Over the years, Mazda has nearly perfected the sporty interior. There’s a lot to love about it regardless of your gender. Guys love the tri-spoke steering wheel with that nostalgic button horn design of yesteryear. Girls love the stylish leather seats which swank an snakeskinesqe stripe down the middle. In a nod to the RX-8′s winning interior design, the CX-7 shares tasteful piano black panel accents and circular vents.
The stereo and A/C controls are big, in your face and easy to reach while the readout is so far away it could be used as a vision test. The Bose audio system is more than adequate for all but the most discerning audiophiles, but like other Mazdas, we find the limited readout space paired with the Sirius system to be annoying. Continual button pressing and knob turning is required to see the station name, artist and song title.
Cargo space in the CX-7 is copious, with 30 cubic feet seats up and nearly 60 cubic feet seats down. In fact, there was so much room that we managed to fit four bikes in the back, but don’t try this at home unless you are a Tetris master.
One of the main drawbacks of the CX-7 was the low rear visibility when driving. It’s high shoulders in the back make for extremely small rear windows. Mazda’s tagline for the CX-7 is “The SUV you never saw coming”, but they might be referencing the SUV you’ll blindly merge into if you’re not careful.
Big Mazda logos, sculpted front fenders reminiscent of the RX-8, steep windshield rake angle, high aggressive shoulders behind the rear doors, chrome-tipped dual exhaust, 18-inch alloy wheels – from the outside, this machine will never be confused with your dad’s old Dodge Caravan. On Grand Touring models, the CX-7 also features adjustable-height Xenon headlights.
Yet another high point for this sporty CUV. The only options our $30,000 Grand Touring model lacked were AWD and Navigation. Comstock loaded, the CX-7 tops out at a shade under $35,000. This makes the already attractive CX-7 an extremely competitive player in the mid-priced CUV market.
Who Should Buy It?
Any couple – rugrats or not – who swears up and down that they’ll never end up as square and boring as their parents. Anyone who has added cargo requirements but doesn’t want to completely give up the feel and fun of a sports car.
Unlike competitors such as the RAV4, CR-V, Outlander and Forester, the CX-7 occupies a unique niche in the crossover market that deftly balances sports car handling and family vehicle hauling. It’s biggest drawback is the low fuel economy, but if you can learn to live without your foot slammed on the skinny pedal, the CX-7 will reward owners with style, safety, space and of course, sportiness.
|Official website for Mazda cars, trucks, and SUVs – www.mazdausa.com|
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