurious feeling with leather interior and leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. 3-spole steering wheel is filled with buttons, including controls for audio, cruise control and multi-information display. All controls are easily on the hand, but it takes a while to remember which button is which. Same goes with the audio controls in the center console.
2.2-litre diesel engine offers 173 horsepower and 400 Newton metres of torque. It gives this sporty SUV a nice performance for a daily use, but not quite what you would expect by the numbers. CX-7 doesn’t take any flying starts from standstill and according to the manufacturer the acceleration to 100 km/h takes 11.3 seconds, which sounds about right. Turbodiesel’s best torque is available on low revs at 2000rpm, but below this the engine feels powerless. Torque makes driving easy when you keep the revs above 2000rpm, so you have to work with the manual to keep the engine on it’s best torque range. Diesel engine has a 6-speed manual gearbox which works fine with the this engine. Gearstick is right within arm’s reach so working the gearbox doesn’t bother. Although the clutch takes some time to get use to. Some might prefer an automatic, but at least for now, manual is the only choice.
Steering is light, but it still gives surprisingly good feeling of the road. Even on the twisty back roads the CX-7 works well and offers a real driving pleasure. CX-7 has independent suspension with the MacPherson struts on the front axel and on the rear there is Multilink suspension with monotube dampers and low-mounted springs. Suspension works fine on the tarmac not letting the body to roll too much, but it isn’t too stiff for the gravel either. CX-7 has a all wheel drive system, but in normal conditions the car is front wheel drive. The system monitors the speed differences between front and real axels and when the front tires start to loose grip, the system then continuously redistributes up to 50% of torque to the rear wheels. CX-7 has ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assistance (EBA). Traction is controlled by TCS and dynamic stability control (DCS) helps to keep the car in driver’s control.
CX-7 is at it’s best on the longer journeys. On a 200 kilometer test drive route, including freeway and highway driving, the fuel consumption was 7.5 l/100km. It is possible to drop the consumption by one litre if you ease off the gas pedal and drop the speed a little bit. The speedometer just climbs easily too high when the car and especially the engine are so quiet and nicely powerful. Overtaking slower car’s is easy with all the torque allthough gathering higher speeds take some time. 2.2-litre diesel engine works fine in the CX-7 giving it a good performance for a daily driving, eventhough with these sporty looks you could expect a little more. 4WD system is there to help you when roads get slippery and not meant for any hard offroading, but this is the way with most of the SUVs. CX-7 offers sporty looks and decently roomy interior space, and with nice list of standard features it even provides a little bit of luxury for your daily driving moments.
- 127 kW ( 173 hp) / 3500rpm
- 400 Nm / 2000rpm
- 6-speed manual
0-100km/h / 0-62mph
- 11.3 seconds
- 200 km/h / 127 mph
- 7.5 l/100km / 37.7 mpg
- 199 g/km