Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mazda CX-7 (Third Place)

The Mazda CX-7 earns its place at number three for two reasons. Ride and handling. To be quite honest this was the most carlike SUV of the group to drive. It actually felt more like a tall station wagon in the same vein as the Subaru Outback.

Please understand that this is, indeed, a terrific complement given the fact that most SUVs are utterly atrocious monsters to drive that are seemingly fed by a need to make you drive as slowly as possible. Sure, you are going to drive your kids around in your SUV but they aren’t going to be with you all the time!

The CX-7 also allows you to feel the “Zoom-Zoom” without unduly upsetting the rest of the passengers. I have said this before about the other Mazdas as well but the CX-7 has a preternatural ability to not feel like it is going very fast even at 70 miles per hour. On a city street. Mazda’s thrive when they are driven hard. And the CX-7, oddly enough, is no exception.

The CX-7 I tested, however, was not the racy turbo version but rather the Plain Jane 2.5 liter 161 horsepower/161 lb. feet of torque 4-cylinder from the 6. I won’t lie and say it isn’t overburdened with too much weight but it has sufficient power for city streets and freeway passing maneuvers. At least it did with just me and my dog on board. Fully loaded with people and cargo might be another story altogether.

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