2012 Mazda CX-7

With the introduction of the 2013 Mazda CX-5 this spring, Mazda is discontinuing its other small SUVs, the CX-7 and the Tribute. The new CX-5 is about the same size as the CX-7 on the inside, and it gets better fuel economy than both the CX-7 and the Tribute, so Mazda representatives say that the CX-5 should fill the gap left by the outgoing models.

The CX-5 and CX-7 are very similar in size and powertrain, but Mazda plans for the CX-5 to compete more directly with other small crossovers. “Dimensionally, the CX-5 is slightly smaller than the CX-7, but actually boasts more cargo capacity and overall interior volume,” notes Autoblog. “What's more, the CX-5's nifty new 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine offers substantially better fuel economy than the base 2.5-liter four of the CX-7.”

The Mazda Tribute, which is based on the Ford Escape, is on its way out as well, having been discontinued after the 2011 model year. Its dated design was the kiss of death, since it hadn’t been updated recently. "All Tributes suffer from crude-sounding engines, low-rent cabin appointments, and a Ford-derived basic design that's more than a decade old,” writes Consumer Guide.

By contrast, reviewers who have driven the new CX-5 say it boasts an updated interior and great performance. “With its fuel-efficient engine, engaging driving experience and daring styling, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is a good pick for those seeking a sporty yet thrifty crossover SUV,” reports Edmunds.

Because dealers will want to make room on their lots for the new CX-5s, shoppers will likely be able to get a better deal on the outgoing CX-7s and Tributes. Right now, shoppers in most areas of the country can get zero-percent financing for up to 60 month on a new 2012 CX-7, which is one of the best Mazda Deals in March.

Shopping for a Mazda or another new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. You can also skip negotiating with a dealer by using our Best Price Program. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.