2010 Mazda CX-7

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Flash Drive: 2010 Mazda CX-7 Sport

By Staff of MSN Autos

View Pictures:  2010 Mazda CX-7 Sport

The Mazda CX-7 has always been one of my favorites in the sporty crossover segment, mostly because its standard turbocharged engine was so appealing. However, in the interest of better fuel economy, Mazda has made the turbo optional equipment, which led me to believe I would be disappointed with the new 2010 model. I was wrong. Our tester was equipped with a 161-horsepower 2.5-liter engine that develops a full 83 fewer horses than the good old turbo. While considerably more anemic than its predecessor, the 2.5 is more than sufficient to power this utility vehicle. The engine runs smoothly and quietly, and even when called on to give everything its got, barely seems to strain. And surprisingly, the less powerful engine hasn't changed the vehicle's sporty nature. On the road, the CX-7 feels light and agile, with crisp steering and good handling. However, it hasn't delivered substantially better fuel economy, either — 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway versus 18/25 mpg with the turbo. – Perry Stern

The 2010 Mazda CX-7 is now powered by the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine from the Mazda3, which delivers better fuel economy than its predecessor while maintaining surprisingly good drivability. I was initially afraid that the CX-7 wouldn't be able to get out of its own way. But the CX-7 retains its sporty character, with good responsiveness and adequate power, and in the face of new competitors is still the sportiest and most fun-to-drive crossover on the market. A new front design with a more prominent grille similar to the Mazda3 works well on the CX-7 to blend with the aggressive fender design and the overall sporty look. Interior updates include a new 3-spoke steering wheel, dash design and center stack details. – Mike Meredith

The new Mazda CX-7 is a welcome update. The statistics may say that it is less powerful than before, but from the driver's seat it's a welcome improvement on all fronts. The engine is quieter, smoother and more refined, and it certainly feels less stressed than the previous version. The suspension works well, although it feels efficiently mundane rather than sophisticated. Perhaps that is the biggest weakness of the CX-7; while it is better, it's still nothing special. The Mazda minivan just doesn't stand out from the crowd and doesn't offer anything to really inspire me to choose it over a competitor. – Paul Hagger

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BB01 - 9/18/2014 11:02:01 AM