1 Dec 2006
MAZDA’S stylish CX-7 represents the company’s compact SUV assault, adding a sleek coupe-like wagon option to the range.
Two models were available from launch – the base and Luxury.
Both featured stability control, anti-lock brakes, six airbags, air-conditioning, powered windows and mirrors, remote central locking and audio controls, a trip computer, cruise control, auto-on/off headlights, a six-stacker CD/MP3 player and fog lights.
The Luxury added leather upholstery, a sunroof, heated front seats, a powered driver’s seat, a Bose premium audio unit, climate control air-conditioning, minor exterior trim embellishments and heated side mirrors.
Unique in the SUV segment was the CX-7’s 2.3-litre, turbo-charged and intercooled, Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) 16-valve twin-cam four-cylinder petrol engine.
Derived from the unit utilised in the Mazda3 and Mazda6 MPS models, it delivered 175kW of power at 5000rpm and 350Nm of torque at 2500rpm and was mated to an Aisin six-speed automatic ‘Activematic’ gearbox.
Drive was delivered to the front wheels, until sensors detected slippage or a loss of traction based on engine information, wheel speeds, and whether the ABS and stability control were in operation. Then the “Active Torque Split” all-wheel drive system, brought in from the 6MPS, would apportion up to 50 per cent of torque to the rear wheels.
The CX-7 didn not include the 6 MPS’ limited slip differential, but a computer-controlled coupling was fitted within the rear differential.
The monocoque construction CX-7’s platform architecture featured plenty more Mazda 6 componentry, including a redevelopment of its MacPherson strut front suspension design.
In October 2009, Mazda released a facelifted version that included a front-drive entry-level model that was almost $8000 than the previous cost of entry to the CX-7 range.
Price cuts ranging between $2000 and $3000 were applied across the rest of the range while equipment levels were raised.
The revised range also included a diesel engine for the first time, delivering 127kW and 400Nm but was only available with a manual transmission.
Styling changes for the 2010 model year included a larger grille (to provide more cooling for the diesel engine) and foglamp bezels, producing a slightly more upright look, restyled alloy wheels, a revised rear bumper and larger rear spoiler.
Noise and vibration levels were reduced and a restyled dashboard incorporating a new 4.1-inch multi-function information screen for the sat-nav, reversing camera and various other displays was fitted.
Interior refinements also included more extensive use of soft-touch materials, chrome-outlined vents, new a steering wheel design and revised instrumentation designed to be easier to read.