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Mazda CX-7 Test Drives

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
edited March 2014 in Mazda
Did you test drive the Mazda CX-7? Thoughts?


  • afishionadaafishionada Posts: 31
    I test drove the Sport AWD today (with the Goodyears). Liked the drive A LOT - great cornering, great brakes and nice acceleration. It really was fun to drive. I am used to driving an Integra, and it was close enough to satisfy me. I liked the leather seats in the Grand Touring model, but not the cloth ones in the Sport - they were too soft and squishy. I thought the back seat was tolerable - unlike some of the reviews I had read - it is a little firm but I like that and there seemed to be decent leg room for a tall person. What I did not like were little things: (1) the vents had to be pushed back and forth with your fingers - no lever to control the direction (why?); (2) the heated seat were either on or off - no ability to control the amount of heat. Also, I think that only the seat bottoms heat, not the backs. Would also prefer electronic adjustments on the passenger seat, which is not an option.

    I am waiting until the FWD comes in to try that. I am also grappling with the mileage/premium gas issue. It is not so much the cost but my dislike for having to fill up frequently.

    Curious to see what others think.
  • kaalimakaalima Posts: 2
    I just got a call from my dialer in Forth Myers fl and I test drove the cx7. First the car was with Bridgestone tires, witch is not a problem for me .the car feels and handles perfect. With the 2.3 turbo 244hp and 250 torque I got to say that they really got the zoom-zoom in it. I was able to drive Rav4, Murano, fx35 and many more from the same class cars but I got to say that the cx7 is the best for its money – the look the shape and the power! Zoom-zoom guys!
  • rinarmrinarm Posts: 10
    First, permit me to provide my current rides. 2005 Tribute S AWD, 2005 RX-8 GT MT6, 1985 MB 300SD. When I went for the test drive, I drove the Tribute because I wanted a SUV comparison. Bottom line, the Tribute will be replaced next week with the tested CX-7.

    Here's my brief review.

    Vehicle - AWD GT, Galaxy Gray w/Sand interior, Moonroof/Bose package, Goodyear tires.

    Test Route - Over 20 miles on Freeway, city, and country roads.

    Looks - Better than the pictures, bigger than expected, but not huge (I once owned an Expedition).

    Interior - Roomy, well appointed (excellent materials), cool displays (it even displays the transmission gear number when in automatic), excellent controls positioning and access, excellent visibility (hey man, where's the hood?), quiet (my RX has summer tires), very comfortable front seats, back seats adequate (I'm six feet tall), easy and plentiful cargo access (includes a full size inside spare).

    Handling - This is what it is all about, firm but comfortable ride, very responsive, it's not an RX-8, but for an SUV it's great (big grin on face), no noticeable body role on curvy rural roads, comfortable responsive freeway cruising.

    Engine - Not loud (yes, it is a four cylinder and it has a turbo and I already know what it's like to buy premium fuel), surprisingly more power than expected based upon the size of the vehicle and previous reviews, turbo lag was insignifant.

    Brakes - Very responsive, straight ahead.

    Price - Less than $30K.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    I had one for the weekend and my thoughts are very similar to yours....This is going to be a winner for Mazda.
  • au1994au1994 GAPosts: 1,127
    I think it will be a winner as well. Like to hear more real world driving impressions, especially around MPG.

    It's a great looking car and the interior is done extremely well. I thought the fit, finish and materials were spot on for a car in this price range.

    The only negative I can see is the powertrain. The lack of a non-turbo that would not require premium fuel and get better MPG may turn off a few folks. Car and Driver clocked a 7.9 0-60 and 14 MPG (14!!!) in their test this month. Of course, that was over the course of some severe flogging. If it returns the 18-19 EPA rating that should be solid enough to entice more than a few buyers.

    2016 X6 35i Space Gray over Ivory w/Black Trim
    2017 X1 Jet Black over Mocha

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They're lead foots, didn't their RAV4 get 16? EPA highway for that model is 27mpg!

  • au1994au1994 GAPosts: 1,127
    I wish they would include a normal driving cycle in their tests rather than calculating the MPG off of all of the drving they do that includes the hard acceleration etc.

    I understand that they want to push the car, and I'm interested to know how it performs in that manner, but I'm more interested in MPG this day and time before I'd put down almost 30k of my $$ for a vehicle.

    Wonder if the 14MPG figure will scare off any passing readers?

    2016 X6 35i Space Gray over Ivory w/Black Trim
    2017 X1 Jet Black over Mocha

  • zoom49zoom49 Posts: 76
    Like to hear more real world driving impressions, especially around MPG.
    Picked up our CX-7 on 5/31. First tank of fuel we got 18.7 MPG with 330 mi range. This was about 70% city and 30% highway with many short trips. I know that fuel consumption should improve after we get a few miles on her.
    We are going on a trip up the California Coast starting on the 24th of this month. I'm sure we should get some mid twenty numbers on the highway. GT fwd with A/C on.
  • music287music287 Posts: 116
    We're in the market for a 5-seat, awd, upscale cuv. I test drove a cx-7 Grand Touring today (as it includes HID headlights...a must!) and here's my impressions. The pickup though noisy is impressive and cruising at 70 mph was very quiet. The braking is excellent and the car has a full complement of safety features, standard. I like that! The car specifies premium gas though the dealer said it is recommended, not required. The hvac doesn't offer passenger/driver independent temps and the spare tire, though apparently full sized is a temporary. Fit and finish seem...Japanese and the warranty seems fair. The heated seats are either on or off w/ no regulation. The cargo area seems ample though the seat backs don't fold flat. The premium radio sounded good.

    I need to see the upcoming Acura rdx and the Lincoln mkx. I don't think there are too many similar vehichles out there yet. The Rav 4 doesn't offer xenon headlights which, for us makes it a non-starter.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    The braking is excellent

    boy your not kidding. World class brakes.

    I was playing with the buttons and the traffic in front of me had stopped...well i pushed the brakes to the floor and my eyeballs flew out of their sockets....I never got to test the airbags but the braking ability amazed me. Compared to this vehicle, most SUV brakes will seem sub-par.
  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    Oh, I've already test-driven the car and had a ball doing so! The turning radius on my Lexus RX300 is horrible, so I took the CX-7 into a parking lot and basically did some donuts. It did admirably, I'm pleased to say.

    My husband then spent the next 3 days doing amazing research regarding pricing and financing and by yesterday, we'd reached an acceptable price for the car. I'm going back to the dealer this Saturday to do all the paperwork and in essence, to purchase the car! Am very excited! The funny thing is, Lexus just called me a few moments ago to let me know they're running some specials but I happily told them that I'll simply be giving my car back to them...the guy was shocked that I'd decided not to purchase or lease another one. Well, not when I can get a fully loaded CX-7 for about $13K less!! :blush:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I took the CX-7 into a parking lot and basically did some donuts

    That sounds like fun. ;)

  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    It was quite fun! I was just happy to be driving a car that didn't feel like an ocean liner!! :shades:
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    "Did you read that Madge? I'm positively shocked that someone would publicly state that Mazda is better than a LEXUS!"

    LOL :P

  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    Don't get me wrong, I LOVED my Lexus - it was, and still is, an excellent vehicle. It never set a foot wrong in four years. It started every time I turned the key. It got me safely through some very nasty New England winters. And it was damn comfortable and luxurious to boot.

    However, the price has simply gotten too rich for my blood. I'm not naive enough to think that after making the same lease payments since 2002 that the price wouldn't change upon leasing or buying something new. But I was completely flabbergasted at just HOW much more I'd have to pay. I'm a "spender" by nature, but I could not in good conscience pay as much as Lexus was asking; and that was even with some "deal" they were offering. A good chunk of what I find so attractive about the CX-7 is the value I'm getting, as per my standards.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A neighbor also had sticker shock. Had the first gen RX, went back for another, but it cost a lot more. They ended up with a Highlander.

  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    Sorry about the tease...couldn't resist.

    Understand perfectly what you're talking about. One of the best selling points for the CX7 is it's value. The CX7 is routinely compared with the Murano and from what I've read, a similarily equipped Murano costs thousands more.

  • thom_ythom_y Posts: 6
    I recently replaced my aging (i.e. original 1998) ML320 with a CX-7. In our quest to find a replacement vehicle, we looked at virtually every SUV/CUV and even wagons. My wife was initially keen on Toyota and wanted the Highlander. My opinion was that it was "plain vanilla". Sure it has all the bells and whistles you might expect in a "luxury" 'SUV', but the styling and ride was purely uninspiring -- i.e. vanilla (not that there is anything bad 'bout homemade vanilla icecream). I was keen on the BMW X3, but the dealer here has a terrible reputation. In the end, I thought the CX-7 provided great value, with a ride as inspiring as the X3, and with style to boot. My only beefs about the vehicle:

    1) the bit of turbo lag takes a bit of time to get used to (esp for front passenger)
    2) no roof rails to install Yakima or THule mounts
    3) no iPod integration option.

    Personally, I feel riding my CX-7 is much more fun than the ML320 truck ever was. I don't know why there are so many Mercs out there. I bought my mine just as these luxury 'utes' starting arriving. There were no BMWs etc. only ML320 vs. Lexus.
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    RE your comment about rails - did you know there's an accessory catalog specific to the CX7? In it, they sell the rails and if I'm not mistaken, Yakima racks for bikes (I didn't examine the catelog in detail, just thumbing through it, so I could be mistaken about the Yakima racks). Go back to the dealer and ask.

  • thom_ythom_y Posts: 6
    Unfortunately, they only offer crossbars, but not siderails. Crossbars are not as functional for installing all Yakima or Thule mounts. Siderails, allow you to install Yakima or Thule crossbars easily and then anything can be mounted on the roof.
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    ah, see you point now. Was your intent to carry bikes, skis or?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You don't have to convince me...we tested a Highlander in '02 and my wife liked it the least of all the ones we test drove. Real snooze.

    I actually didn't think it was bad, but I wasn't the one driving, either.

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    "2) no roof rails to install Yakima or THule mounts"

    You should be able to install almost any Yakima accessory using the oval adapters on the Mazda cross bars. As far as roof rails are concerned, that may be something you'll see on the CX-7 in the future.

    "3) no iPod integration option."

    Stay tuned. By the end of summer this should no longer be a concern.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I forget what Yakima calls them (Gator Grips?), but I used them with the OEM rack on my 1999 CR-V. Only problem I encountered was that the bolts rusted after a few years. If you're smarter than I am and use a liberal coat of grease (or even wax) you should have no trouble with them. I dunno about the Mazda racks, but I found the OEM design to be a good deal less noisy than the Yakima and Thule.

    Depending on what you're hauling, using a hitch-mounted basket is another good way to bolster a vehicle's cargo capacity. When I had skis on the roof, I used a rubbermaid tote on the hitch.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Some times OEM and Yakima are one and the same. On Subarus, for instance.

  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    there is a bike rack made to attach to the trailor hitch
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Well, I was talking specifically about the OEM design on my CR-V, which was not produced by either Yakima or Thule. (Thule has badged accessories for Honda/Acura, but the racks themselves are designed for the vehicles.)

    But, even so, the standard Yakima and Thule crossmembers are either a square or circular cross-section. (I forget which company uses which.) Neither of those shapes is especially aerodynamic for the purpose of reducing wind noise. A tear drop or oval cross-section would be preferred.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Tear drop is the best, just make sure the pointy side faces back! Else it'll whistle like crazy...

  • don_shindon_shin Posts: 2
    In fact, my brother test drove CX-7, and I was sitting in the back seat with my roommate.

    Earlier, we test drove Suzuki Grand Vitara and Ford Escape, but I found out that CX-7 belongs to a totally different class. It felt more like Lexus sedan than an affordable SUV. Very quite, couldn't even notice the engine was on! Good acceleration, good handling, decent interior space and finish!

    Right after test-driving CX-7, we went to Toyota dealer to try RAV4 V6. It had more power (because it was V6? or because it was lighter?), but it was just an SUV with good power. RAV4 had some noise at low gear for quick step on gas, which is normal and also acceptable for an SUV, but CX-7 was better at quiet speeding. A pleasantly quiet zoom zoom!

    RAV4 lacked the feel of refined vehicle that CX-7 appealed to me with. The exterior and interior of RAV4 was just okay, but far behind Mazda. So, CX-7 beat RAV4 in and out.

    Cloth seats of CX-7 felt a lot better than RAV4's. I am a big fan of leather seat, but cloth material of CX-7 seemed good enough.

    RAV4 has more power, better MPG, but today's overall winner was CX-7.

    To grade 1-10, Suzuki Grand Vitara 5, Ford Escape 7, Toyota RAV4 8, and CX-7 9.

    To allow myself a little exaggeration, I felt that buying CX-7 will save $10K because it seemed more like one of the SUVs with $10K higher sticker price.

  • I finally got a chance to see several of these in different colors and to drive one. The word that keeps coming to mind is "enigma." For context's sake, recognize that I am looking for a vehicle to replace my '93 GMC Typhoon and my '03 SVT Cobra convertible. I want to consolidate to one vehicle and I really am wed to the notion of a high performance, AWD, all-weather vehicle that can carry four people to the mountains or five bags of mulch back from Home Depot. The Typhoon did that, but now has mucho miles on it. The CX-7 seemed to be a good replacement candidate and we have happily owned many Mazdas in the past (just purchased a primo used Mazda3 for my daughter). So, my impressions? Exterior: great, clearly the most attractive among its competitors and a knockout in Black Cherry Mica! Interior: homerun, a well-executed performance oriented look, great dash/guages and an especially nice look in leather. Handling: very good, on par with my Ty, with a firm but not brutal ride, just the ticket. Power: a pop fly, 2 cylinders and 100 horsepower short, or a 1000lbs. overweight. Admittedly I am used to driving some powerful vehicles, but still, this SUV is presented as a performance machine, yet it is simply not quick. I wanted it to be, I read the posts that it was faster/quicker than the numbers suggest, but it is not. It is slower than my 13-year-old technology turboed V6 AWD Typhoon, slower than my daughter's Mazda3, and about as quick as a Lincoln Zephyr or a Toyota Camry Hybrid, if we are to believe the car magazine guys. I agree that quickness is not everything, but it is an essential piece of the performance puzzle. Plus from what I read, the CX-7 gets no better mileage than my Ty or Cobra, both of which knock down 18city/22highway. I was disappointed, as I really liked the rest of the package a lot! But all that weight on that artificially aspirated four cylinder is just too much. I guess I will wait to see if a MazdaSpeed version appears with the boost turned up, the RAV4 is somehow made less vanilla or the appearance of the Subaru FXT is brought into this century. I recognize that I set the bar high, but Mazda hyped the whole "SUV you never saw coming" thing so hard, that I had hoped it was all true. Instead, an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, as they say.
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