Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Mazda CX-7 - Final Report
05 July 2011
Author: Tristan Young
The Mazda CX-7 is easy to dismissbecause on the surface it's a 4x4 with a CO2 well above the 160g/km capital allowance cut-off - two things that mean it's immediately barred from most fleets.
However, our long-term test has shown that there's much more to this Mazda.
We picked the CX-7 because Mazda had switched from offering a single petrol engine option to offering a single diesel. While a 199g/km CO2 figure isn't great, the real-world consumption at almost 35mpg is fine for a mid-sized off-roader, and it is impressively close to the official 37.7mpg. On a few occasions we saw above the official figure, including one notable motorway run bettering 40mpg.
While off-roaders are often banned from fleets, the arrival of snow at the end of 2010 meant the CX-7, admittedly shod with winter tyres  from Continental, was unstoppable. Or rather, it both gripped and stopped all the way through the snow and ice of winter while other cars were abandoned. If you need to keep your business operational in the snow, then all-wheel drive and winter tyres should be a must.
Beyond these points the CX-7 is wonderfully fleet friendly. For starters it's very good value thanks to a low price and high standard kit list compared with rivals. Try pricing-up a Volvo XC60 or Land Rover Freelander with satnav, powered memory heated seats, leather, climate control, Bluetooth and Bose stereo ,  - you'll find yourself nearing £40,000; the CX-7 is now (after a price hike in 2010) £27,580 - all in. This lower price goes a long way to balancing out the higher CO2 in terms of BIK taxation too.
The seats are possibly the most comfortable going. Normally my back plays up after extended driving stints, but this never happened in the CX-7, even on day-long road trips. The boot, too, proved very capable on long journeys, swallowing everything we threw at it.
The only problem we had with the car over the year on the BusinessCar fleet was the loss of fourth gear due to too much oil in the gearbox. While the inclusive breakdown cover could have handled the issue better, our local Mazda dealer, TW White and Sons, was excellent and quickly solved the problem. The dealer also carried out the annual service a month or so later for a reasonable £250 including a collect and deliver service.
Over the year the CX-7 proved it was an incredibly easy car to live with. Always good looking, slightly rare - ensuring good RVs - and ever practical, the Mazda should be more popular. All that needs to change from a fleet perspective is the CO2 output.
|Mazda CX-7 2.2 diesel 5dr manual|
|Claimed combined |
|Model price range||£27,080|
|CO2 (tax) ||199g/km (32%)|
|BIK 20/40% per month||£144/£289|
|Boot space (min/max)||455/1348 litres|
|Why we’re running it||Revised CX-7 now (only) |
has a diesel variant
|Positive||Consumption, interior |
space, dealer service
|Negative||Gearbox problem, |