I didn't put in much time behind the wheel of the CX-7, but during the abbreviated time I spent there I was greatly preoccupied by the fact that, no matter how much I adjusted it, I couldn't find a comfortable position for the driver's seat. That may sound like a superficial complaint, but when you test drive a car, you'd never consider one that felt as uncomfortable as this CX-7 did to me.
The CX-7 is attractively styled, with a close resemblance to the CX-9 but with road manners that aren't quite as pleasing. The CX-7's 161-hp four-cylinder is fine for sedate around-town driving, but if you need a quick blast of acceleration it falls short - a stomp on the accelerator produces lots of noise but not as much forward propulsion as you might expect. I guess that's the price you pay for the fuel mileage (18/28 cty/hwy, 23 combined) which is fairly impressive for a crossover. Road manners are fine, but imperfections in the pavements aren't as well-suppressed as they are in the longer-wheelbase CX-9.
All in all, the Mazda CX-7 is a decent vehicle, but in the pantheon of five-seat crossovers, it is overshadowed by the likes of the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor