Thursday, 18 January 2007

Coming soon: Mazda CX-7

Hot on the heels of Mazda3 and facelift Mazda6 launches by Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd (CCB) would be the introduction of the CX-7. Last showcased at the KL International Motor Show in 2006, this new SUV is expected sometime in July/August 2007, to be fully imported from Japan.

Sporting Mazda’s Zoom Zoom design philosophy, the frontal visage reminisce the sporty RX-8 especially at the headlights and flanks. Hints of the Mazda5 can be seen at the grille section but all of course, presented in a higher stance. Bold shoulder lines lend solidity to its shape while a neat rump nicely sums up the whole package. The rear lights may split opinions though with Mazda’s signature ‘bleached’ colourless covers. From the display left-hand drive unit at CCB Mazda showroom in PJ, the interior looks equally inviting, spacious and comfy. Dashboard and switches layout are clean and uncluttered.

However, the steering looked a little anaemic and el-cheapo for a sporty crossover of such upmarket stature. In contrast, its elder sibling, a stretched version called the CX-9, carries a steering that’s chunkier and more convincing. Boot is capacious as with most full-size SUV.

Lift up the hood you’d likely find the absence of gas-struts support disappointing. Likewise, the engine cover doesn’t look impressive too. But as the saying goes “Looks can be deceiving”. More so when what lurks beneath this flat and boring piece of glossy black plastic is Mazda6 MPS’ turbocharged 4-pot lump capable of churning out 235bhp at 5,000rpm. More importantly - in order haul this 1.8tonne SUV convincingly - we have 350Nm of torque available at a low 2,500rpm!

Therefore, the claimed figures of 8.6secs to the century mark seemed believable.

350 Nm from a 2.3 litre, now thats something

The CX-7 is expected to be priced in the region of RM280k come Q3 2007. Pricey no doubt but considering that its performance would easily beat the likes of Toyota Harrier 2.4 and Nissan Murano 2.5, I’d say it’s a very credible option for those who are shopping for a luxury SUV. Apart from CX-7’s superior power output figures, the standard 6-speed automatic would ace the competition in the drivetrain department.

On another note, a reliable source at CCB have hinted to For-Wheels that a CCB used car division would be up and running by Q2 2007. Somewhat like TopMark by UMWT, its establishment should make it easier for would-be new car buyers to do trade-ins and likely get more realistic resale values too.

Written by: Dr S.P. Long
18th Jan 2007. 

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