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2011 Mazda CX-7 i Touring (photos)

CNET Car Tech takes a look a the latest generation of Mazda's CX-7 SUV.

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Antuan Goodwin
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Antuan Goodwin
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So far, the CX-7 has avoided the corporate grin that stretches across the face of the company's smaller Mazda3. However, the crossovers large grill openings still fit in well alongside Mazda's other offerings.
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2 of 17 Josh Miller/CNET
Inside, the CX-7's cabin has been simplified. Gone is the large touch-screen display. It's been replaced with a smaller, cheaper 3.5-inch multi-information display at the top of the dashboard. If you squint, you can just make it out.
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As far as large crossovers go, the CX-7 is one of the most handsome with a sports-car-inspired aesthetic and a wide, low stance.
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The CX-7 features an aggressively raked profile with a long windshield that darn near reaches the B-pillar.
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Fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive 2.5-liter model sits at an EPA estimated 20 city and 28 highway. Not too shabby.
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We'd rather be looking at the turbocharged 2.3-liter of the CX-7 s, but this 2.5 liter engine found under the hood of the i model is more efficient.
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The CX-7 feature a low ride height for a vehicle of its size, which aids in entrance and egress, loading and unloading, and--to a degree--handling.
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The CX-7 prints smaller than it actually is. We were able to fit a partially disassembled two-seat couch back here with the rear seats folded flat.
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Handling is the CX-7's strong point, with steering that is light without feeling disconnected from the tires.
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This massive bank of buttons and knobs is where you'll interact with the audio sources and climate controls. The display for this system is located at the top of the dashboard, where it can be more clearly seen.
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When equipped with the 2.5-liter engine, there's only one transmission options: a five-speed automatic with manual shift mode. Fortunately, it's quite smooth with its shifts.
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Instrumentation is simple, yet sporty, with motorcycle-inspired shrouded gauges.
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A small information display outputs fuel economy information and, if so equipped, a 2D map for navigation. Next to it is a second monochromatic display that outputs audio source information and climate control data.
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Controls for hands-free calling and audio sources are easy to understand and reach, falling right beneath the driver's thumb.
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The info display is controlled via these steering wheel buttons and rocker. On the Grand Touring model, this is also where your navigation controls will be found.
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The Mazda's rear-view camera also outputs through the small info display.
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Audio quality from the Bose Centerpoint audio system wasn't bad, but didn't seem to fill the cabin with sound.

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