While we were gathered here in rainy Chicago for the Auto Show, we received word that the 2010 refresh for the Mazda CX-7 has in fact debuted some 500 miles away in Toronto, Canada. This switcheroo had us searching the floor here in McCormick for a 2010 model lazing away in the corner of Mazda's stand, but instead we only found the 2009 model. After the press conference, we stopped to chat with James O'Sullivan, Mazda's North American president and CEO, and he confirmed the Canadian debut was in fact the global premier.
The big news coming out of the Canadian International Auto Show for 2010 is that the CX-7 is getting a new 2.5-liter normally-aspirated four-cylinder model (the same engine is employed in the 2010 Mazda6 and Mazda3). So-equipped, the CX-7 generates 161 horsepower (at 6000 rpm) and maximum torque of 161 pound-feet of torque (at 3500 rpm). The turbocharged, 244-horsepower 2.3-liter engine remains unchanged. Further details like fuel-economy, price, and trim specification for this model will be revealed "at a later date," and in fact there is no official confirmation that the normally-aspirated inline-four will come to America, although it would be hard to imagine Mazda not doing so.
Beyond powertrains, Mazda has refined the CX-7 inside-and-out, including a redesigned front end with a larger five-point grille and different front and rear fascias. Inside, new gauge faces have taken up residence, along with a 4.1-inch color TFT information display, an available blind-spot monitoring system, three-position seat memory for the driver's seat (and a power backrest for the passenger seat), and Bluetooth for both phones and audio.
More after the jump...
Further refinements have also been exacted on the CX-7 with the goal of increasing stiffness, reduced NVH, and lowered wind noise, although Mazda is not yet disclosing how those improvements have been arrived at.
So... why the brush-off for the Windy City? After all, the CX-7 isn't built in Canada, right? In our talk with O'Sullivan, we learned that the reason is three-fold:
- Mazda wanted to focus on the 20th anniversary of the Miata (which made its global debut in Chicago).
- Canada is a particularly strong market for Mazda, where it maintains a 5% market share (the U.S. only recently cracked 2%).
- Mazda models go on sale earlier in Canada than they do in the U.S. In the case of the 2010 Mazda3, cars are shipping to Canadian dealers this week – American showrooms won't see cars for a month or more. The same story figures to play out with the CX-7, meaning that an earlier public review was a necessity.
2010 Mazda CX-7 2.5 Litre makes its Canadian premiere at the Canadian International Auto Show
Refreshed 2009 Mazda MX-5 also to debut as well
(Toronto, ON): Two Mazdas will make their Canadian debut at the 2009 Canadian International AutoShow. The first is the 2010 Mazda CX-7, which receives a new engine option: a 161 horsepower, naturally aspirated 2.5 litre four-cylinder that is also found under the hood of the 2009 Mazda6 and 2010 Mazda3. The second is the refreshed 2009 Mazda MX-5, which receives updated styling in addition to engineering and equipment upgrades. Mazda's stand will also include the redesigned 2010 Mazda3, in both 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback body styles.
2010 Mazda CX-7
For the 2010 model year the CX-7 is the recipient of an exterior and interior styling refresh to complement a host of engineering refinements. Leading the way is a new engine option. Making its first appearance under the hood of the CX-7 is Mazda's all-new naturally aspirated DOHC 16-valve 2.5 litre MZR four-cylinder that produces 161 horsepower at 6000rpm and offers maximum torque of 161 lb-ft at 3500rpm. It is available with Front-Wheel Drive coupled to a 5-speed automatic transmission. Continuing as the top engine option is the familiar MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo (direct injection DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder) engine. Output remains the same, 244 horsepower at 5,000 rpm with 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm.
A theme of refinement carries over to the 2010 CX-7's Mazda-derived platform architecture by incorporating improvements in body rigidity, lower noise, vibration & harshness (NVH) levels as well as reduced wind noise. The exterior design of the 2010 CX-7 features revised front and rear fascias with the front adopting the larger five-point grille design similar in appearance to recently redesigned RX-8, MX-5 and Mazda3.
On the inside the 2010 CX-7 receives higher quality materials, a new design for the gauges including blackout meters that feature three-dimensional dials and a 3.5 inch super-twisted nematic (STN) monochrome and 4.1 inch thin-film transistor (TFT) colour Multi Information Display (MID) positioned at the top of the instrument panel to provide the driver with enhanced information. Bluetooth compatibility provides a wireless connection for Bluetooth compatible mobile phones and portable audio devices. The front seats gain a three-position memory function for the driver's seat and a power adjustable recliner for the passenger's seat. A Blind Spot Monitoring System, similar to the one found on the Mazda6 & CX-9 is now available to assist the driver in avoiding collisions with other vehicles when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
Final specifications, pricing, trim levels and options will be announced at a later date closer to when the 2010 CX-7 goes on sale.
2009 Mazda MX-5
Twenty years ago Mazda re-created the segment for affordable, fun-to-drive roadsters by introducing the MX-5 Miata. In those twenty years the MX-5 has earned the title of best selling roadster in the world. For 2009, the third-generation MX-5 retains the fun-to-drive qualities of the original and receives updated styling in addition to engineering and equipment upgrades.
Mazda Canada will continue to offer the MX-5 in three versions: GX, GS and GT, all powered by an all-aluminum, DOHC, 167 horsepower, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing. The 2009 MX-5 GX is ideal for driving enthusiasts looking for an affordable sports roadster and includes a 5-speed manual transmission and 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/50R16 tires.The MX-5 GS & GT include a 6-speed manual transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/45/17 performance tires, a limited slip differential (LSD), dynamic stability control (DSC), strut tower bar, and sport-tuned suspension with BilsteinÆ shock absorbers. The GT offers a dash of luxury as it comes well equipped with an assortment of premium features such as Xenon (HID) headlights, BoseÆ audio system, Sirius satellite radio, BluetoothÆ with Audio Profile, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, leather seats with adjustable heating, and smart keyless entry system.
For those that prefer the benefit of a closed coupe when the roof is up, the Power Retractable Hard Top is offered as an option on the GS or standard equipment on the GT. A few new standard features find their way onto all trim levels including side impact airbags, MP3 & WMA functionality on the CD player, a door pocket insert, and soft feel centre arm rest.
Launched in 2003 as a 2004 model, the compact Mazda3 has become one of the best selling cars in Canada. Worldwide, there have been over 2 million Mazda3's built and since its introduction the Mazda3 has earned more than 90 automobile awards around the globe including the highly coveted 2004 Canadian Car of the Year.The definitive fun-to-drive compact, the 2010 Mazda3 looks to build upon that success with the style, functionality,safety, and economy to once again lead its class. Trim levels for the 2010 Mazda3 remain identical to the outgoing model, GX, GS and GT, but that's about where the similarities end.
The entry-level GX and GS sedan, as well as the unique to Canada Sport GX, are powered by an economical 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC engine that produces 148 horsepower mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The 2010 Mazda3 Sedan GT and Mazda3 Sport GS/GT trims are powered by the all new 167 horsepower, 2.5 litre four-cylinder and six-speed manual gearbox taken from the Mazda6.For 2010, there are more standard and optional features rarely seen in this segment of the market, such as a Traction Control System (TCS) with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), exterior mirror mounted turn signals, colour Multi Information Display (MID) with Navigation, smart keyless entry with Smart Start, a 10-speaker BOSEÆ audio system with Centerpoint and Audio Pilot, Sirius satellite radio, and an Adaptive Front Lighting System with self-levelling Bi-Xenon headlights.
Rounding out the Mazda display in Toronto is the full complement of Mazda's award-winning vehicles including the 2009 Mazda5 and 2009 Mazda B-series 2300 pickup both of which were recently awarded ecoENERGY awards as the most fuel efficient vehicles in their classes (van and pickup truck respectively) by Natural Resources Canada. The 2009 Mazda6, recently named "Best New Family Vehicle $22,000-$35,000" by the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) will also be on display as well as the RX-8, CX-9 and Tribute.