Mazda CX-7 (2007 – 2012) At A Glance
The CX-7 is marketed as a blend of off-roader, family car and sports car, offering plenty of space and a decent drive. It's a car that's in the same mould as the Nissan Murano and BMW X3.
It went on sale in 2007, but went largely unnoticed, as it only came with a thirsty 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine. It was the same engine that was used in the high-performance Mazda 6 MPS and could manage just 28mpg. It wasn't popular and as a result was sold at often huge discounts.
That all changed in 2009 when Mazda dropped the petrol and brought-in an excellent 2.2-litre diesel. The CX-7's best bits -the swoopy shape, great on-the-road characteristics and comfortable cabin - were kept, but with far more reasonable fuel economy. Other changes since the diesel was introduced include a fresher look to the front-end and a useful blind spot indicator system which warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot on the motorway.
Mazda CX-7 2.3 Turbo Petrol 2007 Road Test
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Real MPG average for a Mazda CX-7 (2007 – 2012)
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Ask Honest John
My 2009 Mazda CX-7 has covered 60,000 miles - am I likely to run into issues with the timing chain?
"I've just discovered that the 2009 Mazda CX-7 I've owned for over 6 years has a timing chain rather than cam belt. It's covered 60,000 miles and I'm now worried that issues with the chain, the VVT or turbo are highly likely. Is it possible to check the state of my engine or is it time to sell? "
Presumably the 2.4 petrol? If the oil and filter have been changed regularly you shouldn't have any trouble with the chain. But it would be a very wise precaution to replace the turbo bearing oil feed and oil return pipes because they can get blocked with carbonised oil, starving the turbo of lubrication and cooling.
Mazda CX7 - should I sell or keep?
"I have owned a Mazda CX7 2.2 D Spoort Tech for three years. The car has been dealer serviced and completely reliable and I enjoy driving the car. Mileage is 20,000.
The warranty has recently expired and surprisingly the dealer has not attempted to sell me an extended warranty. Should I trade in the car now or purchase an extended warranty and keep the car for another two years?"
Check the CX-7 entry in http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar and make your decision on the basis of that. I'd be inclined to get out before DPF problems start because this is the older, pre-Skyactiv engine.
Can you recommend an automatic 4wd vehicle with decent load space?
"I have a 2010 Mercedes-Benz B180, bought 18 months ago when an automatic gearbox was dictated for health reasons. I need to change to a small 4WD as I live in the New Forest, so roads are narrow and edges rough and ready. I have two gun dogs and in the summer carry boxes of flowers for weddings. I realise that it was a mistake to even consider a car with low profile tyres, as the walls of the tyres are splitting with the sometimes uneven terrain. My mileage is fairly modest, at around 12,000 a year, so possibly petrol as opposed to diesel? And unfortunately I think I will have to stay with the automatic, although living on a hill can present problems as in last winter. Your advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated."
The only small automatic 4x4 is a derivative of the Suzuki Jimny that doesn't offer a very nice drive. After that, there's the much dearer Nissan Juke 1.6DIG-T CVT 4x4 and the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross CVT 4x4. Then you're up to quite big SUVs such as Mazda CX-7s, Honda CR-Vs, KIA Sportages, Hyundai ix35s and Toyota RAV-4s. Or you could think along the lines of a Renault Captur, which is a 2WD SUV available with a dual clutch automatic transmission: www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/renault/renault-captur-road-test//
There's also the Peugeot 2008 available with an EGS, and the Vauxhall Mokka/Chevrolet Trax 2WD automatics. This gap in the market will be filled eventually by cars such as the Ford EcoSport and new models from Toyota and Honda.
Can I run 87 or 89 octane fuel in my Mazda CX-7?
"We recently purchased a low mileage Mazda CX-7 as a second car. The 244HP 2.3-litre turbo engine is very thirsty and the manual calls for 91 octane fuel. Can 87 or 89 octane be used without harm, other than a small loss of performance? "
Octanes are different in Canada and the US. The UK equivalents are 95RON and 97-99RON. But if you use lower octane fuel you will not only gum up the engine fuel system and lose about 20PS in power, you will suffer an increase in the amount of fuel consumed which will make running the car more expensive. In my experience, the higher the octane you use, the more efficiently the engine will run and the less fuel it will use.
What does a Mazda CX-7 (2007 – 2012) cost?