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.
Photo by: 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.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
The CX-7 features an aggressively raked profile with a long windshield that darn near reaches the B-pillar.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive 2.5-liter model sits at an EPA estimated 20 city and 28 highway. Not too shabby.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Handling is the CX-7's strong point, with steering that is light without feeling disconnected from the tires.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Instrumentation is simple, yet sporty, with motorcycle-inspired shrouded gauges.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Controls for hands-free calling and audio sources are easy to understand and reach, falling right beneath the driver's thumb.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
The Mazda's rear-view camera also outputs through the small info display.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Audio quality from the Bose Centerpoint audio system wasn't bad, but didn't seem to fill the cabin with sound.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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