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Mazda has injected mojo into the compact SUV class with its CX-7, now with diesel

22 Oct 2009

FOR many Australian compact SUV buyers, the only thing stopping the original Mazda CX-7 from being their next purchase was its considerable thirst for premium-unleaded petrol, yet many others took the plunge because no rival could match the sheer allure of this striking turbocharged crossover. For the Series II facelift, the Japanese company has addressed concerns over affordability and fuel economy with the arrival of a gutsy yet frugal 2.2-litre direct-injection turbo-diesel model, as well as a more affordable front-drive non-turbo 2.5-litre version. Here we test the diesel, and declare it a top choice despite the lack of an automatic gearbox.
Model release date: 1 October 2009 to 1 January 2012

Previous model

Mazda CX-7 Series 1

Released: December 2006
Ended: October 2009
Family Tree: CX-7

MAZDA could not have designed a more radical replacement for its dowdy Tribute compact SUV. Based on a variation of the acclaimed Mazda6 platform, the CX-7 arrived with a potent 175kW/350Nm 2.3-litre DISI direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, driving all four wheels (via a part-time AWD system) via a six-speed automatic gearbox. Well endowed, well equipped and well received, the swoopy Mazda soon killed the ageing Tribute, and helped cement the company as a provider of interesting mass-market vehicles. Only a considerable thirst for premium unleaded petrol kept the Series 1 model from greatness. Two highly equipped models were offered.

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