The front seats of the 2012 Mazda CX-7 are a fine place to spend time. They're firm, wide, and supportive for drivers in a wide range of sizes and shapes. The view out the angled windshield is panoramic as well, due to the upright driving position.
But in the back, it's not such a happy story. Three adults will barely fit across the rear seat, and while there's adequate headroom, they sit low to the floor. That means rear passengers' knees are elevated and there's just not that much legroom.
The rakish design also impinges on cargo space. There's a flat cargo floor 70 inches long if you fold down the rear seat, but the load bay isn't very tall--and you'll find that floor surprisingly high. You can fit a coffee table or a love seat, but measure carefully before you commit to bringing home a large flat-screen TV in its box. Storage cubbies are plentiful, though, and the center console was reconfigured two years ago to make it more useful and usable.
If you're looking for refinement, you'll find the CX-7 keeps noise--from both engine and road--under wraps. It's nowhere near the quietest vehicle in the class, but unlike early versions of the model, it's tolerable. The ride quality is firm, and soaks up potholes and other pavement flaws nicely, without jarring or thumping. Overall, the CX-7 is well assembled, and the quality of the interior plastics and seat upholstery seem to mix sturdiness and refinement.