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STYLING | 9 out of 10
one of the best-looking crossovers
Testers agree the gauges are stylish but are divided on whether they're easy to read
Mazda 2009 CX-7s continue the familiar styling from their 2007 introduction: sporty without compromise.
The 2009 Mazda CX-7 is a mid-size, five-passenger CUV that, according to Edmunds, exhibits "sleek lines and [a] radically sloping front end." Car and Driver thinks the 2009 Mazda CX-7 is "the best interpretation of the term crossover [they've] seen yet," and it "appeals to people who want something that looks sporty." Sport trims receive 18-inch alloy wheels, according to various reviews read by TheCarConnection.com. New for 2009 Mazda CX-7s are side turn signals integrated into the exterior mirror housings on the Grand Touring Model and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob on Sport models. Edmunds says the 2009 Mazda "lends some sporty style to the small and midsize crossover SUV segments." They note a newly available Aero Package that includes a front wind splitter and a color-keyed rear roof spoiler.
As Edmunds notes, "the radical styling carries inside, where an edgy yet functional cabin design greets drivers." Pods that contain the speedometer, tachometer, and various gauges dominate the instrument panel. At night, they glow red, which some testers at ConsumerGuide dislike, explaining that they "are divided on whether they're easy to read." They do agree that the "standard steering-wheel audio switches are a plus because the main array takes time to learn." With its steep angle, this 2009 Mazda's windshield creates a large dashboard surface. Perhaps to break up the 2009 CX-7s expansive dash, "a dashtop display puts audio and climate readouts away from controls," concludes ConsumerGuide. Cars.com reports, "Mazda instead focuses on forming the plastics and interior design into a ‘sporty’ look rather than an elegant one."
There are some quibbles about the design of the interior plastics in the Mazda; 2009 finds "cabin decor matches CX-7 pricing, but it's let down by a few budget-grade plastics and unconvincing silver paint that passes for metal accents," says ConsumerGuide, while Edmunds notes that "the steering wheel and instrument cluster look like they're straight from the RX-8."
The 2009 Mazda CX-7 stands out in the crowded crossover category with its athletic design inside and out.