2010 Mazda CX-7 GX Road Test Review

By:Alexandra Straub
2010-02-18 01:59:12
 
"Starting off on the right foot" is an expression I hear a lot. Whether it's in the context of business or personal relationships, or
2010 Mazda CX-7
The 2010 CX-7 is a great looking crossover. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)
when it comes to a new year, I find people generally want to put their right foot forward! Mazda rings in the New Year and new decade putting their right wheels forward with the redesigned 2010 CX-7.

This popular-selling crossover SUV sports a fresh and athletic styling update on the inside and out, the latter showing a revised lower front grille, fog lamp bezels and rear fascia. The 2010 CX-7 has noticeably more "bling" than before, which makes it easily recognizable as the latest and greatest from Mazda. What I personally like the most about the new exterior styling, bling aside, are the prominent wheel arches that house new 17" alloy wheels wrapped in 215/70R17 all-season tires. I'm not entirely sure why I fancy them so much, but perhaps it's because they make the CX-7 look more
2010 Mazda CX-7
A contemporary look, the CX-7 is one of the sportiest compact crossovers on the market. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)
sophisticated and grown up. Or because they just add to the overall exterior appeal. Regardless, I'm not going to rack my brain over why I developed a wheel-arch fetish with this Mazda!

Under the hood of the front-wheel drive CX-7 GX, the GX now being the new base trim as the GS and GT trims only come in the AWD configuration with turbocharged engine, is a new naturally aspirated 16-valve, DOHC, 2.5L I-4 engine that produces 161 horsepower and 161 lb-ft of torque. Having only offered a 2.3L turbocharged engine prior to the 2010 model year, the addition of this new entry-level powerplant gives Mazda an edge they didn't have before against their competition. Not only has the price dropped significantly to under $28,000, but the
2010 Mazda CX-7
A driver focused cockpit with plenty of features. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)
naturally aspirated engine also comes with better fuel economy. The GX uses an estimated 10.4L/100km in the city and 7.2L/100km on the highway in comparison to the 2.3L turbocharged counterpart that uses an estimated 12.2L/100km in the city and 8.7L/100km on the highway. More engine options? A high five to that.

The new engine comes paired with the standard 5-speed Sport mode automatic transmission with overdrive. Unfortunately, no manual transmission is offered. On the plus side, city driving is less of a hassle and the 5-speed automatic is very responsive. I also find that even without the turbo it delivers a lot of pep. Granted, it's not as zippy quick as the top-line 2.3L,
2010 Mazda CX-7
Good seats, leather clad in this example. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)
but it still does a good job of accelerating quickly when getting on the throttle. And thanks to Mazda's use of new weld bonds and body reinforcements, along with new materials, the updated CX-7's cabin remains relatively quiet when pushing it.

This also benefits body rigidity, improved for 2010. Driving at highway speeds feels exceptionally stable and sturdy. While it's no sports car, the CX-7 does well in the corners thanks to a fully independent suspension. Driving around town or on the highway is quite pleasant even though the ride is on the stiffer side. It also feels very safe, which makes sense considering it comes with such standard safety features as 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and BA, traction control (TCS), Dynamic Stability
2010 Mazda CX-7
Rear seating is roomy and comfortable. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)
Control (DSC), Dual front airbags, side airbags, curtain airbags for all window passengers, and much more. It's reassuring to know that all safety features standard on the top-of-the-line GT are also fitted to the base GX model.

Yes, being behind the CX-7's wheel was definitely a treat. Mazda does such a great job with their interiors that even my husband, who is not really into cars, commented on how great the CX-7 looks inside. The fit and finish was marvelous and the metallic trim broke up what otherwise might have been a boring black cabin. Some new and very handy standard interior features on the 2010 model include a telescopic steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, an exterior temperature display and a multi-information display.
2010 Mazda CX-7
Yes, space for your gear as well. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)
Also enhancing the interior ambiance was the addition of the $2,995 Luxury Package that added plush leather seating surfaces with heaters up front, a power moonroof, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and more.

One thing that does not come standard on the GX but does on the GT is a retractable cargo cover. Although I feel this should be a standard feature on all trim levels, it isn't. A good friend of mine came to visit me from Vancouver Island recently, and naturally we went shopping. While we didn't buy too much stuff (if you can believe that), we weren't all that keen to leave our purchases exposed in the trunk.
2010 Mazda CX-7
The CX-7 is easy to fall for. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)
Yes, the rear windows are tinted so it's harder to look inside, but I still would have felt better if everything was covered up.

Pricing-wise, the base GX MSRP is $27,995. With the addition of the Luxury Package plus freight and PDI it jumped to $32,585. Comparatively speaking, a base GS with its turbocharged 2.3L, 6-speed automatic and all-wheel drive starts at $32,295. Certainly the new front-drive GX puts a high-quality Mazda crossover in reach of a lot more would-be buyers, and that has to be good for consumers and Mazda alike.

The 2010 Mazda CX-7's excellent handling and ride, high quality interior and better-looking design help make it an even more appealing crossover than last year's model. And that's not too bad of a way to start off a new decade.

(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)]]>

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