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2007 Mazda CX 7
Sharply Styled CUV Fun

By Keith Burton

Mazda’s new 2007 CX-7 is a clean break from the fleet of traditional SUVs you see on the road. Just looking at it is an exercise in motion with its sharply slanted windshield, piercing projector headlights and multi-faceted tail lights. Frankly, pictures do not do justice to this vehicle.

Mazda says it engineered the CX-7 with its trademark, "Soul of a Sportscar." The CX-7 is built entirely on Mazda - derived platform architecture, which these days is pretty darn good, with a stiff body structure and able suspension that adds a lot of sport to the SUV equation, but it is not an offroad vehicle. Think sport for onroad twisties and mountain passes. The CX-7 skillfully blends sports car verve with SUV practicality. It is a vehicle that brings together performance and design like few vehicles have done and this deviation from the crossover norm is inviting to look at, entertaining to drive, and fun to use.

Two drivelines are offered: Front-Wheel Drive or Mazda's Active Torque-Split All- Wheel Drive. The latter system uses a computer-controlled coupling integrated with the rear differential to deliver up to half the available torque to the rear wheels on demand.


Key Points:

  1. Advanced and daring styling – more like a sports car than an SUV
  2. Terrific handling, but with a stiff suspension that may put off some people.
  3. Drives and looks more expensive than it is.
  4. 244 horsepower 2.3-liter turbocharged engine with 258 ft.lbs of torque at a low 2,500 rpm makes for a fun drive
  5. Very attractive and expensive-looking interior
  6. Very stylish head and tail lights
  7. While sporty, you are aware of the weight, but not as heavy as some SUVs
  8. Very tight and stiff body structure, no creaks or strange interior noises
  9. Six speed manumatic shifting transmission
  10. Available keyless entry. Strange credit card like keyfob with no key use at all to open the doors. Turn knob on steering column instead of pushbutton start.
  11. Available rear backup camera, navigation and Bose stereo cd system.

Sensors monitor engine information, individual wheel speeds, Anti-lock Brake System ( ABS ) operation, and the CX-7's standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC ) system to optimize torque distribution. Whether the driving conditions are dry and fast or slippery and moderately paced, exceptional handling is assured.

There is a caveat to the handling. You do get a vehicle that has a much stiffer suspension than you might expect in a crossover SUV. For folks coming out of sport sedans, the Mazda CX-7 will feel remarkably familiar. But with this vehicle, you get plenty of room for a young family, plus a lot of style, both outside and inside.

Powering the CX-7 is a powerful 2.3-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine with a stout 244 horsepower  that has almost no turbo lag. The engine also packs 258 lbs.-ft. of torque, which is on hand down low in the rpm range that really helps this vehicle get up to speed. The engine 's torque peaks at a low 2,500 rpm when 258 lb-ft of torque is available. It is tuned so that muscular feel begins at 2,000 rpm.

Inside, comfy leather seats and a lot of extras are available, including a navigation system and rear camera to help when backing up. Out tester was extremely well equipped, with features you usually see on premium vehicles costing much more. The same is true for how the interior was designed. Everywhere there are details that set this vehicle apart. The dash is a two level affair with a panel, that in red LEDs show the radio and air conditioning settings.  The night lighting is also upscale looking and should appeal to folks and passengers. The cabin is filled with red lights that add a sport ambiance to the interior. The Mazda CX-7 offers a wealth of entertainment gear.

The CX-7 offers AM, FM, and CD play capability as standard. Sirius satellite radio is available as an option. To further support driving pleasure and convenience, a touch-screen D VD -based navigation system with voice commands and a rear-view camera system are available to select as an option. In addition, buyers may choose a BOSE  premium sound system package that includes n ine speakers, approximately 240 watts of amplification, a six-CD changer and CENTERPOINT surround-sound system that offers five-channel digital imaging.

One thing we did have a problem with was how the speed is displayed. Mazda chose to leave nearly half of the speedometer display to show the transmission indicator, which moves the speed numbers to the left. So, 60 mph shows up way down on the display where you would normally find, say 30. Driving in town means paying close attention to the speedometer or you could easily find yourself speeding, and a new-found friend with the local police.

There are numerous details that we liked as well. The hood is supported on hydraulic struts, the service points were easy to find, and the poise of the CX-7 on the road draws a lot of admiring looks.  While certainly style is in the eye of the beholder, in silver, the CX-7 is very attractive and boldly styled, especially from the front, which has an aggressive stance. The

CX-7 is offered in three trim levels. Some of the highlights of the standard features are manual air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, retractable key, cruise control, and six air bags. Also standard on all CX-7s is an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and a Traction Control System (TCS).

Our CX-7 was equipped with the optional keyless entry system. This system means there is no key to open or start the vehicle and no key slot anywhere to be found. What you get is a thin, credit card-size fob that senses your approach to the vehicle, and once inside, you turn a knob where the key in a regular version would go.

Overall, the Mazda CX-7 has a lot going for it. Terrific styling inside and out that is both sporty and upscale in appearing. What certainly not a low slung sports car, it still handles sprightly and most people will find it fun to drive, we sure did.

ENGINE AND ELECTRICAL

 

Engine Type

2.3L Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) Turbocharged 16-valve 4-cylinder inline

Horsepower (hp), SAE net

244 @ 5000 rpm

Torque (lb-ft), SAE net

258 @ 2500 rpm

Redline

6700 rpm

Displacement (cubic inches/cc)

137.9/2260

Bore x Stroke (inches/mm)

3.44 x 3.70/87.5 x 94.0

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

Fuel System

Electronically controlled Direct Injection

Required Fuel

Premium (91 *Octane)

Valvetrain

Dual Overhead Cam, 4 valves per cylinder, camshaft chain, variable valve timing

Engine Block

Aluminum Alloy

Cylinder Heads

Aluminum Alloy

Emission Control

3-way catalytic converter

Ignition System

Full Transistor Breakerless Ignition

Alternator

12V – 110 amp

Battery

55D23L

Starter

12V:1.4kw

DRIVETRAIN

 

Type

FWD or Active Torque Split All Wheel Drive

Transmission

6-speed electronically controlled Sport AT

Ratios (:1)

1st

4.148

 

2nd

2.370

 

3rd

1.555

 

4th

1.154

 

5th

0.859

 

6th

0.685

 

Reverse

3.393

 

Final Drive

3.749

CHASSIS

 

Body Type

5 passenger, SUV, monocoque unibody with triple H construction

Front Suspension

Independent MacPherson Strut type coil spring and stabilizer bar

Rear Suspension

Independent Multi-link type coil spring and stabilizer bar

Shock Absorbers

Telescopic-type, double acting

Steering Type

Power assisted rack-and-pinion

Power Assist

Engine-rpm sensitive; variable hydraulic power assist steering

Steering Wheel Turns Lock-to Lock

2.9 revolutions

Overall Steering Ratio

15.8:1

Turning Circle, Curb-to-Curb (feet/m) Radius

18.7/5.7

Braking System

Power assist (4-wheel, 4-sensor, 4-channel Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) +

Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD))

Anti-Lock Braking System

Front Brakes (inches/mm)

Dual Piston Ventilated Disc (11.65/296) diameter, 1.1in/28mm thick

Rear Brakes

Single Piston Ventilated Disc (11.9/302) diameter, 0.7in/18mm thick

Parking Brake

Mechanical (foot type)

Wheels

18 x 7.5 aluminum alloy wheel

Tires

P235/60 R18 H-rated all-season

Tire Inflation Pressures (F/R)

32 psi/32psi

Temporary Spare Tire

T155/90 D18

EPA Curb Weight (lbs/kg)

FWD

3710/1683

 

4WD

3929/1782

*Octane: calculated by Anti Knock Index

This information reflects preliminary specifications and was correct at the time of print. However, Mazda policy is one of continuous product development. The right is reserved to change these details at any time.

ESTIMATED FUEL ECONOMY

 

EPA Mileage (City/Highway)

2WD AT

 

19/24

4WD AT

18/24

CAPACITIES

 

Engine Oil ( U.S. quarts/L)

6.0/5.7

Engine Coolant ( U.S. quarts/L)

9.4/8.9

Washer Fluid Tank ( U.S. quarts/L)

2.6/2.5

Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons/L)

18.2/69.0

EPA Passenger Volume w/o Moonroof
(cubic feet)

101.7

EPA Passenger Volume w/ Moonroof (cubic feet)

98.8

Cargo Volume w/ Rear Seatback Up (cubic feet)

29.9

Cargo Volume w/ Rear Seatback Folded (cubic feet)

58.6

Towing Capacity (lbs.)

2,000

EPA Vehicle Size Category
(2WD and 4WD)

Special Purpose Vehicle

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS

 

Wheelbase (inches/mm)

108.3/2750

Track, Front (inches/mm)

63.7/1617

Track, Rear (inches/mm)

63.5/1612

Length w/o License Plate Holder (inches/mm)

184.0/4675

Width (inches/mm)

73.7/1872

Height w/o Roof Rails (inches/mm)

64.8/1645

Minimum Ground Clearance (inches/mm)

unladen: 8.1/206

Coefficient of Drag (cd)

0.34

INTERIOR DIMENSIONS

 

Head Room w/o Moonroof, Front (inches/mm)

39.7/1009

Head Room w/o Moonroof, Rear (inches/mm)

39.3/998

Head Room w/ Moonroof, Front (inches/mm)

38.2/970

Head Room w/ Moonroof, Rear (inches/mm)

38.6/980

Leg Room, Front (inches/mm)

41.7/1059

Leg Room, Rear (inches/mm)

36.4/925

Shoulder Room, Front (inches/mm)

58.0/1472

Shoulder Room, Rear (inches/mm)

55.8/1417

Hip Room, Front (inches/mm)

54.8/1391

Hip Room, Rear (inches/mm)

53.0/1345

This information reflects preliminary specifications and was correct at the time of print. However, Mazda policy is one of continuous product development. The right is reserved to change these details at any time.
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