There are plenty of SUV-like crossovers on the market.
There are plenty of SUV-like crossovers on the market. Some are of the premium variety while others fall into the so-called non-premium, compact SUV category.
Then along comes the Mazda CX-7 to confuse the issue, as it sits between the two segments with at least one axle in each camp. It looks more expensive than its £23,960 price tag would suggest and when it comes to mass, Mazda choose to label it as ‘mid-size’.
The CX-7 is based on the MX Crossport concept shown at the Detroit show in 2005. It was on sale in the USA first but since September 2007, the UK has been able to join in the fun. However, our version is a little different. We like a lot of feedback from the road and our roads are not like those in North America, which is why the suspension has been tweaked and the tyres, steering characteristics and ESP settings are all different as well. All in all, around 30 per cent of our CX-7 set‑up is different to other global versions.
Visually, there isn’t anything quite like the CX-7 on the road. The Mazda5 has a similar front end but the CX-7 exudes its own presence and personality. From the side, it could be mistaken for a more expensive marque with darkened, shallow glazing trimmed with chrome, and deep doors between heavily flared wheel arches, but it’s the full frontal that makes the biggest impression.
The steeply raked windscreen loses its depth when viewed head on, which makes the wide well defined bonnet appear huge and menacing. The ‘press-lines’ seem to flow down from the A-pillars and across the bonnet before joining the deep front bumper, under the small upper grille. The bumper, into which is set is a much larger grille and front fog lights, was also designed specifically for the European market.
While the CX-7 looks mean and moody, a hint of RX-8 styling provides clues to its sporty nature; this is further emphasised by the two large, chromed tailpipes and roof spoiler.
However, this is more than just an impression. The CX-7 doesn’t just look sporty, it also has the prowess to prove it. Mazda describes the car as ‘an SUV with the soul of a sports car’.
Mazda CX-7 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mazda Mazda CX-7|
|Colour||Galaxy Grey Mica|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8 Seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||34.9 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year or 60,000 Mile Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 17/02/08)||£23,960|