2007-2012 Mazda CX-7 review

Mazda CX-7 problems: Problems with the 2.3-liter turbo engine, including Check Engine light, issues with a timing chain, VVT and turbocharger are fairly common; repairs are expensive. For some of these issues, the warranty has been extended, check with your Mazda dealer.
Check Engine light issue are also common in a 2.3L turbocharged engine.
Various problems with the front end (control arms, steering rods) are also often reported. There was a recall for lower control arms issued in 2016. Check details at the NHTSA website.
A faulty wheel bearing can cause a humming noise that gets louder with speed. Replacing a wheel bearing can cost from $280 for the front to $520 for the rear wheel bearing.
A bad EGR valve can cause the Check Engine light to come on with the code P0401. A faulty EGR valve will have to be replaced ($450-600)

Overall: If you are looking for a turbocharged CX-7, be aware that they are thirsty and not very reliable, plus a turbocharged engine needs to be religiously maintained to last. If this doesn't stop you, it's a fun to drive, sporty vehicle. On the other hand, the 2010-2012 Mazda CX-7 with the 2.5L engine is more practical, fuel efficient and mostly trouble-free. Of course, the 2.5L engine is available only in the front-wheel drive models. Among the competitors, Honda CR-V is one of the best. Toyota Rav4 is not as sporty but more reliable. For driving enthusiasts, we recommend Mazda CX-5, as it's not only sporty, but also good on gas and reliable.

Similar vehicles:

What to look for in a used Mazda CX-7: We recommend to opt for the 2010-2012 CX-7 with a 2.5L engine, as it's more reliable and fuel efficient as well as less costly to maintain. The 2.3L-turbo engine should probably be avoided altogether. If you still want a turbocharged model, consider buying a good extended warranty to protect yourself from unexpected repairs. A turbocharged engine also needs to be maintained very well to avoid problems.
When checking a used Mazda CX-7, see if the driver seat is comfortable. Check the visibility. Avoid the car if you notice a white or blue smoke from the exhaust or if the engine is too noisy when started. If possible, check the service records to verify if the oil changes were done regularly. Test the air conditioner, a number of CX-7 owners mentioned that the A/C is not strong enough in a hot weather. During the test drive, see if the car holds a straight line well and doesn't pull to one side or another. Watch out for tire noises and wheel bearing noises, such as humming or rumbling. See if the transmission shifts smoothly.
Guides for used car buyers:

Safety Recalls - NHTSA - check for recalls.
Transport Canada - Road Safety Recalls - check for recalls in Canada.
MY Mazda US Owners website - owner's manuals, how-to videos, warranty info.

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2010 Mazda CX-7 US specifications

Overall length:
Overall width:
Overall height:

184.3 in. (4,682 mm.)
73.7 in. (1,872 mm.)
64.8 in. (1,645 mm.)
108.3 in. (2,750 mm.)

Cargo volume:
With rear seatback up
With rear seatback folded :

29.9 cu. ft.
58.6 cu. ft.
Towing capacity:
With 2.3L turbo engine:
With 2.5L engine:

2000 lbs.
1500 lbs.

Turning circle:

37.4 ft.

i SV / i Sport:

s Touring / s Grand Touring:

4-cylinder 2.5L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT.
161 hp. @ 6000 rpm
161 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm

4-cylinder 2.3L Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI)
Turbocharged 16-valve
244 hp @ 5000 rpm
258 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm

Recommended Fuel:
2.3L turbo:

Premium (91 to 93 Octane)
Regular Unleaded

Fuel tank capacity:
i SV / i Sport::
s Touring / s Grand Touring::

16.4 US gallons (62 liters)
18.2 US gallons (69 liters)

Engine oil capacity:
With oil filter replacement:
2.3L turbo:

6.0 US qt. (5.7 liters)
5.3 US qt. (5.0 liters)