What was conceived as the Mazda Crossport Concept car in 2006, evolved into Mazda’s first crossover vehicle, the Mazda CX-7. Although Mazda could have taken a short-cut and built it on a van platform, in view of safety and performance, they wisely created the CX-7 on a car platform. It became an instant hit. Taking design cues and handling experience from the RX-8, the CX-7 is a sports car in SUV guise. So successful was it in North America and Europe that Mazda decided to present it as a true global car.
After several years of waiting, the Mazda CX-7 has finally reached Malaysian shores. The reason it has taken so long is because Mazda had to meticulously reconfigure the CX-7 to fully adapt to Malaysian climate and fuel. The wait has been worthwhile as Mazda assures that the CX-7 is fully adapted, and hence “Malaysianised”.
There are three key values to the refined (facelifted) Mazda CX-7)
Based on the original athletic design theme, the styling of the new CX-7 communicates a refined personality by means of a bold and expressive design that evokes a sense of pride for the CX-7. This advanced emotional styling creates a dominating aura that, at a single glance, invites people to get in and take a drive.
The overall balance of performance has improved, giving it the premium identity of a meticulously built vehicle. The main exterior changes begin with a lower front grille that features the characteristic smiley face unique to new Mazda models. A new design for the front foglamp bezels borrowed from the Nagare concept car creates a strong visual flow and blends aggressive styling and fine craftsmanship.
These new design elements give the new CX-7 a powerful, sophisticated look, and more clearly convey its distinguishing premium identity that generates visual pleasure to the beholder
The new model’s cabin is just as impressive. Supple black leather adorn delicately designed seats that hug you around sharp corners and embrace you on long highway drives. Other interior changes include a sporty, steering wheel that looks like it came from a sports car. Adorned with audio and auto cruise buttons, it allows the driver to adjust radio stations and settings or set cruising speed with his thumb without losing concentration on the drive.
The upper layer of the distinctive double-roof instrument panel features a gently waved hood with the newly adopted multi-information display (MID) positioned in the centre. Piano black or metallic edges on the centre panel convey a sense of understated refinement.
Chrome accents tastefully placed at the air conditioner louvers, and gearlever certainly add a distinct touch of class. No wonder then that Wards Auto.com awarded the Best Car Interior recently for its advanced Stylish design.
The newly revised MZR engine features a 2.3-litre inline four-cylinder Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) Turbo engine. The turbocharged engine provides great low to mid-range torque, outstanding engine response and excellent low emission performance. Wards Auto.com selected it as one of the 10 best engines of 2007 in the world. So good is the MZR 2.3 turbo that the engine has also been fitted to the highly successful Mazdaspeed6 and the latest Mazdaspeed3, true performance cars in their own right. Tuned for a crossover, it churns out 234 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. The CX-7 propels to 100 km/h in 8.6 seconds. Respectable, if you consider that the CX-7 weighs in at 1.7 tonnes.
The new CX-7 is equipped with the six-speed Activematic; the gearlever positioned closed to the hand position for quick gearchanges for spirited driving. Equipped in either the 2WD or 4WD configuration, customers get to choose whether they need a Metropolitan Crossover or an Offroad capable All-Wheel Drive vehicle. The latter, able to distribute power to the wheels from 50 : 50 ratio up too 100% to the front wheels, depending on the situation provides even more control on undulating roads and imperfect surfaces.
With the new CX-7, Mazda gives drivers peace of mind through even higher levels of passive and active safety. Passive safety is realized by technologies such as a high-rigidity body structure based on the Mazda Advanced Impact-energy Distribution and Absorption System, which utilize Ultra High Tensile Steel technology to absorb and divert collision impact while retaining cabin integrity.
The CX-7 is fully laden with Active Safety systems such as the anti-skid Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control system (TCS), 4 Channel ABS with EBD and BA. Any detection of abnormal wheelspin in any tyre will result in the active safety systems correcting the situation within microseconds, ensuring the safety of its passengers at any speed.
The suspension system employs MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link layout at the rear, and is tuned to suit the power characteristics of the engine. Suspension dampers have larger oil-flow openings to achieve smoother suspension strokes, and the increased body rigidity helps achieve supple suspension movement with greater firmness. This results n further refinement of the performance feel and linear handling that are strengths of the CX-7, and the hallmark of Mazda’s Zoom Zoom philosophy.
Increased body rigidity in the new CX-7 yields superior handling stability and a higher-quality ride. Not surprising since the chasis of the CX-7 was developed from the platform of the successful Mazda6. The CX-7 combines the sporty characteristic and safety of a sports car and the ruggedness of a Luxury SUV.
Standard appointments include a 9-speaker Bose stereo system, 6 disc CD changer with MP3 capability, Xenon lamps, front fog lights, electric sunroof, 6-way electric driver’s seat adjustment, 6 airbags, 18 inch wheels and dual exhaust tailpipes.
The all-new CX-7 has won multiple awards worldwide, to date, and is the embodiment of the Mazda Zoom-Zoom concept, in a fresh, bold and dynamic package and is fully imported from Japan.