The interior of the 2010 Mazda CS-7 is polished in that it has the kind of ambiance so plentiful it’s unnoticeable. Climbing into this crossover is fairly easy – even with the rather high ground clearance. Inside, the driver finds full gauges front and center with easy-to-the-eye orange glow at night. All windows are one-touch and the two controls for the sunroof (optional on the FWD; standard for the AWD) are both one-touch as well. There are five vent outlets for front seat passengers but, unhappily, none of the three rear occupants.
The 2010 CX-7 FWD Sport has an extra charge for its pearl paint, scuff plates and convenience package of heated front seats, power driver seat, two-way moonroof, automatic climate controls and color display with rearview camera. Those options hike the entry fee from $23,090 including destination to $25,185, which isn’t bad for this segment.
The 2010 CX-7 AWD Grand Touring has a single up-charge of $145 for scuff plates (awfully nice to have if you’re going off-road) that boosts the entry fee from $33,645 to $33,790. All items extra on the FWD are standard on the AWD Mazda CX-7, including Xenon headlamps and auto-leveling fog lights, heated front seats, power for the passenger’s seat and a compact navigation system that controls audio as well. Mazda fits its blind spot warning system – it’s very aggressive in tone, to the Grand Touring model as well.
I drove the CX-7 Sport in Indianapolis in a mild May and took the CX-7 Grand Touring around the Denver area in late July. It was extremely hot while driving the latter and the CX-7 was more than up for the abuse. It was – in both instances – both comfortable and capable and, this is one sporting crossover that lives up to the Zoom-Zoom motif of the Mazda brand.
I found power acceptable in the front-wheel-drive CX-7 and, with the AWD version, more than up to the task in the rare air of Denver. The central storage in this vehicle can even hold my purse, handy when you don’t want to lug stuff around at a racetrack (in these instances Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Bandimere Speedway).
While there was no cargo cover for the rear hatch in the FWD CX-7, one was fitted in the AWD Grand Touring. Hatch space consumes 29.9 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seats up; folding both the 60- and 40-split second and/or third row seats increases the cargo space to 59 cubes, which is okay for the class, but not great. The Grand Touring CX-7 has a third row of seats and a small spare under the floor.
There are, of course, the full plethora of front, side and head curtain airbags in the 2010 Mazda CX-7 crossover and, in the CX-7 Grand Touring. There are cupholders everywhere on this crossover and the space is designed to make humans happy after a long trip.
While I’m not a big fan of large vehicles like crossovers, I find the Mazda CX-7 one of the least objectionable of the genre. It’s great for a growing family – and friends – and can make a driver who customarily wouldn’t be caught dead driving a crossover a lot happier to be in the driver’s seat, thanks to its sporting tendencies. With handsome looks and great manners, it’s a winner.
© 2010 Anne Proffit