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Mazda CX-7 Tech Package Worth It?

cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
edited March 19 in Mazda
Okay, here's a question...

I don't need a navigation system (use a laptop-based one) - more important to me is a kick-butt stereo that will allow both satellite radio and iPod integration. I don't want a 6 CD-Changer (we don't even listen to CDs anymore), but the bose system sounds nice.

Does it make sense to get the MOONROOF/BOSE/6CD CHANGER option, skip the Tech package, and then go for car stereo that offers the features I want?

Any recommendations on car stereos that offer Sirius and iPod ability? Any recommended aftermarket systems that offer both + navigation (open to it if it does all three).

ps. Is it possible to get the MAZDA ADVANCED KEYLESS ENTRY AND START SYSTEM withOUT the tech package???

Comments

  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    The advanced keyless entry is ONLY available with the tech package.

    Moonroof is only available with the Moonroof, Bose Audio, 6CD Changer Package or the Tech Package.

    Of course you can get any aftermarket audio system, but no moon roof.

    If you opt for the tech package, you can get sirius also, but that negates the iPOD connection. Or you can get the iPOD kit and forego the satellite package. They're mutually exclusive.

    The Bose 9 speaker system is only available with either package.

    Also, any aftermarket audio system may or may not take advantage of the steering column controls and the upper dash display.

    Short answer: you're stuck. :cry: Do you REALLY want a CX-7? Sounds like your options are more important than the car itself.

    You may want to look at the Edge or the MKX, both close relatives of the CX-7. Their packages/features may be more flexible.

    Go to www.mazdausa.com and look at the CX-7, Feature and Specs.

    Vince.
  • cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
    One of the reasons I'm buying a new car if lack of features/options on my current. I want to buy a more "luxury" feature-rich car... but am baffled at the CX-7's lack of iPod support. I did read about the iPod connected available and heard that it's TERRIBLE... not just bad, but REALLY bad. Of course I haven't seen an example of one so I can't judge, but I'll ask at the dealership this weekend if they can show me one set up for iPod support.

    Ultimately, I have to decide what's more important - integrated iPod support + Sirius OR advanced keyless entry. My tendency is to say let the car experts be car experts... give me the cool styling, the sporty driving experience in a family-size car, the safety/airbags/ABS and engine that runs good, heated seats, climate control, and lots of other comfort features... but let the audio/computer specialists put in the gear they're best at. And I only say that after reading complaints about both the dealer-installed Sirius system and the manufacturers offered iPod system.

    Feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong. It's not about price either. I was all ready for the Tech package until I found out the iPod system was "awful" and that Sirius and iPod were mutually exclusive.
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    I can certainly understand your pain points.

    I have the AWD w/tech. I ordered everything in advance, so Sirius was factory installed for me. Your earlier post mentioned using a laptop based navigation system. I don't know anything about that, but it seems like it's an extra piece of hardware that you have to carry in the car. Obviously, the advantage of having the tech package is that the Nav system is fully integrated into the vehicle. I suppose you'll have to get the Mazda dealer to fully demonstrate the nav system and compare it, feature for feature, with your lap top based system. Based on my experience, Mazda's implementation of the Nav isn't as feature-rich as I would have expected. I have a Eclipse AVN 2454 in my Santa Fe and it has a lot more bells n' whistles than the CX-7s NAV system...

    As for the iPOD, you may want to look into units that have a wireless FM transmitter. Although not as elegant a solution as a fully integrated unit would provide, it would provide you with iPOD capability, along with satellite. Provided you still are willing to accept the Mazda nav system, such a configuration would provide you with everything you're looking for.

    Hope that helps.

    Vince.
  • Mazdas tech really doesnt offer much for that price. If you read on here, and on other source material, their keyless entry system has been having some major problems with compatibility with other electrical devices such as cell phones, and somehow might interfere with the cars alarms system. The Bose/Roof is the most economical and valuable package for this car if you already own a portable Nav. Skip the tech. I dont think its worth the price. Their nav system is nice, but you already have one. PLus w/o the nav, u can use your iPod.
  • cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
    I haven't heard about MAJOR problems with the keyless entry... I've heard of a few problems. Plus, looking back at Mazda's site, it appears all models come with keyless entry... it's just a matter of whether it's the combo keyless entry + ignition (do I understand that right?)

    I'm having a hard time with this. I love the way the touch screen and navigation LOOK in the car, but I could probably do something similar aftermarket... problem is, car is so new that finding system compatible may be an issue. Anyone know? I did find an aftermarket iPod thing that will work with the Bose/Nav system, but it seems to me a Tech package lacking both iPod support and Blue Tooth may not be worth it.

    Grrrr ;)
  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    Bear in mind, too, that the keyless entry thing has to be specifically activated. When I picked up my car, I did not have it activated because I was very leery of its use (OK, fine, I didn't understand how it worked and I was resistant to learn). After about a month, I changed my mind and took it back to the dealer to turn it on. I'd say the first 2-3 days it seemed to work inconsistenly but then I simply rearranged the positioning of the key fob away from my cell phone in my purse, and have had absolutely no issues with it since. I have electric wireless dog fencing at home as well as garage doors that open remotely and neither have interfered with the keyless entry. Now I can't imagine NOT having it! Plus, it's a cheap way to impress people. We get out of the car and I sort of nudge my purse towards the car and ta-da, it's locked! And everyone's always wondering how come I can just get in the car and drive it w/o keys. I've become very spoiled in that regard - no more fishing around for keys of any sort!

    As for the other technological aspects - that's just a personal choice. Yes, it does seem that the audio system should support and play anything in any format. That's a goof on Mazda's part, in my opinion. But...for me personally it wasn't a deal breaker. YMMV.
  • cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
    Keyless entry doesn't have to be activated. It's the AUTOLOCK feature that needs to be activated.

    Even more frustrating is that at a recent car show there was a CX-7 with built-in iPod dock.
    http://www.japanesecarfans.com/news/2061102.007/2061102.007.mini6L.jpg
    It's a big goof on Mazda's part to not have this (or something like it) already available (without having to give up other things). It's seems silly that it's causing me so much grief in my decision making, but I really don't listen to CDs anymore, nor can I tell you the last time I even bought one. My iPod goes with me everywhere.
  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    Yes, sorry cxrabbit, I meant Autolock's the one that needs to be activated. The mind's the first thing to go when you get to be as old as I am.

    I think your decision is already made. Since your iPod is extremely important to you, then the CX-7 is not the car for you. That stinks, I agree, and shame on Mazda for alienating a potential customer. But if it's causing you so much grief, as you say, then you've really already made up your mind. Hopefully you will find another car that suits your technological needs better than the CX-7!
  • cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
    LOL it's the decision that's causing me grief. I go to test-drive tomorrow, so we'll see. I'm also going to head over to my local car-stereo place tonight and see what experience they've had with CX-7's (if any at this point).
  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    Hope it works out one way or the other. I love my CX-7! But I am a dinosaur and still buy and play CDS - don't have an iPod, wouldn't know what to do with it if I did! ;) At this point, I am trying to decide if I should have the satellite radio installed - that's about as high tech as I can go (that, and using the Nav system!). Good luck - let us know how your test drive goes!
  • rex10rex10 Posts: 24
    I spent a lot of time thinking about the tech package, mainly because the non-tech package stereo couldn't play MP3 CD's. In the end I decided that it was not worth it for me.

    First of all, in the accessories catalog there's a 6 disc changer head unit that does play MP3's. Maybe it's possible to upgrade without losing the Bose centerpoint audio? I've also discovered that the non-MP3 capable changer in my CX-7 can at least read CD-RW disks, so I can re-burn and update my "playlist" in the car changer. I read in another forum a link to a recommended IPOD kit that lets you use the IPOD controls or the head unit/steering wheel controls to run the ipod:

    http://www.therpmstore.com/index.php (go to the CX-7 section)

    Last but not least, with all the money I've saved I'll probably get a Garmin Nuvi, which I can use in any car (also while travelling and renting), and which also speaks out the street names when telling directions.

    Just my two cents.
  • cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
    "NOTE for 2007 Mazda CX-7: The AudioLink is only compatible if the factory navigation system is NOT installed."

    Hence, no reason for the Tech package at that point ;)

    I THINK I've found a solution... not absolutely sure yet. I may skip the Tech package and give up the moonroof (how stupid is it that the moonroof is included in a "tech" package) unless I can convince the dealer to install it without the other stuff. I'll also have to give up advanced keyless entry/ignition and just live with the stock keyless entry.

    Instead, I'll take the money I safe and put it into a kick-butt aftermarket system I found. Talked to an audio pro tonight and he has an amazing touch-screen system there that has navigation with live traffic, satellite radio, ipod capability, blue-tooth, backup camera, and CD/DVD changer. With all new speakers and the whole unit it'll cost me less than the Tech Package, and I'll get more of what I want.
  • Why give up the moonroof? You could always get the moonroof with the non-Tech Bose package...

    As mentioned earlier, the Bose stereo will do either Sirius OR iPod, but not both. If you're just going to rip it out and replace it anyway, you could probably find a buyer on eBay...
  • cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
    I'd hardly get anything for it. If I'm going to rip it out, better to just get the stock radio.
  • Your choice. With other manufacturers routinely charging around $1000 for a moonroof separately, it wouldn't be that much to me to throw away the stereo in the Bose/Moonroof package to get what I want. Only you know whether you can live without the hole in the roof or not...
  • cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
    Went to the dealer today and got two prices (written down) for with moonroof package and without. $1000 more with. I'm going back tomorrow to see if they'll split the difference and give me the moonroof. If so, it's a done deal!

    BTW, I test drove the CX-7, Nissan Murano and VW Jetta (yeah, totally different). While the Nissan did win when it came to plushiness and cabin noise, it was too big. The Jetta would be more a consideration if it wasn't a step backwards in some areas... no auto-headlights, no remote start available and no keyless entry for example.

    I loved the way the CX-7 handled. Comforable cabin, though a bit noisier than I thought it would be. Nice tight turning radius. It really did feel like a car and I didn't find myself overwhelmed with it's size... it felt very natural coming from a hatchback/wagon style car (Toyota Matrix).
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