Mazda has officially introduced the CX-7 for the Malaysian market, with the car available for preview at a specially held roadshow in the new wing of 1-Utama, Petaling Jaya. Claimed by Mazda to be a ‘sports car in SUV guise’, the CX-7 is fully imported from Japan in small numbers. The first shipment of 20 cars have already been snapped up, and same goes to the next coming shipment.
Introduced worldwide in 2006, the CX-7 sits in the Mazda model range just below the RM331k CX-9 3.7 V6, and above the Escape-twin Mazda Tribute. Anywhere in the world, the CX-7 is sold with only one engine option, the Mazdaspeed-tuned 2,261cc MZR blown four-pot with Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI), and Malaysia is no exception. (ed: An avid reader has since informed us that the US-market CX-7s are available with a 2.5-litre NA engine. Thanks for pointing out!)
Also seeing action in the Mazdaspeed3 and Mazdaspeed6, this engine is tuned to produce a maximum power output of 234hp @ 5,000rpm and a maximum torque of 350Nm @ 2,500rpm for the CX-7. According to quoted specs, Mazda’s engineers have tuned the CX-7 to run on a minimum fuel rating of RON 95.
Receiving the output from the engine is a six-speed automatic transmission available in either FWD or 4WD configuration. For the latter, the electronics are designed to vary front/rear torque distribution between 50:50 and 100% front – reinforcing the car’s inherent urban bias.
To highlight Mazda’s claims of the CX-7 being a ‘sports car in disguise’, the CX-7 is independently sprung all-round with MacPherson struts up front and multi-links aft. Ventilated discs all-round are standard equipment, supervised by ABS and EBD, with Dynamic Stability Control ready to step in at the sign of trouble.
Outside, the model now incorporates frontal styling elements from the Nagare concept car, with the huge bumper-mounted grille and flanking fog lamps creating a powerful frontal fascia. Further sports car design cues are seen at the back, with bulging wheel archers seen to be pushing the window line upwards – creating the image of a powerful rear-driven sports car. That’s the intention at least, but whether it works on you, that’s another story altogether.
Because the CX-7 is fully imported, it is therefore, naturally expensive. Mazda knows this, and in order to justify the huge price tag that they’re slapping on the CX-7, they have done two things. One is bringing it in small numbers, an exercise in the name of exclusivity. The other is to load it with all the bells & whistles, so you’re not getting a barebones car by any stretch of the imagination.
The list of equipment and accessories issued to us by Bermaz stretches one and a half pages long. Notable toys include power adjusting front seats, BOSE 9-speaker system, full leather upholstery, keyless-go, trip computer, multi-info display, cruise control, and more. On the beaver-face steering wheel, almost identical to that found in the Mazda3 Sport 2.0, controls for the auto cruise, multi-info display, and audio system are mounted on.
The front-wheel driven CX-7 can be yours for an eye-watering RM254,692.20 (OTR with Insurance, Peninsula), while the AWD variant goes for RM264,960.00. Considering the price tag, Bermaz is under no illusions that this is a volume seller, insisting that it’s a premium niche product.
The CX-7 is currently on display at 1-Utama’s new wing over the weekend together with the rest of the Mazda range in a specially organized roadshow by Bermaz.