The Acura RDX, a performance-oriented crossover that also packs a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive, and a suspension that's tuned for sporty handling, is probably the closest rival to the 2009 Mazda CX-7.
But the RDX's interior feels plusher yet sporty, there's more usable backseat space, and its powertrain feels and sounds more refined, with a bit less harshness and better responsiveness at part-throttle than the CX-7's engine.
The RDX also has a more advanced all-wheel-drive system that is harder to fluster in brisk driving on curvy roads.
The EX35 is a new competitor to the 2008 Mazda CX-7, with an excellent interior design and sharp handling, but its interior is also somewhat cramped.
The BMW X3 offers a similar package, though its six-cylinder powertrains are more refined and sophisticated; however, the X3's interior trails the competition in appearance and materials.
As a wild card, there's also the Subaru Tribeca, with quirky styling inside, sharp handling, and a surprisingly fun-to-drive feel on the road, thanks to the responsive flat-six engine.
But what's the CX-7's biggest advantage? Its price is significantly lower than any of these rivals.
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|2009 Mazda CX-7Browse Used Listings||2008 Acura RDXBrowse Used Listings||2008 INFINITI EX35Browse Used Listings||2008 Subaru TribecaBrowse Used Listings|
|16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas V6||Gas 6-cyl|
|2WD Sport Utility Vehicles||4WD Sport Utility Vehicle||Small Station Wagon||4WD Sport Utility Vehicle|
|FWD 4-Door Sport||4WD 4-Door||RWD 4-Door||4-Door 5-Pass|
|Front Wheel Drive||4 Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sport Utility Vehicle||4 Door||4 Door SUV||4 Door|
|Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD||Automatic|