Overall, the interior feels calibrated with the CX-7's purpose, which blends sport-sedan and utility-vehicle attributes. The CX-7's cabin was spruced-up last year, with some new brightwork that added a little more presence and panache to the instrument-panel, which has a thin upper shelf that hosts audio and climate-control displays, up in the driver's line of vision. Next to it, there's a monochromatic trip computer or color nav screen. Hooded gauges and a new steering wheel design with controls for audio and Bluetooth calling functions complete the performance feel.
Even many newer crossover designs still show hints of ruggedness, but the 2011 Mazda CX-7 makes no such attempt. It's rakish in a way that's uncommon in this class of vehicle, including a 66-degree windshield incline and a very swept-back look overall. Mazda touched up the CX-7's front and rear details last year, giving it a larger grille and Mazda logo, but the creased sheetmetal, bulging fenders and wheel wells, and low, sleek hoodline remain have been left mostly unchanged from when this edgy utility wagon was first introduced for 2007.