CX-7 a front runner
The new-look CX-7 has gone on show, but not at the Melbourne event, writes NEILMcDONALD
TIME has run out for Mazda Australia to get the facelifted CX-7 on the stand at the Melbourne Motor Show. Unveiled at last week’s Toronto Motor Show in Canada, the CX-7 flew under the radar with its newlook wagon — a part from the US, Canada is one of Mazda’s biggest export markets.
Along with an exterior freshenup, Mazda has added a front-drive CX-7, powered by the same 2.5-litre naturally aspirated engine from the Mazda6 and the new Mazda3 SP25.
Mazda Australia spokesman Glenn Butler says the company is very keen on the front-drive fourcylinder version.
‘‘It’s something we’re looking at and are very interested in,’’ he says. ‘‘There is obviously some potential for a vehicle under the current price point. It’s all about price.’’
The 2.5-litre front-wheel-drive four produces 125kW at 6000 revs and 226Nm at 4000 revs and is mated to a five-speed automatic.
The 2.3-litre direct-injection turbo CX-7 all-wheel-drive starts at $41,140.
A front-wheel-drive model could be up to $3000 cheaper, though Butler says it’s still too early to speculate on prices or specification.
He describes the current twomodel CX-7 turbo as top-heavy with performance and equipment, leaving some room for a lower-specced model.
Apart from a front-drive CX-7, Mazda Australia is also believed to be looking at a turbodiesel CX-7, using the same 136kW/400Nm 2.2-litre engine as the Mazda6.
Visually, Mazda stylists left the car’s overall silhouette alone but tidied up the front grille, rear bumper and tail-lights.
The front gets the five-point ‘‘family face’’ grille treatment seen on everything from the RX-8 and Mazda3 to the MX-5.
Mazda has increased body rigidity and lowered noise and vibration, as well as wind noise.
To help improve fuel economy in the 2.3-litre CX-7, the six-speed ‘‘Activematic’’ gearbox gets an improved shift pattern and torque converter lock-up control.
On the inside the soft-roader has higher quality materials, Bluetooth compatibility and a new design for the gauges including blackout meters with three-dimensional dials and a small colour display unit at the top of the instrument panel.
The revised CX-7 is due to come to local showrooms in the second half of the year.