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The all-new Mazda CX-7 has zoomed to the top of the residual value charts as the high-performance sports crossover with sports utility practicality enters UK showrooms.

The turbocharged 2.3-litre petrol engined Mazda CX-7 generates 260ps and 380Nm of torque, has a top speed of 130mph and sprints to 62mph in just eight seconds. Available as a single highly-specified model with a list price of £23,610, it will retain a sector-leading 40% of its value after the benchmark three years/60,000 miles.

The Mazda CX-7 depreciates significantly less than a host of rivals from manufacturers as diverse as BMW, Nissan, Toyota and Land Rover, according to latest data from used car valuation experts at CAP Motor Research.

Mazda believes that the CX-7 will define its own market, just as the rotary-powered RX-8 sports coupe did in the sports car segment following its launch in 2003. Four years on and the Mazda RX-8 continues to win plaudits and top residual value charts.

Mazda models have an excellent track record for residual values in particular the Mazda6, which established the brand’s track record for value for-money and rock-solid reliability in both the fleet and retail sector. The current Mazda6 continues to lead the segment for residual values.

Now established as Britain’s 13th biggest fleet manufacturer ahead of the likes of Fiat, Volvo, Saab and Jaguar, the CX-7 takes Mazda into another niche market sector.

James Hopkins, Mazda’s fleet and remarketing director, said: “The Mazda CX-7 is different from other SUVs because it is more heavily oriented towards a sports car in its styling and driving dynamics, while retaining the commanding driving position, presence and stature of an off road vehicle.”

It is that ‘standout’ factor that has, year-on-year, helped Mazda set record new car sales – last year more than 50,000 units were sold with a third going to fleets – with corporates ever mindful of depreciation, the single biggest factor in vehicle operating costs.

With a 40 per cent residual value and depreciation over three years/60,000 miles of £14,235 the Mazda CX-7 is ahead of the Toyota RAV-4 2.0 VVTi XT-5, which costs £24,340 and depreciates by £14,965 and the BMW X3 2.5 si M Sport, which costs £32,930 and depreciates by a whopping £19,980. Both models in comparison retain 39 percent of their list price, the same as the Honda CR-V 2.0i VTEC Executive.

Meanwhile, the Nissan Murano 3.5 V6 CVT depreciates by £19,035 and the Land Rover Freelander 3.2 HSE by £21,920 to retain only 36 percent and 35 percent of their list price respectively.

Jeff Knight, forecast manager for CAP, said: “The Mazda CX-7 is an impressive debut from a manufacturer that does not have an SUV pedigree. Acceleration from a standing start is quite staggering for a car that is surprisingly large with ample accommodation for five adults and their luggage.

“However, what sets the CX-7 apart is its exterior styling, which is superb, and its build quality. The interior is well put together, the quality of materials is first class and Mazda has clearly spent a lot of time and money in ensuring minimum cabin noise intrusion and that has paid off with an altogether more premium feel.

“With metallic paint being the only option, the CX-7 is loaded with equipment which, added to the fact that there is only one model in the line-up, makes the range easy to understand from a customer’s viewpoint and helps residual values.”

Mr Hopkins added: “The Mazda CX-7 continues Mazda’s record for launching cars that are both aspirational and desirable from the perspectives of fleet decision-makers and company car drivers.

"The Mazda CX-7 is another exciting driver’s car and continues the tradition of Mazda's sports prowess. With segment-leading residual values, the CX-7 also further increases Mazda’s fleet affordability as we continue to expand our product portfolio into new sectors.”

Designed with both fun and functionality in mind standard equipment on the Mazda CX-7 includes: leather seats, 18" alloy wheels, xenon headlights, climate control air-conditioning, cruise control, a BOSE premium audio system, six-speed manual transmission and Mazda’s unique Active Torque-Split 4WD system.

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