2012 Mazda CX-7 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Mazda CX-7 SUV

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Mazda CX-7 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 161 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Mazda CX-7

  • With the much-anticipated release of the 2013 Mazda CX-5, the 2012 Mazda CX-7 is expected to ride into the sunset this year. That doesn't make it any less attractive or fun to drive, however.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sporty handling; strong performance from the turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

  • Cons

    Below-average interior utility; pokey base engine; upgraded turbocharged engine is thirsty and unrefined compared to V6 rivals.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Mazda CX-7 is unchanged.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Spiders may block fuel tank

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda CX-7

Attention MAZDA / 2010-2012 owners Mazda North America Operations has issued a NHTSA Campaign ID Number: 14V114 stating that yes "Spiders may Block Fuel Tank Vent Line". I only have 13,000 miles on my CX-7 GT and believe me Mazda should be addressing the Turbo problem, AC problem and braking problem. Spiders, give me a break. As I said in my prior comment bought a 2013 Honda CR-V base am very pleased with it and just ordered a 2014 Honda CR-V EXL. I still love the styling of my CX-7, but that is about all. Drove CX-5 and extremely disappointed.

Not a wonderful vehicle

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda CX-7

Bought our CX7 in August 2011 new, vehicle now has 10,000 miles. CX7 is a big disappointment. AC not adequate, turbo hesitates, paint job brilliant black is inferior and gas mileage poor. Complained to Mazda and after BBB intervention Mazda extended the warranty. Trying to sell this vehicle. Just purchased a 2013 Honda CRV base model, because we were not sure we would want to keep it long haul. The Honda is trouble free. AC is wonderful, vehicle is well built and solid. Only have 2,000 miles, but can not say enough positive things about our CRV. The paint job Twilight blue is excellent. The gas mileage is 18 city 30 highway as tracked on computer.

Zoom clang clang chug

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda CX-7

I have all ready established a series of form comments under A/C problems. It appears that the extremely loud banging that I experience when I first turn on the A/C in the morning is normal or at least that is what Mazda field engineers told Reedman Toll when they were going over my car. When I wanted to further discuss the problem with Stephanie a Mazda field representative at the "800" Mazda number provided it was fine for her to record the conversation, but she immediately hung up when advised I would be recording too. To state that I am discussed with the manner in which Mazda is treating me as a customer is an understatement. Recommend Mazda, not me not a chance; not there for you!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

First year - running great

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda CX-7

This is my fourth Mazda. My previous Mazdas over the years have been very reliable. It looks like the reviews on this car are a mixed bag and a lot of discontent with AWD and the A/C. I did not want AWD because of added problems/maint and if you are going to purchase an AWD car buy a Subaru. As far as the A/C goes I live in Arizona where its very hot. There is a TSB out on the A/C for this car. Demand that the dealer fix under the TSB and your problem will go away. From a reliability perspective I have had no problems with mine. For mileage I get about 23.7 mph in mixed driving. The car is very fast with the 2.3 ltr and police have been my biggest drawback.

Poor quality

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda CX-7

I purchased my CX7 the day before Thanksgiving last year. Overall I am not impressed with this vehicle. It has already spent a total of three weeks in the shop because of air conditioning issues as well as electrical issues. For this vehicle not even being a year old I am VERY disappointed to see the plastic lenses getting cloudy on the head lights. This is something I would expect from a 8 to 10 year old vehicle. When I asked the dealer about it I was told this is normal. This vehicle practically lives in a garage, while at home its parked in the garage, and when I am at work it is parked in the underground parking never really sitting out in direct sun light enough


by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mazda CX-7

We bought a 2011 CX-7 in February 2012 and have loved it! Just out of curiousity, I decided to see what the KBBV was, I was shocked to find out it's worth about $6,000 less than we paid for it.The only problem there has been is today, temps of 96 outside, I go to get lunch and the air conditioner was acting CRAZY, it went from barely blowing to blowing as hard as it could and went back and forth the entir time, my husband has a 10 am appointment for it to be checked out tomorrow, so I guess we will see. As far as the mileage, I have had the cruise control set at 60 and the display is showing I am averaging 37.5 MPG which is very good. Try to update you all soon. Wish us luck?!?!?!

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Mazda CX-7 Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Mazda CX-7 is unchanged.


In case you hadn't noticed, the small crossover SUV segment is wildly popular. By our count, there are close to 30 new vehicles available in this class. This makes for fierce competition, which is why the Mazda CX-7, introduced five model years ago, is increasingly outclassed in most respects.

The 2012 Mazda CX-7 continues to have some nice attributes. It's still pretty sporty looking and there's substance behind that sheet metal, as the CX-7 drives quite well. Steering and handling are exceptionally good, and its track test numbers still hold up to those of more recently introduced compact SUVs. Mazda has a reputation for building vehicles with this dynamic edge. Despite its road-holding prowess, the ride is quite good as well: controlled but never nervous and by no means numb or vague. It manages to find that fine line between sport and comfort often missed by others.

Where the CX-7 finds itself out of date is under the hood. The base engine is comparatively underpowered by today's standards, and the CX-7 itself is a little heavy, too. A CX-7 with front-wheel drive weighs about the same as a Honda CR-V with all-wheel drive. For these reasons, it's slow and not particularly fuel-efficient. Upgrading to the far more powerful turbocharged engine leaves the four-cylinder competition in the dust and provides the CX-7 with the same acceleration as a V6. However, this comes at the expense of even worse fuel economy -- the worst in its class, in fact.

Then there's the 2012 Mazda CX-7's interior which, while quite attractive, is starting to feel a little down-market. The materials used don't really impress, the features certainly need updating and the CX-7 lacks any of the newer SUV's more creative and accommodating seating solutions for the second row. Sure, there's a navigation system available, but it has an unusually small screen and quirky interface. You can make calls and stream music from your smartphone through Bluetooth, but there's no factory-installed USB port.

Considering all this, we think most small crossover SUV shoppers will do better with one of the newer choices available. Vehicles like the Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan are also fun to drive yet more efficient, while models like the Chevrolet Equinox and Subaru Forester are more versatile and practical. It's worth noting, however, that Mazda will be replacing the CX-7 with the all-new 2013 CX-5, a crossover that keeps much of the 7's personality but with a fully modern design. Along with other top crossovers, the CX-5 is one you'll want to check out.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Mazda CX-7 is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV. There are two engines available: a base four-cylinder indicated with an "i" and a turbocharged four-cylinder designated as an "s." Each is available in different trim levels.

The base i SV comes equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The i Sport adds privacy glass, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and Bluetooth (with audio streaming).

The i Sport's Convenience package adds a sunroof, automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat with manual lumbar adjustment, heated front seats, a color trip computer and a rearview camera. The i Touring includes all Convenience package items plus leather upholstery and a nine-speaker Bose sound system with a six-CD changer and satellite radio.

In addition to its turbocharged engine, the s Touring gains the i Sport's equipment plus 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat with manual lumbar adjustment, heated front seats and a cargo cover. The Touring Technology package adds the rest of the i Touring's extra equipment. The s Grand Touring includes all previously mentioned items but adds 19-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, foglamps, heated mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic rain-sensing wipers, keyless ignition/entry, a compact navigation system, a blind-spot warning system, driver seat memory functions, a four-way power passenger seat and upgraded gauges.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Mazda CX-7 i models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 161 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and a five-speed automatic are standard. In Edmunds testing, this engine took the CX-7 from zero to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds -- slow, but not much worse than the class average. EPA estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.

The CX-7 s gets a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder that produces 244 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. In our tests, an all-wheel-drive CX-7 s accelerated from zero to 60 in 7.7 seconds -- a swift time for the class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is poor at 18/24/20 with front-wheel drive and 17/21/19 with AWD.


Every 2012 Mazda CX-7 comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, a CX-7 i Sport came to a stop from 60 mph in 131 feet -- a bit longer than average. In contrast, the CX-7 s Grand Touring stopped in an excellent 113 feet. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the CX-7 its highest rating of "Good" for both frontal-offset and side-impact crashworthiness, but the second-worst "Marginal" in the roof strength test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The CX-7's athletic styling carries over to the interior of the cabin, where the edgy yet functional design provides a more visually interesting environment than one might expect from a crossover SUV. A sporty three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls is reminiscent of the one found in the Miata, while the gauge cluster is similar to the RX-8's. Build quality and ergonomics are both very good, although some might find the radio controls a bit complicated compared to other vehicles. Hard plastic surfaces are evident, but the attractive graining makes them less objectionable. The available navigation system is less expensive than those in most other cars, but the small display makes certain information hard to see.

Ample hiproom and headroom keep CX-7 passengers comfortable, even with all five seats occupied. However, rear legroom doesn't measure up to that of chief competitors, notably the Equinox. There are about 30 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seat, while maximum capacity stands at about 59 cubes. The latter number is more than 10 cubes fewer than in models like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, but on par with crossovers like the Hyundai Tucson and Sportage.

Driving Impressions

When it comes to handling and braking performance, the 2012 Mazda CX-7 lives up to Mazda's sporty reputation. The steering is nicely weighted and the effort increases in direct proportion to cornering forces. This crossover SUV feels stable in turns and changes direction quickly. The CX-7 rides a bit firmer than most competitors, but that's a livable trade-off for such performance.

The performance of the base engine is merely adequate, with acceleration that's on the slow side even in a class of pokey performers. The turbocharged engine is much more spirited, but to those used to cruising around in crossovers with V6 engines, the CX-7's combination of turbo lag and the transmission calibration sometimes makes the power delivery feel somewhat abrupt. Fuel economy is also pretty poor.

Talk About The 2012 CX-7

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