Skip to main content

The Mazda CX-7 is one of those cars that helped usher in the idea of crossover SUVs being reasonably powerful. Debuting in 2007, it has many fans, but the CX-7 never reached the heights of later Mazda CX models in terms of success. Though a respected vehicle, many model years may not be the best choice for used SUV buyers. This less-than-stellar reputation isn’t due to a lack of performance. Instead, the SUV hasn’t always had the best reliability ratings.

The 2009 Mazda CX-7 is one of the best

2009 Mazda CX-7 in white from the front
2009 Mazda CX-7 | Mazda

After a couple years of lackluster Mazda CX-7 models, the 2009 edition was a welcomed surprise. The Mazda SUV has solid scores for safety and reliability while retaining the exterior look many appreciated at the time. In addition, the 2009 Mazda CX-7 also has a much better build quality than many of the older models, making it an excellent choice for a used Mazda SUV.

Under the hood, this Mazda has a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s all-wheel drive and uses a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission. The 2009 CX-7 has a maximum output of 244 horsepower and accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds. The great thing about this Mazda engine is that it feels like a V6.

The 2012 Mazda CX-7 is also great

2012 Mazda CX-7 in red
2012 Mazda CX-7 | Mazda

This is the final model of the CX-7, so it’s fitting that it would be one of its best. The 2012 Mazda CX-7 is celebrated for its expert-level handling and a little bit of extra cargo space. By 2012, Mazda had perfected the CX-7 for the most part, and this model is perhaps the most refined from the lineup. Where people like it a little less is the engine.

The 2012 CX-7 is also turbocharged and delivers excellent power. However, by 2012 the world wanted a bit more. It was outdated for a new car at the time, but the 2012 CX-7 is still a great option for a used SUV. It accelerates from 0 to 60 in 7.6 seconds.

The 2007 CX-7 isn’t the greatest

2011 Mazda CX-7 from the driver's side
2011 Mazda CX-7 | Mazda

Though some may have had positive experiences with it, the 2007 Mazda CX-7 is largely considered the worst in the lineup. It’s plagued with issues, and the common advice has frequently been to have deep second thoughts about owning it. This model’s main issue is engine problems, particularly timing chain failure and problems with the variable valve timing. Many owners also experienced problems with the air conditioning compressor going out. 

According to Edmunds, the 2007 Mazda CX-7 comes standard with a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It has a horsepower of 244 and is all-wheel drive. This first-model Mazda SUV can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds. Though not the best model year, people still found this turbocharged SUV fun to drive. 

In addition to the 2007 model, the CX-7, 2008, 2010, and 2011 model years are also strongly advised against. Like with the 2007 model, these all have significant issues with the engine. The 2008 and 2010 models even experienced both premature engine and turbo failure. The 2011 model has problems with the transmission, among other things. 

Related The First-Generation Mazda Miata Speedster Kit Is Reportedly Taking Orders Soon

The First-Generation Mazda Miata Speedster Kit Is Reportedly Taking Orders Soon