2008 Mazda CX-7 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I purchased a 2008 CX-7 new, in 2009. It was a "demo" model so I got a good deal. My car only has 25,000 miles on it so far (yeah, I don't drive it all the time). However, I do love the sporty feel, the moderately large cargo capacity, and the styling; it still looks cutting edge.
I don't drive it much because my wife and I also own a diesel VW Jetta, which gets better than twice the mpg of the Mazda. I've averaged about 18.5mpg on the CX-7 in the years I've owned it. I love the sportiness of the vehicle, but you'll have to make a judgement about whether poor fuel economy is worth the love of the road/drive. I'm happy with my decision to buy this car.
The turbo engine has got plenty of kick when it 'spools' up.
The auto-manual transmission (I have the Grand Touring edition) is great.
The leather seats are comfy and still look stylish.
I like the Xenon headlamps (again on the Grand Touring).
The exterior styling, especially in my Black Cherry color, is striking.
The AWD gets me where I need to go, even in 2 feet of snow (I tested it, more than once).
MPG, MPG, MPG. How many times can I say it? A compact SUV should average better than my observed 18.5 mpg average. My minimum for my next car is 20 mpg average.
The alignment (wheel alignment) is easy to 'knock off'. My alignment destroyed my tires in only 20k miles.
The Mazda installed GPS is poorly designed; my wife's iPhone is more reliable and accurate, with a better interface.
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