Three years after its introduction, the CX-7 receives an exterior touch-up, new cabin materials and a new steering wheel. Engineering changes include a 5% increase in rigidity and improved sound isolation. But the big news is the arrival of the GX version with its normally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine. The other two models, the GS and GT, are still powered by the 2.3-litre turbo engine. The GX is a front drive, whereas the others are all-wheel drive.
2010 Mazda CX-7 interior and cargo area
Short people will notice the CX-7’s high stance. With the power-adjusted leather seats included in the Luxury Package, seating is comfortable for most, but tall people may find that the cushion is a bit short. The driving position is very good thanks to the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Legroom is relatively generous, but with the sunroof, headroom is a bit tight for tall individuals.
A low cushion compromises rear-seat comfort, and the seatback angle may not suit all passengers. The middle section is not very accommodating because of the shape of the seat and the hump of the transmission tunnel. Headroom and legroom are relatively generous. The 60/40-split seatback folds to form a floor that angles up a bit towards the front. Seatback release levers located in the trunk automatically fold the two sections of the seatback.
Cargo space is good, with around 96 cm behind the rear seatback in the upright position and 178 cm behind the front seats when they’re adjusted for tall people. The cargo area measures 104 cm at its narrowest point, and 76.5 cm high.
2010 Mazda CX-7 convenience and safety features
The interior is very well finished in better-quality materials than before. Despite improvements to sound isolation, road noise is still an issue. There are some very good cabin storage compartments, including a cavernous centre console.
The instruments and controls are well laid out, but a number of controls, and the glove compartment, are not lit at night. Sunlight reflected off the chrome-finished Mazda badge in the middle of the new steering wheel can dazzle the driver. The instruments are insufficiently illuminated in the daytime, which makes them harder to see. The heating system is effective. The washer nozzles are placed under the edge of the hood and can easily be blocked by snow.
Safety equipment includes dual front, side and side curtain airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, stability control, and active front and rear head restraints. The rear-seat head restraints do not adjust high enough for people of average height or more. Visibility is hampered by the wide roof pillars front and rear, and the high rear beltline. It is difficult to judge distances when backing up. The headlights lack intensity.
In U.S. government crash tests, the CX-7 obtained five stars out of five for front passenger protection in a head-on collision and for the protection of all passengers in a side impact. Both the front- and all-wheel-drive versions earned four stars for rollover resistance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the CX-7 a Good rating, its highest, for driver protection in a frontal offset impact and for all-occupant protection in a side crash. For rear-impact protection, it received a Marginal rating, the second lowest.
2010 Mazda CX-7 engine and transmission
The 2.5-litre four-cylinder develops 161 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. That’s ten horsepower and ten pound-feet less than with the same engine in the Tribute, which must however drive a 4X4 system in some versions. In ordinary driving with two people on board, acceleration and pickup are adequate. However, this four cylinder comes up short when more vigour is required, and it works hard under a load, especially in hilly terrain.
The five-speed automatic transmission usually functions very, very smoothly. It is well geared and downshifts easily. The vehicle can be driven off in second gear in manual mode.
2010 Mazda CX-7 on the road
The four-wheel independent suspension is firm to the point of harshness on some bumps. Small crevices produce the most annoying response. Other than that, the ride is comfortable. Mazda does a better job tuning the suspension of its other vehicles. Road holding is very good for a vehicle with 20.6 cm of ground clearance.
The power steering is well calibrated, stable, precise, and relatively fast. It transmits little or no road sensation. The four-wheel disc brakes are very powerful, with good fade resistance even after several high-speed panic stops.
Inspection of 2010 Mazda CX-7
In an inspection, we saw that the CX-7 is built on a sturdy platform with sealed joints under the vehicle. Rust proofing is not applied in some areas. The mesh of the front grille is large enough to allow debris to get through and damage the air-conditioner condenser and transmission cooler. There is no anchor point for a rope, to tie down a canoe, for example. The engine’s overhead camshafts are chain driven.
Conclusion about 2010 Mazda CX-7
With a normally aspirated engine and front-wheel drive, the new GX version will appeal to people who like this type of vehicle because of its higher ground clearance, compared to a car, and because it delivers better fuel economy than the turbocharged engine. Potential buyers should check out the seats; depending on whether or not the vehicle is equipped with the luxury package, there’s a big difference in comfort.
PROS: comfortable front seats (with GL package), smooth transmission, fit and finish, powerful brakes, pleasant steering, road holding
CONS: road noise, suspension sometimes harsh, front and rear roof pillars hamper visibility, rear-seat comfort, gauges hard to see in daylight, several controls not illuminated
2010 Mazda CX-7 Specifications
Engine: 16-valve, 2.5-litre 4-cylinder; 16-valve, 2.3-litre 4-cylinder, turbo
Horsepower: 161 hp at 6,000 rpm; 244 hp at 5,000 rpm
Torque: 161 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm; 258 lb-ft at 2,500 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed automatic; 6-speed automatic
Suspension: fully independent
Wheelbase: 275 cm
Length: 468.2 cm
Width: 187.2 cm
Height: 164.5 cm
Weight: 1,588 to 1,818 kg
Tires: 215/70R17; 235/60R18; 235/55R19
Maximum towing capacity: 907 kg
Airbags: dual front, plus two side and two curtain airbags
Fuel consumption with 2.5-litre engine:
City: 10.4 L/100 km (27 mpg) – Highway: 7.2 L/100 km (39 mpg)
Test result: 11 L/100 km (26 mpg) – Test temperature: -3°C to 8°C
CO2 emissions: 4,140 kg/20,000 km
Fuel tank capacity: 69 litres (GX: 62 litres)
Fuel requirement: premium grade gasoline (GX: regular grade gasoline)
Acceleration with 2.5-litre engine: 0–100 km/h: 10.5 seconds and 60–100 km/h: 7.5 seconds
Competition: Acura RDX, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Edge, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Murano, Toyota RAV4
- Full basic coverage: 3 years/80,000 km
- Powertrain: 5 years/100,000 km
- Surface corrosion: 3 years/80,000 km
- Perforation damage: 5 years/unlimited km
- Emissions control system: 3 years/80,000 km (full coverage); 8 years/128,000 km (catalytic converter, electronic control module, onboard diagnostic system).
Factory replacement parts:
- Rear bumper: $682
- Front brake disc: $115
- Brake pads: $120
- Muffler: $568
- Front fender: $219
Price according to trim level:
- GX: $27,995
- GS: $32,295
- GT: $38,990
- Entertainment system: $1,406
- Luxury package: $2,995 (GX, GS)
- Navigation system: $2,600 (GT)
Price as tested: $30,990
Freight and preparation: $1,595