Mazda's sporty 2007 CX-7 looks quite carlike from the front and rear, with a large air dam, fog lamps, and prominent fenders from the front, and round taillamps and large dual exhausts from the rear. Yet from the side, the profile is that of an aggressively styled SUV. Mazda says that the CX-7 has great aerodynamics and a best-in-class coefficient of drag, thanks in part to a 66-degree windshield slope and underbody aerodynamic work.
The interior has seating for five adults and comes with two-tone themes including matte-metallic and leather trim. The back seat is split 60/40 and folds forward flat for combinations of occupants and cargo. And the CX-7's cargo floor is longer than comparable models, according to Mazda, with 39 inches of cargo length with the rear seats up--good enough for three golf bags--and 70 inches of continuous flat load surface when the back seats are folded forward. The cargo floor is also reversible; one side of it wipes off easily for messy cargo items. Compartments inside have also been designed for what is likely to be stored in them. For instance, the center console compartment is large enough to hold a laptop computer.
The CX-7 comes with a single engine, a turbocharged, 2.3-liter direct-injection four-cylinder that makes 244 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, matched with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. The engine is similar to the engine in the Mazdaspeed 6 sport sedan but has a new turbocharger for better low-rev response.
Ride and handling qualities are very carlike, due to the four-wheel independent suspension layout, with MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link arrangement in back. There are anti-roll bars in front and in back, and large 18-inch alloy wheels are standard.
There are three trim levels available, Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring, and each is available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The Active Torque-Split All-Wheel Drive has a computer-controlled coupling at the rear differential to bring up to half of engine torque to the rear wheels as needed. The system is biased for on-road performance and tied in to the standard Dynamic Stability Control and anti-lock braking system. Six air bags are also included on all models, including front-seat side bags and full-length curtain bags that can inflate early in anticipation of a rollover.
The base Sport model includes air conditioning, cruise control, and power windows, locks, and mirrors, while the Touring model includes leather trimmed seats, steering wheel and shift knob; heated front seats; and a power driver's seat. The top Grand Touring model brings automatic climate control, high-intensity discharge headlamps, fog lamps, and chrome door handles, among other extras. Top options include a Bose Centerpoint surround sound system with six-disc changer, a keyless entry and start system, a navigation system, a moonroof, and an overhead DVD entertainment system.