Crossovers are likely to compete more and more on fuel economy, with Ford's new Escape offering a range of three more efficient engines, for example. In that light, the 2012 Mazda CX-7 can be considered only as passable for its gas mileage. The most fuel-efficient version is the 'i' model with the 2.5-liter four, offered only in front-wheel-drive form, which the EPA rates at 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
Once you move up to the higher-performing 's' model, with its turbocharged 2.3-liter engine, ratings fall to 18 city, 24 highway for the front-wheel drive model--and an even lower 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway if you add the all-wheel drive option.
If you're looking strictly for passenger capacity, the company's own Mazda5 small minivan offers both better gas-mileage ratings and more space for passengers and cargo. And its handling is just as good as the CX-7, perhaps better, as well.