2011 Mazda CX-7 Review

Front 3/4 shot of 2011 Mazda CX-7
Rear 3/4 view of 2011 Mazda CX-7
As impressed as I am with the Mazda CX-9, the smaller Mazda CX-7 may be the better vehicle for the largest number of people.

Shorter and seating five rather than seven, the CX-7 is a strong alternative to small SUVs and more expensive crossovers.

Mazda's attention to detail and focus on fun are what seal the deal. Not to mention economic factors. Opt for a CX-7 and $22,340 buys you a 16-valve four with a five-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension, dynamic stability control, traction control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 17-inch alloy wheels, power locks, windows and mirrors, air conditioning, Bluetooth, a multi-function information display, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote keyless entry, and a better-than-average four-speaker AM/FM/CD/mp3 audio system.

I'll repeat. That's standard. For the base price of $22,340. Stop there, pay the $750 delivery fee and you've just barely crossed into $23,000.

Interior shot of 2011 Mazda CX-7

Mazda sweetened the press tester with a cargo net, fog lights, a retractable cargo cover, Sirius Satellite Radio, scuff plates and a convenience package that included heated front seats, a moonroof, a rear-view camera, power driver's seat and an upgrade for the air conditioning to automatic climate control.

And the bottom line was still only $25,990.

This, my friends, is a deal.

But wait! There's more!

As in five-star frontal and side crash ratings, four for rollover....and an EPA estimated 20 city, 28 highway miles per gallon.

And because of that fun factor I mentioned earlier, it's like driving a sports sedan. The CX-7 breezes onto the TireKicker Top 20 Cars list. It's that good.

UPDATE: Just did a week in an uplevel turbo version of the CX-7...yeah, you're boosting the bottom line to $30K or better...but you're also boosting the horsepower to 244...which makes a major difference in the fun factor. And you're only giving up 2 mpg city and 3 highway (18/25).

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