Mazda CX-7: Spotted

There comes a point in all one's life when one must accept defeat of a sort, and alter one's vehicular choices, to a greater or lesser degree, to take account of the fruit of one's loins. For many people these days, that means the arrival of an SUV on the scene - usually one with a sensible diesel engine and the sort of boxy styling that places an emphasis on practicality.

But what if you choose not to choose your usual diesel child box? Well, how's about an SUV that hasn't just got style and character, but also a turbocharged petrol engine kicking out 260hp? One which combines all this with four-wheel drive and a smart interior laden with toys? Piqued your interest yet?

Suffice it to say, then, that the Mazda CX-7 isn't just another SUV. In fact, the chances are you haven't seen one on the road for months - maybe even years. There are less than 3,000 kicking around in the UK, of which only around 1,000 are the earlier petrol versions in which we're interested.

Why? Well, for starters, just look at it. It's terrific, isn't it? Not just 'for an SUV', either; the CX-7 is well-proportioned and genuinely appealing in its own right. There are loads of references to the contemporary RX-8 in there, too, from the bulging wings to the kinked window line and the circle-in-circle taillights.

The CX-7's beauty is more than skin deep, though. Mazda's trick of making a big car feel like a little one, which it honed with the 6 and CX-5, is in evidence here too; there's more than a sense of the hot hatch in the way the CX-7 changes direction. Meanwhile, that 2.3-litre turbo, pilfered from the MPS models of its time, provides more than adequate go - granted, it's not going to kick your average Audi RS4 in the teeth away from the lights, but it'll give you a significant amount more get-up-and-go than you can expect in your average diesel family slugger.

The problem is, of course, that this makes the CX-7 rather thirsty - don't reckon on seeing much more than 30mpg, even on a long run, and even less around town. Ouch. But don't worry, because there's man maths at work here - you see, this particular CX-7 we've found will set you back just £2,895. When you're getting so much car for so little money, surely you can budget for slightly higher fuel bills?

That money doesn't buy you a hound, either. A very reasonable 100k-ish mileage, a recent major service and a decent chunk of MOT left over all mean this example isn't the kind of thing you'd have to buy while burying your fingers in your ears and shouting 'la la la la la' very loudly.

In other words, not only does the CX-7 offer the antidote to the family-spec car buying blues, but it does so at a very tempting price, too. More than enough reason for a closer look, we say.


Engine: 2,261cc, 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: six-speed manual
Power (hp): 260@6,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 280@4,000rpm
MPG: 27.7
CO2: 243
First registered: 2008
Recorded mileage: 106,000 miles
Price new: £23,960
Yours for: £2,895

See the original advert here.

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Comments (34) Join the discussion on the forum

  • sidesauce 22 Mar 2018

    Leggy but then again I'd be surprised if it were unreliable. Interior looks like it's worn well too!

  • defblade 22 Mar 2018

    Not so sure about the touch of hot hatch handling... the one I test drove rolled around just like an SUV, made it very difficult to feel like I could use the power in anything other than a straight line.

    I wanted to like it, but just couldn't.

    Bought a JDM Subaru Legacy GT Spec B instead - same power, 4wd, very similar space inside, but lower, lighter and nailed to the ground by Bilstein evil (although a bit less flash in terms of interior trim).

  • Cambs_Stuart 22 Mar 2018

    I had no idea these existed. Looks like a really interesting family transport choice.

  • rtz62 22 Mar 2018

    If this is the same engine as the MPS models, aren’t they known to have problems with stretching or failing timing chains?
    Personal opinion is that it’s as ugly, and interesting, as a burst blister and I’d go with a Legacy as per the post above.

  • Jakarta 22 Mar 2018

    Piqued my interest so I checked prices over here.
    No manuals or diesels available, all with the 2.3 engine.

    Price range is £6-10k for 2008 model.


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