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Review

The Good

Delightful handling, snazzy looks, decent security scores, easily accessible all-wheel drive, and a turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine room the 2011 Mazda CX-7’s share in trade.

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The Bad

An overly firm ride, low-budget internal materials, restricted cargo room, also with the behind seats folded, a cramped rear seat, and also a distressing turbo lag in the s trims take their toll on the 2011 CX-7’s image.

The usmam.org View

If a kickin’ drive and an excellent looks are what’s wanted in a crossover ute, the 2011 Mazda CX-7 could be precious a look. If passenger room, however, no to point out lots that cargo space and V6 power are much more important, look at elsewhere.

At a Glance

Though endowed with good looks and also sporty handling, the 2011 Mazda CR-7 compact crossover comes up a bit brief in in its entirety family friendliness. A snazzy exterior belies some cabin and cargo problems in this five-passenger CUV, such as a rather cramped 2nd row and also less cargo an are (58.6 cubic feet through the behind seats folded) than most of that is competitors. A normally aspirated inline four-cylinder (I4) engine and also five-speed shiftable automatic transmission is the traditional powertrain for reduced trims, while greater trims are equipped with a standard turbocharged I4 and its accompanying six-speed auto-manual transmission. No V6 engine is available, however, i m sorry leaves some reviewers scratching their heads at a towing capacity that’s maxed the end at a mere 2,000 pounds, and also at that, only as soon as the optional class II tow hitch and also wiring package is selected. Nevertheless, v its traditional unibody construction, this compact crossover really does manage like a sedan, according to nearly all expert reviewers. After ~ some reasonably hefty upgrades in 2010, a new sub-trim is the only significant change for the 2011 CX-7.

The 2011 CX-7 is accessible in 4 trim levels, the base ns SV, lower-midlevel i Sport, second-tier Touring, and the top-shelf s grand Touring. The Touring level is available in either the new-for-2011 i version moving the base I4 powerplant, or in one s trim that attributes the turbocharged I4 engine. Every trims are yielded with typical front-wheel drive (FWD), when turbocharged s trims are easily accessible with all-wheel-drive (AWD) capability courtesy of Mazda’s highly touted energetic Torque split AWD system. Every trims come through a standard rear spoiler, former bucket seats, split-folding rear seats, and also alloy wheels, while the greater trims in addition sport standard privacy glass and included instrumentation.

Volkswagen’s well-regarded Tiguan is the CX-7’s closestly competition, though the Chevy Equinox, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and also Toyota RAV 4 are also traditional rivals. In slim driving excitement, few can complement Mazda’s cute ute, yet its endangered rear-passenger comfort and also space-challenged cargo capacity can lead plenty of to forego the CX-7 in favor of something with a bit an ext utility. Price-wise, on the other hand, couple of can quibble in ~ the terrific value readily available by Mazda’s sporty compact crossover.

Drivetrain

Standard strength for every 2011 CX-7 "i" trims stays a 2.5-liter I4 along with its five-speed auto-manual transmission. This combo puts the end 161 hp in ~ 6,000 rpm and also 161 lb-ft that torque at 3,500 rpm, every to the song of 20/28 mpg with variable valve timing. Best towing capacity, meanwhile, is 1,500 pounds with the ideal equipment installed.

The CX-7’s "s" trims boast a 2.3-liter turbocharged I4 powerplant that’s controlled by a traditional six-speed transmission, again in the renowned auto-manual configuration. Mean some 244 hp at 5,000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque in ~ 2,500 rpm native this turbocharged four-banger, through gas mileage dropping come 18/24 in FWD trims and also 17/21 in AWD versions. Towing capacity, however, jumps to some 2,000 pounds when properly equipped.

Reviewers discover the basic I4 barely adequate for highway driving, though absolutely up to many chores about town. Fuel efficiency, the course, is this naturally aspirated four-banger’s share in trade, while its traditional five-speed auto-manual transmission is detailed to it is in smooth and responsive.

The peppier turbocharged I4, on the various other hand, is explained by practically all reviewers together handicapped by a distinct and often frustrating turbo lag on acceleration. Once it’s rolling, however, the turbo provides much more than sufficient power because that a kickin’ cruise, through a 0-60 time of around 8 seconds on average. Alas, the normal fuel-efficiency gremlin plagues the turbocharged CX-7 trims, as does the need for recommended premium gas. Additionally, the six-speed auto-manual transmission common to turbo-equipped s trims is best left in hands-on mode to somewhat mitigate that pesky turbo lag. Finally, turbocharged trims are available with an AWD that provides a mechanical center differential and also center and also rear limited-slip differentials to instantly transfer strength from just the front wheel to both front and rear wheels for added traction in marginal conditions.

Finally, both engines are listed to be noisy ~ above acceleration, v the base I4 sound a little bit coarse and also the turbo emitting a disconcerting whine. Both, however, calm down to tolerable level at cruising speeds.

Ride & Handling

If there’s one aspect where the 2011 CX-7 shines, it’s a downright sporty drive, though ride comfort suffers. A four-wheel independent suspension is additional by former MacPherson struts and front and rear stabilizer bars, if a multi-link rear suspension completes the package. The ns SV and also i sport trims, as well as the brand-new i Touring, are delivered with standard 17-inch alloy wheels, v the s Touring sporting 18-inch alloy wheels and also the s cool Touring boasting 19-inch alloy wheels. Every trims are described by reviewers as a tad also firm for a important comfortable ride, through bumps poorly dampened, and wallow and jiggle both really noticeable. Wheel size, it’s also noted, seems not to exaggeration or mitigate these troubles to any significant extent.

Steering, however, is universally explained as tight, well-balanced, and also user-friendly. Tight cornering outcomes in small body roll or noseplow, follow to reviewers, and a tight transforming radius leads to confident maneuvering in city traffic and crowded parking lots. Braking, meanwhile, is described by virtually all reviewers as potent, true, and glitch-free. Altogether, reviewers find the CX-7 a blast to drive on the ago roads and a satisfied to take care of in town.

Cabin & Comfort

Though not rather up to some of the competition, features-wise, the 2011 CX-7 stop its very own in cabin comforts because that its price range. The base ns SV boasts towel upholstery, remote power door locks, power windows and mirrors, telescoping tilt-wheel steering with placed audio and also cruise controls, air conditioning, and simulated alloy dash and console trim accents. Entertainment is handled by a single-CD player with 4 speakers and also MP3 audio input.

The i sport adds a typical leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, as well as Bluetooth hands-free communications an innovation and call pre-wiring, while both the i and s Touring trims throw in standard leather upholstery, heated former seats, and also an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.

The CX-7 s cool Touring trims fill the cabin through such additional standard features as a power glass moonroof, power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated exterior mirrors, global remote garage door opener, rear-view camera, and also memory settings for increase to three drivers. Added standard entertainment items incorporate a 6-CD changer, v nine Bose premium speakers and also subwoofers, as well as Sirius satellite radio. Additionally, a voice-activated DVD navigation system is likewise standard.

Stand-alone options with the 2011 CX-7 incorporate rear-seat DVD entertainment, course II trailer hitch and wiring, and remote engine start, all available across the lineup. The i and also s Touring trims, additionally, offer the accessible Convenience Package through power moonroof, rear-view camera, and also automatic climate control. The s cool Touring, meantime, is accessible with the an innovation Package, i m sorry throws in a premium sound system and Sirius satellite radio.

Generally, reviewers space satisfied with the CX-7’s cabin amenities, recognize them adequate for the price. A plethora of hard plastic surfaces, alas, comes with the territory, as does a quite cramped second row seat, though a variety of reviewers compliment the ease with which the seatbacks deserve to be folded. A racy dashboard pleases some reviewers, if others uncover it distracting, v indistinct gauges and also ineffective back-lighting in details conditions. Some buttons and controls are detailed by reviewers to take a little of obtaining used to, yet every agree that climate regulate buttons are large and distinct, when the s cool Touring’s traditional navigation system is provided as laudably basic to operate. Finally, reviews discover cargo area behind the behind seats sensibly generous, but, v the rear seats folded, complete cargo area in the CX-7 is smaller sized than that of most of its rivals.

Safety

Mazda has loaded the 2011 CX-7 with standard safety and security features. Four-wheel ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency braking assist, as well as traction and stability control, assist keep this compact crossover for sure on the road. Double front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head curtain airbags, and a prior head restraint whiplash security system help to safeguard passenger from injury in one accident. Meanwhile, front fog/driving lights room an optional safeguard throughout the lineup. Both Touring trims, as befits their included status, include a typical remote anti-theft alarm, if the cool Touring trim level consists of standard HID headlights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, and also dusk-sensing headlights. Finally, the grand Touring trims deserve to be ceded with Mazda’s obtainable Blind Spot monitoring System, where website traffic approaching on either side of the CX-7 is monitored through sensors and an alarm chimes when vehicle drivers attempt to adjust lanes.

The nationwide Highway website traffic Safety administration (NHTSA) has actually no data ~ above the 2011 CX-7, but 2010’s numbers were five-star perfect in front and also side impact testing, when rollover trial and error netted 4 stars in both FWD and AWD trims. The insurance money Institute for Highway security (IIHS), meanwhile, provides the 2011 CX-7 its best rating of an excellent in front and also side impact protection, when roof toughness gains only a Marginal, the Institute’s 2nd lowest rating.

What owners Think

Among the most typical owner complaints with the 2011 CX-7 space its frustrating turbo lag and pint-size cargo area. Further glitches, meanwhile, incorporate the overfill of tacky inner plastic, lackluster acceleration with the basic I4 engine, a wallet-whacking thirst because that gas top top the part of the turbocharged I4, and also a distracting noise level native both engines on hefty acceleration.

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On the other hand, owner props walk to Mazda’s snazzy mini-ute because that its nimble managing characteristics and suave great looks, and the roomy and also comfortable former seats, decent fuel economic situation with the basic I4 engine, quickly foldable rear seats, fairly large options selections, and also reasonable basic price. The power in the turbo I4 comes in for its re-publishing of kudos, as does its maneuverability in tight places.