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Discussion Starter #1
I am in my overly drawn-out process of shopping for a car, most likely a FXT. I need more room than the MINI and miata have to offer, I like that it is a 'husky' WRX, like that WRX/STi parts bolt up. So far I have driven a 09, 07 and 04 FXT, liked all of them.

Every once in a while I think - hmmm, why not a CX-7? I am a big Mazda fan, it also offers an AWD turbo four, and the brochure SAYS it is all chocked full of 'zoom-zoom'.... I have not driven one yet, plan to soon.

I am very familiar with both brands, I know that Subaru designs all their vehicles to be AWD, the Mazda AWD is really an 'option', wants you to think that all they do is weld a few MX-5's together to make SUV's, etc.

For those of you who really looked at the CX-7, what did you think? If you ended up here with a Foz, what made you pick that over the CX-7?

Thank you all for your time!

-Jac
 

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Registered
2009 2.5X
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42 Posts
If you're planning on modding, then you already know there are parts for the Forester. I'm not sure about the cx-7, if it has as many available performance parts for it. That and Forester xt models have accessports available :biggrin:
 

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Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,409 Posts
I looked briefly at the CX-7. Very briefly. I never drove one, just took a glance while stopping by at the Mazda dealer. Totally different type of car. More mini-van that SUV/wagon.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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13,100 Posts
My wife and I stopped by Mazda to drive a Mazda 5 and checked out the CX-7. It has nice pep and was decent to drive. If we decide we need a bigger vehicle it would be on our short list of vehicles.
 

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Ol' Timer
2006 WRX Spec-C 6MT
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6,091 Posts
If you want something with solid aftermarket support and a infinite knowledge base, the XT is your car. It's also been around for some time, and lots of kinks are ironed out by the 08.
The Mazda is nice, but it's a definitely larger. With some light modding the Forester really becomes an amazing vehicle.
 

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2007 Sports XT 4EAT
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2,503 Posts
My brother in law has one. It's got decent pep although it's not as fast as my FXT, of course. :biggrin: It rides quite a bit higher than an SG Forester so the handling doesn't feel as good either. Still, compared to most cars in its class it is pretty sporty and it also has a fairly nice interior.

My bro-in-law likes it, except for the very poor gas mileage - easily worse than my tuned Forester's - and the lack of cargo space. He has two kids now and there's just not enough room in the hatch area for all their stuff.
 

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54 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for your input!

I was able to take both for a drive yesterday, XT wins, hands down. The CX-7 wasn't a bad ride, but it seemed much more pieced together than the XT.

Thoughts on each:

2007 CX-7 Grand Touring, 22K miles
Without a doubt, the CX-7 is much more of a looker than the XT. It actually reminds me more of the last Outback XT than any of the Foresters: longer, lower roof line, more styling. Interior is very nice, looks like a good amount of space in the back. Rear seats didn't seem to have as much room as the XT. Sunroof is obviously smaller than XT.

Biggest issues: Hood slopes down fast, can't see the front corners of the car. Car is much less engaging to drive than I had hoped. It is hard to hide that extra 500 pounds, the car just drives 'heavy'. For me, the turbo is sized a little too small, there is never any 'reward' once you rev it, it just feels like it is bigger than a 2.3L four. From what I have read, they DO use a smaller turbo than what they use in the MS6 and MS3, for that exact reason. In 'sport shift' mode, the transmission is very slow to react to a shift, you really need to anticipate a downshift for a corner.

2010 XT Limited, Camillia Red Pearl, 6 miles
Well, the Sport Grill makes all the difference on the looks of 09+ Forester. Not as slick as the Mazda, but it helps a LOT. The 09+, while still kind of subaru-ish, has lost some of it's quirkiness and really looks like a lot of other lil' crossovers. Obviously not a bad thing, considering the car is selling like hotcakes.

I think that Subaru has made the biggest gains on their interiors in the new models. I drove a 07 XT, and the interior was not really too much different than the old '97 Outback Sport we used to have. I know they are very similar, but I would have expected more in 10 years. The 09+ really makes huge gains, nicer materials, love the steering wheel controls, etc. So much more room in the back seat, and I dig the reclining back seats! Hatch area seems a little bit smaller than the CX-7, but it is made up in back seat room. And, the sunroof is great.

Now, the important part - the drive. Basically, I look at the XT like a WRX with a little bit of an eating problem. I like the way it drives from the factory, knowing full well that it needs at LEAST an STi rear bar to start, followed by a set of good tires. But, even as-is, the XT out-drives the CX-7. The engine is so much more eager (yeah, i tried to take it easy on her, but the salesman kept encouraging me to 'Punch it and feel the turbo'…ok, sure.) The 2.5L turbo is just so sorted out, and, as we all know, wide open for upgrades. But, even in stock form, the XT is just so much more rewarding to drive. It has some nice 'go', and then you really do feel some turbo as the tach swings north. Now, some of this could be the gearing, and needing to run through the tach due to 4 gears vs. 6, but whatever it is, it just works better.

The Subaru just out handles the CX-7. It is easier to drive faster, and feels better doing it. The transmission shifts better in 'drive', and is much more responsive in 'sport mode'. I understand more now about people who talk about the 4 speed being 'just right' for the turbo, even if it is not keeping up with the 5, 6, 7 speed boxes on the 'technology' front. I like that about Subaru, doesn't have to be pretty, it just needs to work.

Hang ups: I really do NOT like the factory rims on the XT. Too truck like. Just have to swap out some '04 STi or Rota Tarmacs… :) Styling is a little run of the mill, but I guess under the radar is a little better than a rally wing. Forester has to have the sport grill. I would prefer if the Premium (cloth) came with the all weather package.

So, there we go. CX-7, please pack your knives, you are OUT. I am 98% positive we will be going with an XT, most likely a 09+.
 

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Registered
2005 Sequoia, V70R auto
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2,885 Posts
After owning a CX-7 GT AWD for a year, i just got fed up with it mainly with the performance and fuel economy. Oh, and no M/T and the AWD is horrible in the snow. A stock XT would out accelerate/handle a CX-7 any day with ease. I got an average of 16 mpg highway in the cx-7 and I get 24 mpg in my xt and I have 100 more ponies under the hood. The only thing the CX-7 has going for it is its interior and sound system. The guage cluster was awesome and the seats were comfortable. I do like mazdas, but the CX-7 was a true disappointment.
 
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