MPG-o-Matic CX-7 Review Summary: . The AWD Mazda CX-7 stands apart from the flock of five-seat crossovers, with a truly sporting approach and a distinctive design. No question about it … this is the driver’s CUV.
The sporty 2009 Mazda CX-7 is available in both all-wheel- (AWD) and front-wheel-drive (FWD) configurations, with three levels of trim: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring.
The CX-7 is equipped with a 2.3 liter Direct-Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The turbo four produces 244 horsepower (HP) and 258 foot pounds of torque.
The official gas mileage estimates for the 2009 Mazda CX-7 are 17 city / 23 highway miles per gallon (MPG) for the FWD version and 16/22 for the AWD version.
We slipped past the official estimates for our True Silver Metallic Grand Touring AWD 2009 Mazda CX-7 review unit, scoring an average of 24.1 MPG on the Interstate highway, with 19.8 MPG combined. Test period temperatures ranged from the twenties through thirties, with freeway speeds between 60 and 72 miles per hour (MPH).
While the four banger’s a bit soft off the line, the fun starts once it starts to spin up, with redline coming at 6700 revolutions per minute (RPM).
The six-speed sport shift automatic is a big plus for both fuel economy and sheer fun. The transmission reacts particularly well to a light footed driving style.
The CX-7 is unquestionably one of the best handling crossovers on the road today. Unlike too many competitors, Mazda’s sporting crossover is the furthest thing from a lumbering marshmallow.
We had the chance to put the CX-7 GT to the test on the backroads and in the snow. It performed well under all conditions.
While there’s no mistaking the CX-7 for a full-on SUV, our test unit was equipped with the optional front and rear underguard package.
The CX-7 GT is clearly built for the driver, from the leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel and shifter to the supportive leather seats (with their snappy faux croc-inset). Single setting front heated seats, dual 12-volt outlets, and a console mounted audio input jack keep you toasty warm, with the tunes rolling, while seering wheel mounted audio and Bluetooth controls keep your hands on the wheel.
While pricey, the Technology option package provides a 240W Bose 9-speaker touch screen audio system with voice navigation and satellite radio, integrated with a tricky six-disc flip-front cd-changer. A handy rearview camera and power moonroof complete the package.
The CX-7 fails to provide either a real-time or average fuel economy display. While the lack of a MPG gauge is easily remedied with an aftermarket display unit, we hope that Mazda will choose to include a factory-standard MPG gauge in the 2010 models.
Our highest highway mileage results were achieved with the CX-7’s cruise control turned off. We were able to score the best numbers with a watchful eye on our ScanGaugeII, and a light touch on the accelerator. The CX-7’s six-speed automatic transmission adds a great deal of thrift when lifting off the throttle, by dropping revs down to near idle speed.
As we always say, getting the best mileage is all about knowing when to let off. The greater the distance you drive with your foot completely off the pedal, the higher your MPGs.
All-in-all, we found the AWD CX-7 GT to be an intriguingly designed alternative to the typical five seat SUV or crossover. With a responsive throttle and solid handling, we thoroughly enjoyed putting the CX-7 through its paces.
Fuel requirements: Although Regular-grade gasoline is acceptable, Premium is recommended
Government Safety Ratings: The Mazda CX-7 is rated five stars for frontal crash (driver & passenger) and side crash (front & rear seat), and four starts for rollover.
Assembly/Parts Content: The Mazda CX-7 is assembled in Hiroshima, Japan. Both the engine and transmission are of Japanese origin. U.S./Canadian parts content: 0%.
– by Daniel Gray
January 28th, 2009
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