in 2012 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $16,228 - $24,176
Original MSRP: $22,190 - $33,540
MPG: 20 City / 27 Hwy
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2012 Mazda CX-7 Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Test drivers have a lot of things to say about the interior of the 2012 Mazda CX-7. Some say that overall interior quality is excellent for the class, while others say the CX-7’s cabin is made with too many cheap plastics. When it comes to passenger comfort, most reviewers agree that all but tall adults will have enough rear-seat space. The electronics are disliked the most, with car writers saying the navigation system is hard to read, and that the optional Bose stereo has poor sound quality.

  • "If you had to pick one area where Mazda products truly outpace their competitions, we'd have to pick interior design. In the case of the 2012 Mazda CX-7 SUV's, that interior would be a highly functional, meticulously-assembled grouping of high-quality plastics shaped into handsome, streamlined forms." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The cabin is OK. The overall design is nice with attractive trim pieces and an intuitive layout for all the controls on the center stack. The seats are comfortable, too." -- AutoWeek
  • "Cabin decor matches CX-7 pricing, but it's let down by a few budget-grade plastics and unconvincing silver paint that passes for metal accents. One model tested suffered from a dashboard rattle when driving over rippled pavement." -- Consumer Guide


Reviewers are generally content with the CX-7's front-seat comfort. But some complain about the rear seats, which may be short on legroom for some adults. Test drivers suggest the Chevrolet Equinox if you’re looking for more comfortable rear seats and a second row that slides forward and back.

Cloth-trimmed seats are standard, and leather front seats are optional, as are heated front seats.

  • "The CX-7's seats are excellent, with good long distance comfort and handsome coverings of cloth or leather. Rear-seat passengers enjoy ample room and even tall passengers will find much to like." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The driver's seat is supportive, with a strong heater unit." -- AutoWeek
  • "Legroom is tight with the front seats set far back. The front passenger seat doesn't slide as far back as the driver's, leaving slightly more right-rear knee space. Good toe clearance, but the seat cushion contour forces some riders into a slight knees-up posture." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Test drivers think the Mazda CX-7’s cabin is well-made, but they complain about its electronics a lot. For starters, reviewers say that the navigation system isn’t user-friendly because the screen is too small and is hard to read in both day and night lighting modes. The buttons and knobs for the radio are also hard to use for some reviewers. One reviewer also notes that the optional Bose stereo has poor sound quality.

Many crossover SUVs have standard Bluetooth, but with the Mazda CX-7, this feature is optional. The CX-7 comes standard with air conditioning, power windows and doors and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel.

  • "Build quality and ergonomics are both very good, although some might find the radio controls a bit complicated compared to other vehicles." -- Edmunds
  • "Audio from the Bose Centerpoint surround-sound audio system isn't bad, but there is something odd about the quality. … Regardless of how we tweaked the sound settings, the audio source seems to be float somewhere far in front of the driver's seating position." -- CNET
  • “CX-7, like other Mazdas we've tested, has two instrument light settings, governed by a button on the dash cluster. In low light and foggy conditions, the ‘day’ mode renders the display too bright, while the ‘night’ mode is too dim. ... Standard steering-wheel audio switches are a plus because the main array takes time to learn. Not so the large, simple knobs for climate functions. The navigation system is easy to program." -- Consumer Guide
  • “We don't particularly care for the small display screen containing readouts for the ventilation and audio, as well as the equally-small navigation screen that doubles as the rear backup camera display." -- Kelley Blue Book


The 2012 CX-7 provides 29.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which can be expanded to 58.6 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. While these figures are substantially less than compact SUV class leaders like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, which provide at least 70 cubic feet of cargo space behind their first rows, test drivers say there’s still plenty of space in the CX-7 for trips to Costco.

  • "And the cargo area swallowed a sizeable Costco run without the need to lower the rear seatbacks." -- AutoWeek
  • "Beats most like-sized SUVs for space behind the rear seat, but total space is small by class standards. Loading is hampered by a high deck. The cargo bay has two nice touches: A reversible carpeted/plastic rear floor panel, and easy-to-reach releases that make lowering the standard 60/40 split-folding rear seat backs a quick operation, but they don't fold flat." -- Consumer Guide

Next Steps: 2012 Mazda CX-7

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