2010 Mazda CX-7 Grand Touring

I forgot that the CX-7 is powered by the same 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that was in the short-lived Mazdaspeed6 sport sedan. This engine's peaky, nonlinear character was one of the reasons that sedan didn't find an audience. It's better here in the CX-7 crossover, but it's not Mazda's best current powertrain effort. You can learn to live with it, to modulate the accelerator pedal, and to use the manual gate for the six-speed automatic, but all told, it's somewhat lacking.

Other than that, I hadn't driven a CX-7 for a while and it's still a nice competitor to the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Santa Fe, and the like. Our Grand Touring edition had a pleasant interior with heated seats, leather, automatic climate control, and the typical modern Mazda center stack design with a miniature nav system screen, a reasonable compromise.

Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor

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