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The Mazda CX-7 is one of the best midsize SUVs from recent memory, despite some considering it more of a compact crossover SUV. It delivers turbocharged power and also packs a great deal of space. However, Mazda replaced it with the CX-5 and the similarly sized CX-9. Many wonder why Mazda discontinued such a sporty option that people seemed to love. 

The Mazda CX-7 is among the best midsize SUVs despite being discontinued

The Mazda CX-7 debuted for the 2007 model year and drew inspiration from a concept car from the celebrated automaker. In fact, this was the automaker’s first midsize SUV since the Navajo left the market in the mid-1990s. As mentioned, people gravitated to the Mazda CX-7 because it was the perfect blend of sporty performance, interior space, and a modern look that stood out at the time. 

The Mazda CX-7 was a solid vehicle
2012 Mazda CX-7 | Mazda

The problem is that the 2007 Mazda CX-7 and the subsequent models only developed a niche following. According to Good Car Bad Car, only about 20,325 people bought what many consider one of the best midsize SUVs in its first year. While not the worst numbers, this was a far cry from its rivals. 

Still, there were a few years before the discontinuation of the CX-7 that saw slightly higher numbers. The most popular year for the Mazda crossover SUV was 2007 when it sold 41,659 units. However, it only sold 13,433 units in 2012, which is when Mazda put an end to production of the midsize SUV. Of course, the lower-than-expected sales were the main reason for its demise. 

Some people loved the CX-7, but the majority of buyers were willing to invest in later Mazda vehicles. In particular, the Mazda had both the CX-5 and CX-9 on the market at the time. Of course, the CX-5 was smaller than the CX-7, and the CX-9 was a midsize SUV. There was no real reason to continue making the CX-7 when the automaker could fill its void with options buyers liked more. 

For comparison, the Mazda CX-5 sold over 40,000 units in its first year and still consistently sells over 100k annually. So far, in 2024, it’s sold more than 34k units. The Mazda CX-9 also remained popular until the automaker discontinued it after the 2023 model year to make room for the CX-90. 

Naturally, low sales and the success of other Mazda SUVs aren’t the only reasons the automaker stopped producing the CX-7. Though many were worked out after the early years, the CX-7 had some notable issues that caused people not to trust it. For one, it has a number of reported timing chain issues, which is never fun. 

Additionally, there were several reports of the turbocharger failing. Not only that, but the Mazda CX-7 was a pretty noisy vehicle. In particular, there are distressing engine noises that most people don’t appreciate. Still, this sporty option helped set the stage for Mazda’s later SUVs.