March 12, 2012
You could probably see this one coming from a mile away; Mazda is saying that after 2012 has run its course, the CX-7 crossover SUV will be leaving the U.S. market.
So who’s the hot dog pushing the cool dog out of the dog house? It’s none other than Mazda’s newest Lorax-approved CUV, the 2013 CX-5. This means that the CX-5 will now not only replace the old Ford Escape-based Tribute, but the CX-7 to boot. And although the CX-5 is smaller overall than the CX-7, it actually boasts better cargo room and overall interior volume, not to mention better fuel economy, thus making any sort of theoretical gap in Mazda’s showrooms non-existent. As Mazda product communications specialist Beverly Braga explained, “CX-5 has a clearer competitive set, unlike the CX-7, which was in the middle of two segments.”
It’s easy then to see why Mazda didn’t have much of a business case to keep the CX-7 here. That's not to mention the money Mazda would've had to spend to keep the CX-7 in line with the stricter U.S. fuel economy and emissions standards looming on the horizon, as Robert Davis, Mazda's U.S. operations guy, mentioned recently to the automotive press.
Mazda also didn’t feel the need to saturate showrooms with too many crossovers. In this day and age where many automakers are plum slap-happy about building more and more SUVs and crossovers — not looking at you Ford, Nissan … Bentley — it’s nice to see Mazda bucking the trend just a little bit.
While dealers initially fought back to keep the CX-7 when they received the news, opinions changed once they saw how little of an advantage the CX-7 had over the CX-5. Once again, Robert Davis sheds additional light on the situation: “After they saw the CX-5, they said don’t muddy the waters with the two of ‘em.”
As for buyers elsewhere, don't worry. The CX-7 will continue to be sold at a Mazda dealer near you until ... well, whenever Mazda says so.