CX-7: An Only Child

January 19, 2006

Ford’s Detroit show release on the Edge says, “Ford outpaced the competition in CUV growth in 2005 and looks to further energize the CUV market in 2006 with the new Edge and two other crossovers — the Lincoln MKX and Mazda CX-7.” Although Ford hadn’t said anywhere else that the CX-7 was related to the MKX or the Edge, many took the leap from that sentence that they are, and it left us wondering about the extent of any design similarities or parts-sharing.

Turns out we weren’t the only ones with some lingering questions regarding the CX-7’s origins. Taking a quick look around at other coverage, some major press outlets reported ambiguously that the CX-7 is based on the Fusion/Milan or Mazda6 platform; while others are saying that it’s built off the Mazda3 platform. And in several cases, we saw the Edge, CX-7, and MKX referred to as triplets.

Mazda’s Jay Amestoy confirmed that the CX-7 is built on “a platform unique to Mazda,” and added that it can’t be said that the CX-7 is built on any one existing platform. Amestoy said that while the engine and transmission is straight out of the Mazdaspeed6, as well as the front end, from the powertrain back, there are more similarities with the Mazda5 small minivan (including the same rear suspension arrangement), which is actually based on the Mazda3’s platform.

Amestoy says that the confusion is understandable, as the CX-7 has a similar shape to the Edge and MKX and is within a few inches of the other two in all critical dimensions; but they do have entirely different underpinnings. —Bengt Halvorson

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