Mazda's infectious "zoom-zoom" has spilled across to include the CX-7 crossover SUV, which is now available in South Africa.
This vehicle, according to Mazda, is equipped with the "soul of a sports car" and fuses practicality with dynamic capabilities.
The sports-car inspired interior seats five and the rear bench splits 60/40 to open up a large flat cargo area with a reversible floor panel ideal for loading large or bulky goods.
Powering the CX-7 is Mazda's turbocharged and intercooled 2.3-litre four cylinder direct injection petrol engine already used in the Mazda6 and Mazda3 MPSes.
In the SUV, the DISI turbocharged unit produces 175 kW at 5 000 r/min and a thumping 350 Nm of torque at 2 500 r/min.
The engine is mated with a six-speed Activematic automatic transmission that allows manual gearchanges.
Mazda's Active Torque All-Wheel Drive system is also offered on CX-7 and uses the onboard computer to continually monitor the driving style and road conditions. An electronically controlled active torque coupling then distributes this torque between the axles.
Though bias is to the front wheels, up to 50% of the power is transferred to the rear wheels under hard acceleration. On slippery surfaces, the active torque system ensures power is sent to the wheels with the most traction.
A high level of safety features complement the CX-7's performance credentials, and the SUV is fitted with ABS, EBD, EBA, DSC and electronic traction control.
Dual front, side and curtain airbags and Isofix child seat anchorages in the rear add another level of protection.
New CX-7 is available immediately at a price of R359 990 and comes with a three-year/100 000 km warranty and a five-year/100 000 km maintenance plan. Three years roadside assistance is also included in the price. Service intervals are at 10 000 km.