Mazda’s real thirst-quencher
The updated CX-7 will be easy to pick because a cosmetic upgrade includes the giant ‘‘smiley face’’ grille already seen on the new Mazda3 and updated MX-5. Other tweaks will be included in the package, though Dickson says it is too early to go into detail. He is also tight-lipped on pricing specifics. ‘‘If we look at the SUV market, CX-7 was positioned at the top end. It was popular among some, but not everybody,’’ Dickson says.
‘‘Pricing is still to be decided, but we’re looking to be competitive. If you look at the market for Japanese rivals it goes from the low $30,000s to the high $30,000s. Our plan (is) to be in there somewhere with the 2.5, and competitive.’’
The new engines have the potential to easily double CX-7 sales in Australia, though Dickson is not sure about the diesel.
‘‘We wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t think there will be incremental business. But the extent is difficult to determine, and one of our issues is getting supply. Sometimes we get caught out by demand,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s early days with diesel but we have to get it out there.’’
Dickson says Mazda is also considering — as Nissan has done with its baby Dualis hatch — a front-drive CX-7 to give an even sharper price. ‘‘That’s one we’re considering,’’ he says. But he rules out any chance of the CX-7 engine upgrade making it to the larger CX-9.
‘‘No, there is no diesel in the CX-9 at all. CX-9 is primarily for the US market, so whatever they do in terms of product development we can tap into, but there is almost no demand for diesel and the current engine is going well.’’