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STYLING | 9 out of 10
While most Mazdas have an upscale look and feel, the CX-7's interior is largely plastic.
adopts a version of Mazda's grinning grille
sleek and reasonably contemporary...but those swoopy lines cost the CX-7 some cargo space and rear-seat room
Crossovers are slowly getting sleeker and more streamlined, but the 2012 Mazda CX-7 was a pioneer in that regard when it was launched six years ago. It's rakish, with a sharply angled windshield and swept-back lines over the wheel arches. Two years ago, Mazda mildly tweaked the CX-7's front fascia and rear lights, with a larger grille and an enlarged logo. Still, the creases, fender bulges, and relatively low lines of the hood remain as they were when it was launched in 2007.
Inside, the styling of the interior matches the mix of sportiness and utility conveyed by the exterior design. The cabin got some updates two years ago as well, with bright metal accents that give the instrument cluster and console more panache. The gauges are hooded, as in a sport sedan, and the steering wheel holds controls for both the sound system and the integrated Bluetooth voice control for mobile phones. As before, an upper shelf contains the displays for both audio and climate control--putting them as close as possible to the driver's field of view. Adjacent are either a navigation screen (in full color) or a monochrome display for the trip computer.
The 2012 Mazda CX-7 has been with us for several years now, but is lines make it still one of the more distinctive and zoomier crossovers.