We’re nearing the 3000-mile mark in our long-term Mazda CX7 and it seems to be getting into its stride.

Our initial average fuel consumption has improved by 10% to 34.2mpg and we’ve seen some more impressive figures when we’ve worked just a little harder at driving more efficiently.

On one recent complete tank-full we’ve averaged 37.2mpg, which is very close to the official 37.7mpg figure, and on a 200-mile motorway trip recently we achieved just more than 40mpg.

While this may not seem that impressive in the great scheme of business motoring, it’s better than the similar-sized Volvo XC60 we ran last year, which had an identical official mpg figure, yet less power.

The trouble is, I’ve also discovered that now the CX-7 has a few miles on the clock, its engine is feeling much more lively, and if you’re not in the mood for saving fuel then the car can be a fun drive, helped by minimal body roll and a comfortable ride.

What we’ll find out over the coming miles is if mpg keeps improving, or if the temptation of the car’s performance outweighs fuel pump savings.

Mazda CX-7 2.2 diesel 5dr manual
Mileage 2649
Claimed combined
Our average
P11D price £26,515
Model price range £26,515
CO2 (tax) 199g/km (31%)
BIK 20/40% per month £136/£273
Service interval 12,500mls
Insurance group 32
Warranty 3yrs/unltd mls
Boot space (min/max) 455/1348 litres
Engine size/power 2184cc/173hp
Top speed/0-62mph 124mph/11.3secs
Why we’re running it Revised CX-7 now (only)
has a diesel variant
Positive Rarity, equipment, economy
Negative A-pillar visibility, emissions