6 Best & Worst Mazda CX-7 Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Mazda CX-7 is a small SUV that was first introduced as a 2007 model.

It’s a great choice for those who want good driving dynamics combined with the practicality of a crossover SUV.

In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at its best and worst model years...

2012 Mazda CX-7

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Mazda CX-7 Are:

The best Mazda CX-7 model years are 2012, and 2009. The worst model years of the CX-7 are 2011, 2010, 2008, and 2007. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Mazda CX-7?

The Mazda CX-7 has been discontinued but has provided the North American market with a few memorable model years. 

2012 Mazda CX-7

The 2012 CX-7 offers the steering and handling of a sports sedan combined with the cargo space, ride height and all-wheel drive capability of an SUV.

While the 2012 CX-7 out of date is under the hood, this vehicle made up for it in terms of excellent handling, an efficient turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and sporty styling. 

This was the final iteration of the CX-7 (which was replaced by the CX-5) and it was certainly the most refined and the most advanced model made.

  • Edmunds: 3.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 76 / 100

2012 CX-7, Edmunds review:

“I came to the CX-7 as an alternate to a Honda or Toyota SUV. The Mazda’s are easier to find used and better priced. High points are the comfort, driveability, and value. Low points, it seems the people in the back seat are always hot and the people in the front seat are freezed out…”

2009 Mazda CX-7

The 2009 CX-7 scored strong reviews from owners and critics alike and was praised for its solid build quality and excellent safety ratings.

The 2009 CX-7 makes our best list because it received far fewer complaints than many of its counterparts, although the 2012 model is a better choice.

This model comes equipped with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that offers V6-like power.

It also comes with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags as standard.

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2009 CX-7, Edmunds review:

“In 9 months I made put 25K km (17K in miles) and everything is perfect. I’ve been to a few long trips, it’s such a fun to drive this car at these long trips – this is where it’s a its best. Gas mileage is a bit on the high side, especially at winter, but hey, you can’t have everything…”

2009 Mazda CX-7

Consumer Scores For Best Mazda CX-7 Years

Model YearEdmundsConsumer RatingKelley Blue BookConsumer RatingJD PowerConsumer Rating
2012 Mazda CX-73.8 / 5.04.1 / 5.076 / 100
2009 Mazda CX-74.1 / 5.04.1 / 5.080 / 100

Related: 6 Most Common Problems With Mazda CX-5 (Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Mazda CX-7?

In its relatively short lifespan, certain models of the CX-7 have proved to be more problematic than others.

2011 Mazda CX-7

The 2011 CX-7 had a lot of problems related to the suspension system specifically issues with the front control arm lower ball joint which was susceptible to failure.

This issue had the potential to cause a loss of steering and there was a widespread recall.

Owners also complained that their headlight bulbs would repeatedly burn out.

Here’s one owner’s account:

“Low beam and high beam headlights burn out multiple times throughout the year. The low beam on either side burn out and have to be replaced more frequently than the high beams.”

The 2011 CX-7 was also fitted with the notorious Takata airbags, which were known to explode causing serious injury.

The 2011 CX-7 had a total of 16 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 183 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Will not reverse
  • Transmission failed despite good maintenance history
  • Headlights burn out
  • Engine stalls
2011 Mazda CX-7

2010 Mazda CX-7

CarComplaints.com provided this model year with the unfortunate distinction of “Avoid Like the Plague.”

It was reported to suffer from engine defects that resulted in timing chain failure & turbo failure which require engine replacements.

The 2010 CX-7 also had its fair share of suspension-related issues. 

Multiple recall campaigns were instituted. Unfortunately, parts availability was also a big problem, leaving owners with a faulty vehicle for several months.

Headlights burning out frequently was one of the most common problems.

The 2010 CX-7 had a total of 29 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 206 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Turbo failure
  • Headlights keep burning out
  • VVT (Variable Valve Timing) broke and busted through all cylinders
  • Takata recall
  • Engine failure

2008 Mazda CX-7

CarComplaints.com provided this model year with the unfortunate distinction of “Avoid Like the Plague.”

The 2008 CX-7 was plagued by engine-related issues, which was caused by timing chain failure.

Owners complained about excessive vehicle vibration/rattling, warning lights going off intermittently, and engine stalling/failure. 

Here’s one owner’s report:

“Timing chain went out. Mazda is trying to say its sludge from poor maintenance. Even though we have all receipts since we owned it for oil changes. We just purchase this CX-7 with almost 28000 miles. Now a year later and 40000 miles it needs a new motor.”

This vehicle was also fitted with the exploding, shrapnel-shooting Takata airbags which were subsequently recalled.

The 2008 CX-7 had a total of 31 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 260 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine failure
  • Turbocharger failed
  • Air conditioning blows hot air

2007 Mazda CX-7

CarComplaints.com provided this model year with the unfortunate distinction of “Avoid Like the Plague.”

The 2007 CX-7, by all accounts, was statistically the most problematic model year by a landslide. 

It had various engine-related issues, which were typically caused by Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and timing chain failure.

It also had numerous problems with the air conditioning compressor failing at relatively low mileage.

Some owners even reported smoke and fire when the A/C compressor clutch seized while driving.

The problems for this model year were so widespread Mazda extended the warranty although we would advise potential buyers to steer clear.

The 2007 CX-7 had a total of 74 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 702 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine timing chain stretched
  • Turbo went out
  • Loses all power while driving
  • Airbag recalls

Related: 11 Best & Worst Mazda CX-5 Years (With Facts & Stats)

2007 Mazda CX-7

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2012 Mazda CX-7454
2011 Mazda CX-716183
2010 Mazda CX-729206
2009 Mazda CX-7681
2008 Mazda CX-731260
2007 Mazda CX-774702

What Problems Do Mazda CX-7 Have?

  • Engine timing chain stretched
  • Turbocharger failed
  • Engine failure
  • Loses all power while driving
  • Air conditioning blows hot air
  • VVT (Variable Valve Timing) broke and busted through all cylinders
  • Will not reverse
  • Transmission failure
  • Stepping on brake disengages the accelerator
  • Engine stalls

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Mazda CX-7?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Toyota RAV49.0$11,919 – $14,049City: 19 – 22 /Highway: 26 – 28
Kia Sportage8.8$9,383 – $11,210City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 25 – 30
GMC Terrain8.6$9,112 – $10,637City: 17 – 22 /Highway: 24 – 32
Subaru Forester8.5$8,971 – $13,244City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 24 – 27
Hyundai Tucson8.4$8,366 – $10,919City: 20 – 22 /Highway: 26 – 30
Chevrolet Equinox8.3$8,326 – $10,077City: 16 – 22 /Highway: 23 – 32
Honda CR-V8.3$11,897 – $14,332City: 22 – 23 /Highway: 30 – 31
Nissan Rogue8.2$7,495 – $9,123City: 22 – 23 /Highway: 26 – 28
Mazda CX-78.1$8,580 – $14,567City: 17 – 20 /Highway: 21 – 27
Nissan Xterra8.1$10,268 – $12,996City: 15 – 16 /Highway: 20 – 22
Ford Escape7.7$7,840 – $8,864City: 18 – 23 /Highway: 23 – 28
Ford Escape Hybrid7.6$9,423 – $11,060City: 30 – 34 /Highway: 27 – 31
Volkswagen Tiguan7.5$8,592 – $10,630City: 18 – 22 /Highway: 26 – 27
Suzuki Grand Vitara7.4$7,073 – $9,403City: NA / Highway: NA
Mitsubishi Outlander7.3$8,661 – $9,754City: 19 – 23 /Highway: 25 – 28
Jeep Wrangler7.2$15,460 – $20,737City: 16 – 17 /Highway: 20 – 21
Jeep Liberty7.0$8,910 – $11,379City: 15 – 16 /Highway: 21 – 22
Jeep Compass6.7$8,287 – $9,694City: 20 – 23 /Highway: 23 – 29
Jeep Patriot6.6$8,138 – $10,018City: 20 – 23 /Highway: 23 – 29

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com










  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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