The facelift version of Mazda’s popular sports crossover SUV, the Mazda CX-7, features the premiere of its first diesel variant. After a successful launch in North America in 2006, sales were expanded to include Japan and Europe in 2007. Two years later, total sales have surpassed 165,000 units (as of December 2008) and the Mazda CX-7 has won more than 10 global automobile awards.
Overview of the SUV
Interior Design – Quality feel and Detailing
Cockpit – new steering wheel
The enhanced premium look on the outside is continued on the inside of the vehicle with quality detailing that delivers a sporty yet highly refined cabin. The CX-7 cockpit has a new steering wheel with a sporty, premium design. Integrated steering-wheel switches allow the driver to operate controls without having to look away from the road. A new design for the blackout meters of the instrument cluster features newly-introduced blue-ring illumination, white pointers and three-dimensional dials that produce a heightened sense of quality.
Dashboard and centre panel updates
The vehicle’s unique double-roof instrument panel is modified as well. The upper roof is no longer straight but has a gently undulating shape. This was adopted so designers could install the new Multi Information Display (MID) positioned in the centre and to the right of the driver for easy reading. Piano black or metallic edges are added to the centre panel to convey a sense of refinement.
Materials and trim
The CX-7 facelift interior was developed with new materials placed at various locations around the cabin to give an even more premium look and feel. The rings on the side air conditioner vents are specially plated with anti-glare chrome. New front and rear door armrests are introduced as well, which incorporate soft pads for enhanced quality feel and more comfort than before. The armrest lid of the centre console is made of thick, high-resilience urethane, which has a texture combining softness and firmness for durability and comfort. With high grades, it also has a newly added soft pad.
Powertrains – Clean 2.2-litre Turbo Diesel
In response to growing environmental concerns and increasingly stringent emission regulations in Europe, the CX-7 facelift engine line-up delivers a newly evolved combination of sporty, refined driving performance, with superb fuel efficiency and environmental performance. For the first time, a new, powerful and low-emission 2.2-litre common-rail diesel engine, developed especially for Europe joins the 2.3-litre DISI turbo petrol.
The next-generation MZR-CD 2.2-litre inline four-cylinder DOHC 16-valve turbo diesel joins the line-up of the facelifted CX-7. It delivers generous maximum torque of 400 Nm at a low 2,000 rpm and maximum output of 127 kW at 3,500 rpm.
The engine’s 2.2-litre displacement, combined with turbocharger and common-rail direct injection with a high injection pressure of 200 MPa, realises high power and torque with low emissions. Newly optimised intercooler efficiency further promotes strong and linear performance.
Chassis – Enhanced Handling and Ride Quality
Mazda pioneered the sports crossover SUV sub-segment when it launched the original CX-7 as a practical and sporty utility vehicle. The facelift model enhances this aspect with a significant increase in body rigidity and suspension updates. Coupled to Active Torque-Split All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system, this delivers even better handling stability and ride comfort for an even more premium driving experience befitting Mazda’s sporting SUV.
Suspension – excellent straight-ahead stability and ride comfort
Tuned to suit the power characteristics of each engine, the suspension system of the Mazda CX-7 facelift employs MacPherson struts in the front and a multilink suspension system in the rear. New dampers are introduced with larger oil-flow openings to achieve smoother suspension strokes and improve stability and ride comfort. At the same time, the increased body rigidity helps enable supple suspension movement and greater firmness.
Mazda’s Active Torque-Split All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system – superior traction
Like the original model, the European version of the Mazda CX-7 facelift comes standard with Mazda’s Active Torque-Split All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system that helps prevent wheel spin on slippery surfaces and delivers excellent traction on dry surfaces. The vehicle’s system control module distributes torque between the front and rear axles using an electronically-controlled active-torque coupling mounted in front of the rear differential. The system automatically distributes power between the axles (100/0 percent to 50/50 percent front/rear) for just the right amount of torque in every driving situation.