The Nissan Murano can be said to be the very first crossover – combining the practicality of the SUV with the sportiness of a coupe. This is Mazda’s offensive at the new North American automobile market’s thirst for crossover SUVs, the Mazda CX-7.
The Mazda CX-7 began as a concept called the Mazda Crossport Concept back in 2005. The sporty crossover SUV obviously takes it’s styling cues from the Mazda RX8. I can testify whatever made the RX8 look so hot still looks delicious in a SUV form factor.
The 5-seater crossover SUV features a turbocharged 2.3 litre 4-cylinder direct injection engine making 244 horsepower. Three trim levels are available – Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. All trim levels come with the turbocharged engine, 6-speed sportshift transmission, 18 inch alloy wheels, vented disc brakes on all 4 wheels, ABS, Dynamid Stability Control, traction control, and 6 air bags.
Mazda Motor Corporation held a ceremony yesterday to mark the start of the Mazda CX-7’s production at Mazda’s Ujina Plant 2 in Hiroshima. Approximately 700 staff attended this event. Targetted at the North American market and specifically engineered for it, the Mazda CX-7 will arrive in North American Mazda dealerships in Spring 2006. We should be seeing grey imports by Naza soon after.
But one cannot help but wonder if Mazda’s offensive is too late, as even Nissan is cutting down it’s truck and SUV production in the face of a sales slump in the USA. Maybe that’s why the ‘crossover’ formula has been adopted here.
It’s not an SUV – it’s a crossover! :)
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