2012 Mazda CX-7 vs. Its Competition

2012 Mazda CX-7 FWD 4-door i Sport Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

A few years ago, the Mazda CX-7 was about the only crossover that dared stray away from the rugged look, but there are now a number of vehicles that have this focus.

Competing with the turbo models, the Acura RDX is a performance-oriented crossover that also packs a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive, and a suspension that's tuned for sporty handling, and it’s probably the closest rival to the CX-7.

There’s more usable backseat space in the RDX, and its powertrain feels and sounds more refined.

The RDX also has a more advanced all-wheel-drive system that is harder to fluster in brisk driving on curvy roads.

The Subaru Tribeca lands somewhere in between; it has quirky styling inside, sharp handling, and a surprisingly fun-to-drive feel on the road, thanks to the responsive flat-six engine, while the Tiguan is bound to attract some shoppers due to its responsive turbo.

Competing with the bargain-priced 2.5-liter "i" models are the Nissan Rogue, the Honda CR-V, and new four-cylinder Chevrolet Equinox, among others, while the turbo CX-7 takes on the Subaru Tribeca, Volkswagen Tiguan, and perhaps even Acura RDX.

The Rogue has less of a performance emphasis; it exhibits a more laid-back personality, and the driving experience is a little more isolated (and numbed).

It can allow quite a bit of road noise inside, but the backseat is more spacious.

The base four-cylinder Chevrolet Equinox has been redesigned with much-improved noise isolation, along with attractive interior materials, and it deserves another look.

The CR-V has been completely redesigned for 2012, with improved fuel economy and refinement, and it's one of the best vehicles in the compact crossover class; but its driving experience remains unexciting.

four and attractive interior.

2012 Mazda CX-7 FWD 4-door i Sport Angular Front Exterior View2012 Mazda CX-7
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2012 Acura RDX AWD 4-door Tech Pkg Angular Front Exterior View2012 Acura RDX
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2012 Honda CR-V2012 Honda CR-V
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2011 Nissan Rogue FWD 4-door SV Angular Front Exterior View2012 Nissan Rogue
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2012 Subaru Tribeca 4-door 3.6R Limited Angular Front Exterior View2012 Subaru Tribeca
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2012 Volkswagen Tiguan 2WD 4-door Auto S Side Exterior View2012 Volkswagen Tiguan
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Quick Specs
If you'd rather not be seen in a minivan and think most crossovers are a snooze to drive, the 2012 Mazda CX-7 is a great alternative.
The 2012 Acura RDX satisfies those who want more driving excitement, but it might leave luxury- or tech-hungry shoppers wanting.
The 2012 Honda CR-V is a great family vehicle, with a thoughtfully designed and comfortable interior, and improved refinement, but it lacks the confident, sprightly feel present in past CR-Vs.
The 2012 Nissan Rogue's comfortable ride and versatile layout make it a good fit for a value-conscious small families--but it's far from exciting to drive.
The 2012 Subaru Tribeca has excellent all-weather handling and top-notch safety, though it's fallen behind the curve in features and interior appointments.
It's not particularly fun to drive, but the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan feels every bit like a premium crossover vehicle.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas Flat 6Turbocharged Gas I4
EPA Class     
2WD Sport Utility VehiclesSport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport UtilityFWD Sport UtilitySport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicles
Style Name     
FWD 4-Door i SVFWD 4-Door2WD 5-Door LXFWD 4-Door S4-Door 3.6R Premium2WD 4-Door Manual S
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Sport Utility Vehicle4 DoorSport Utility VehicleSport Utility4 Door Sport Utility4 Door
AutomaticAutomaticAutomaticContinuously variable ratioAutomaticManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Mazda CX-7 vs. 2012 Acura RDX2012 Mazda CX-7 vs. 2012 Honda CR-V2012 Mazda CX-7 vs. 2012 Nissan Rogue2012 Mazda CX-7 vs. 2012 Subaru Tribeca2012 Mazda CX-7 vs. 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan