2007 Mazda CX 7 Problems – A Good Purchase Or A Basket Case?

by Conner Mckay

Are you on the market for a used Mazda CX-7? You probably want to learn all of the 2007 Mazda CX 7 problems to see if this model is the right one for you. This is a good call from your side because learning all the problems a vehicle has will guarantee that you will have carefree ownership later. We are going to help you out with that.

Before buying a used vehicle, good research is always a good idea. There are hundreds of vehicles out there on the used car market and all of them have potential problems. It’s up to you to get the car that has the least problems for you to have carefree ownership.

Getting the right information will also potentially save you thousands of dollars on possible repairs that could be needed to be performed on your vehicle. This will be the case if you purchase a vehicle that is prone to problems. Getting a car like this will be a total nightmare for you and your budget. You will probably regret the day that you bought it. But you shouldn’t worry because that’s why we are here. To help you out with your purchases and help you make that decision.

In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to the CX-7. First, we are going to cover some background of this model and the specs in which it is offered. Then we will discuss the 2007 Mazda CX 7 problems and how serious are they? Lastly, we will share our opinion of whether you should go for it or not. So, let’s discuss.

Background Of The CX-7

In 2006 Mazda has decided to jump on the crossover train and make a model that will rival the RAV4 made by Toyota, Mitsubishi’s Outlander, and the Chevy Captiva.

For this purpose, they have built the CX-7. The CX-7 was a new model that offered the looks and speed of a hot hatch but also the increased ride height and practicality of an SUV.

The CX-7 production was started in 2006 and was produced until 2012. The production was in Hiroshima, Japan which means all the cars for the US market were imported.

The CX-7 has a sleek design that has attracted a lot of young buyers and personally, it reminds me a bit of Tesla’s design line, more precisely the Model X. This model had an increased ride height and it could easily match the SUVs on the market that were available at the time.

This model was based on Ford’s C1 platform. Mazda and Ford have long-term collaboration and they often share components and platforms between them and this was no exception. This has helped Mazda greatly since they didn’t have to create a completely new platform for this model and they could use this one that the Ford Focus was built on. It’s better to use something that is proven instead of something new. But that doesn’t mean that the 2007 Mazda CX 7 problems are non-existent.

That is something that we are going to discuss later in this article. But first, we need to cover all the specs and interesting details that this model offers. Because a lot of buyers also want to learn more about the specs of the vehicle before making a purchase and that’s what we are going to cover in the next chapter.

Mazda CX-7 Specs – 2007 Mazda CX 7 Problems

We have covered the basics of the Mazda CX-7 and now let’s discuss the specs of the CX-7. It will be useful to compare this model to the other models that are of similar spec and pick your choice when it comes to buying your future crossover.

In this chapter, we are going to cover everything. From the dimensions, engines and transmissions, trims and equipment, and also the safety aspect which is one of the most important things that you need to consider when getting a new or used vehicle. So, let’s dive into it.


The CX-7 has a wheelbase of 108 inches and a total length of 184 inches. Making it an extra roomy and spacious SUV. Not spacious like the extra spacious full-size SUVs but still had enough space for most daily activities. This makes the CX-7 one of the perfect grocery getters to the market.

The width of the CX-7 is about 74 inches making it a good option if you have a narrow driveway because it will fit in most parking spots and garages. The height of the CX-7 is around 65 inches and allows the CX-7 to have a better ground clearance than a sedan has.

The curb weight is about 1,782 kg or 3,929 lb. Making the CX-7 a rather heavy, but considerably lighter for today’s standards.

Engines And Transmissions

For the US market, the CX-7 came with two different engines. Both of them were straight-4 engines. This means that these engines had 4 cylinders which made them extra fuel-efficient. Especially the turbocharged engine.

As we said, there were two engines. One was the 2.3-liter MZR DISI Turbo engine that made 256hp and the 2.5 MZR engine that made 161hp. The latter one was naturally aspirated while the 2.3 was turbocharged.

When considering getting a CX-7 the engine to get will probably be the turbocharged variant. This is because the naturally aspirated is making only 161hp which is not enough for a chassis of this size and can be extremely sluggish and slow to react.

2007 Mazda CX 7 Problems

In overtaking, the low amount of power can be damaging and may also make maneuvering difficult at higher speeds. Since you will not have the power to overtake easily.

The fuel economy in the CX-7 was reported to be between 25 mpg city and 20.5 mpg highway. But the real-world economy is considered to be much lower. This is especially in the naturally aspirated engine and this real fuel economy that was reported by owners was around 15 mpg in the city and 18 to 20 mpg on the highway.

The transmissions that these engines came with were the five-speed automatic for the 2.5 liter naturally aspirated engine while the punchier 2.3 turbo engine got the six-speed automatic. Which made sure that the CX-7 accelerates and has excellent fuel mileage. But what about the 2007 Mazda CX-7 problems? Well, we are going to cover that later in this article but first, let’s see how good of an off-roader is the CX-7.

Off-Roading Capability

The CX-7 came with front-wheel-drive but also the better-equipped models came with a 4-wheel drive. This means that the car was mostly front-wheel drive. But, in some situations, where it was needed the vehicle turned into 4×4. Which resulted in better traction and also better off-roading capability compared to the front-wheel-drive models.

This made the CX-7 extra useful for situations when the conditions on the road were snowy or when you were driving in mud. This system that Mazda installed is extremely smart and as the vehicle is sensing that the conditions on the road are bad it sends 50% of the power to the rear making it extremely more grippy and didn’t allow the vehicle to drive off to the side of the road and crash.

Also, if you go on off-roading trips with your friend the CX-7 may come in handy, since it can tackle most of the hills with ease.


There were four trim levels on the CX-7. These trim levels included the base SV Trim, the Sport, the Touring, and the Grand Touring which were considered to be the top-of-the-line models.

The first two trims the SV and the Sport came with the naturally aspirated 2.5, while the touring models came with the punchier 2.3-liter turbo engine that produced around 250hp.

The CX-7 includes a fully independent rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. The model also comes as a standard with electronic stability control (ESC) as well as traction control. These features will greatly aid the driver in some tight situations and will potentially avoid possible crashes.

Safety – 2007 Mazda CX 7 Problems

The CX-7 can be considered to be a safe vehicle for its time. The vehicle exceeded the NTHSA safety records gaining 5 stars on most of them. Except in the case of a rollover where it got 4 stars.

But for 2021 standards this is probably not enough and you should consider this as well. But what about the 2007 Mazda CX 7 problems? Well, that’s what we are going to cover in the next chapter.

2007 Mazda CX 7 Problems

Learning all the possible problems that you might come across with your future vehicle is key before buying. That’s why we are here to help you out with that. In this chapter, we are going to learn all the 2007 Mazda CX 7 problems for you to have a better idea of what to expect from this vehicle.

Mazda CX-7 Engine Problems

We will start first with the engine problems. Because the engine is the most important aspect of each vehicle and is basically the heart of the car. If it doesn’t work properly then your car will not be able to move. But what are the engine problems of the CX-7? Let’s find out.

Stretched Timing Chain Problem

Most of the 2007 Mazda CX 7 problems are a small fraction compared to this problem with the timing chain. This problem plagues a lot of turbocharged Mazda CX-7s and it is very expensive to repair since a lot of work needs to be put into the solution of this problem and that is replacing the timing chain in the engine.

This problem starts to appear around 130,000 miles and the timing chain is starting to stretch up. And when the timing chain gets stretched it will cause all sorts of issues in the engine. Namely, it will damage the sprocket, it breaks the teeth of the sprocket.

If you run the car like this for a while, one of the possibilities is that the chain will jump eventually. When the chain jumps, then disaster happens and the valves get bent. That’s why when you have a chain that was not replaced in 120,000 miles. The best thing is to replace the chain as soon as possible.

When you replace the chain, you will have to replace both chains. The timing chain and the oil pump chain. As well as replacing the sprockets, chain guides, and bolts. Everything has to be new if you want to fix the issue permanently.

The cost for this fix is stunningly high and will cost you more than $3,000 for all the parts and labor. It is very expensive since the whole engine has to come out before you come near the timing chain.

Turbo Failures

Turbo failure is the second most frequent problem that happens to this model. This problem can be rather expensive to repair and usually appears on 100,000 miles. Yet, some owners even reported this problem at 68,000 miles! Yes, that’s right, even that low mileage can be a problem for these turbos.

So, why is the problem? Nobody knows, the turbo simply went out without oil and it basically broke at once. Even though the owners have not reported that they have done the regular maintenance and the turbo simply broke. The repair for this problem was around $2,500 to $3,000.

Complete Engine Failure While Driving

That’s right many owners have reported this complaint that the engine completely died on the highway for no particular reason.

This problem was mostly caused by the VVT system or the timing chain. The solution for this repair was a complete engine swap and a new engine installed in these vehicles. These vehicles that needed complete engine swap were the ones that the internal damage of the engine was extremely severe and there was no way around this problem. The price for a new engine was between $4,000 to $6,000.

Engine Ticking

Engine ticking problem was also reported with the Mazda CX-7. This problem usually appeared above 60,000 miles. And again, this is connected with the timing chain. The engine will simply start producing strange ticking noises.

The root for the problem was the variable valve timing actuator or VVT as its known. The only solution for this problem was replacing this VVT actuator with a new one.

The cost for this part was $850 which is not cheap. But it’s also not that expensive when you consider that the timing belt job is almost $3,000 and the new turbo is $2,500 to $3,000.

Check Engine Light

The check engine light is also the most frequent symptom that you will notice when you have 2007 Mazda CX 7 problems. This check engine can mean many things but the most frequent problems that the Mazda CX-7 has are the problems with the sensors. More precisely the sensors that are affected by the timing chain and the VVT system.

When these components fail, you will quite often notice how the check engine light turns on and you have to investigate this problem. Connect the vehicle to an OBD2 scanner and scan the car for errors. If there are some errors that indicate possible problems with these systems then you know that you have to solve this issue as soon as possible.

AC Compressor Failure

The AC compressor was also one of the components that failed on the CX-7. Many owners reported how the compressor would simply start smoking and will eventually fail all of a sudden.

The only solution for this problem is a complete AC compressor replacement. These new compressors that are on the market are updated units and this problem was fortunately patched.

But still, a compressor replacement is going to set you back for around $790. This is not too expensive like the engine issues but still costs a lot. The only positive is that if you don’t use this system, you don’t have to repair it.

CX-7 Transmission Problems – 2007 Mazda CX 7 Problems

It is also worth noting that there were also transmission problems as well. The CX-7 definitely has bad luck. But fortunately, these problems do not plague all the CX-7s but the ones that were mostly higher mileage or transmissions that were poorly maintained. But what are these problems? Let’s find out!

Transmission Starts In Third Gear

This problem was noted on some of the transmissions. The car basically started in third gear and stayed in that gear until the transmission heated up.

Slipping Gears And Hard Shifts

There were some reports that the transmissions on the CX-7 were slipping gears and they were also shifting hard. These symptoms were most frequent on vehicles that were past 120,000 miles or more on some occasions.

This was mainly caused by the wear and tear of these transmissions. Some of them started slipping or shifting hard because the transmission was poorly maintained and the fluid was replaced less often than it should. While in other cases there were problems because the transmission decided to give up all of a sudden and that’s what we are going to cover next.

Transmission Failure

Yes, that’s right transmissions in the CX-7 have also failed at some point and this problem made many owners angry. The only way around this issue was to replace the whole transmission with a new one. This repair on average costs around $3,000.

Transmission Light Turns On

Transmission light was also another symptom that indicated a problem with the transmission on the CX-7. This light often tells the owners that this problem has to be checked and the transmission inspected.

Other Problems – 2007 Mazda CX 7 Problems

There are some miscellaneous problems with the CX-7 as well. In this chapter, we are going to discuss them in-depth.

Heater Core Problems

Some problems with the heater core were reported. Some of the owners claimed that they solved this problem by replacing the heater core on their CX-7.

Lights Problem

There were reports that the 2007 model of the CX-7 has bad lights. They didn’t seal well and bugs or other debris could easily enter the headlight and possibly damage it. The headlamps were suffering the most and the solution for this problem was replacing the lightbulbs and sealing the headlight properly.

Window Regulator Problems

Some owners reported window regulator issues as well. These window regulators simply stopped working and the only solution was to replace the old regulator with a new one. The average cost for this problem was around $400.

Is The Mazda CX-7 A Good Purchase?

We have covered the most important 2007 Mazda CX 7 problems and now we can give our verdict on how good of purchase is the CX-7 from 2007 and the answer is that you should avoid it.

The CX-7 is a basket case full of problems and not a good car. But this doesn’t mean that you should avoid all the engines. The naturally aspirated engine is ok in most cases. The problems that cost a lot of money to fix are appearing on the turbocharged 2.3-liter engine.

2007 Mazda CX 7 Problems

Most of these problems cost thousands of dollars. Avoid this model at any cost and don’t listen to others. There are a ton of other options on the market. So, it would be a pity to limit yourself to this model only.

Even for a good price, I would still get away from this car and I wouldn’t buy it. The repairs are immense and the unfortunate thing is that all of the vehicles are affected. The problems will come sooner or later.

Facts about Common Mazda CX-7 Problems:

  1. Turbocharger failure is a known issue in Mazda CX-7 that results in a lack of power and acceleration and white smoke from the exhaust.
  2. Worn timing chains cause unpleasant clanking noise from the engine’s front, which is one of the most reported issues in Mazda CX-7.
  3. AC compressor failure is common, and it results in the AC system blowing warm air, and sometimes smoke from the engine.
  4. Transmission problems in Mazda CX-7 include grinding or jumpy acceleration, shifting delays, and whistle-like noise, among others.
  5. Routine transmission inspections are recommended by Mazda to prevent any problems that may result in reduced fuel economy or inability to drive the vehicle.
  6. Faulty CV joints, which transfer power from the transmission to the wheels while minimizing friction, can cause vibration, grease on wheels, knocking-like noise, or loud popping or clicking sounds while turning the wheel.
  7. Ignoring CV joint problems can cause bouncing while driving on a flat road.
  8. Proper research is essential before investing in a new or used Mazda CX-7 to be aware of the common problems.
  9. Researching the vehicle’s maintenance cost and budget is also necessary to avoid any surprise expenses in the future.
  10. Mazda CX-7 owners can feel confident about their purchase if they do thorough research on the common problems and take preventive measures to avoid them.

Conclusion – 2007 Mazda CX 7 Problems

In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to the 2007 Mazda CX 7 problems. First, we learned about this model and the specs. We found out which engines are running, also the transmissions, and trim levels.

Then we have covered a lot when it comes to the 2007 Mazda CX 7 problems. As we learned the biggest problems of the 2.3 engine are the turbocharger that fails all of a sudden and the car loses power. Then there is the timing chain problem where the timing chain gets loose and damages the engine. We also covered the VVT system problems as well.

There were no big transmission issues with this model, which is fortunate. But there were also some other miscellaneous problems.

The important thing is to avoid this model if you want to save some money. Possible repairs on this car cost a fortune and you will most likely regret that you bought the car.

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