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#3

in 2009 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $10,261 - $12,128
Original MSRP: $23,900 - $28,400
MPG: 17 City / 23 Hwy
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Used Car: 2009 Mazda CX-7 Review

Review Last Updated: 7/27/12

The 2009 Mazda CX-7 isn’t as practical as many rival SUVs, but what it lacks in practicality it makes up for with agile handling and good reliability.

The 2009 Mazda CX-7 is ranked:

When it was new, reviewers praised the 2009 Mazda CX-7 as one of the sportiest choices among small SUVs. Though it has more space than many fun-to-drive small sedans, it lacks the cargo and seating space offered by many compact SUVs. If you don’t need that much space, critics said you won’t be disappointed by the CX-7. The CX-7 has a good reliability score, while its crash test ratings are about average for the class.

The CX-7 is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 244 horsepower. While some test drivers said this engine isn’t as refined as some competitors’ V6 engines, most acknowledged that it has plenty of power for spirited driving and pairs nicely with the CX-7’s sporty suspension. An automatic transmission is standard, and front- and all-wheel drive versions are available. Fuel economy is not the CX-7’s strong suit. Front-wheel drive variants manage just 17/23 mpg city/highway, which is fairly low for the class, and AWD versions get slightly worse fuel economy.

Inside, critics said that they liked the CX-7’s design and materials, but said that as far as practicality goes, it comes up short. They noted that while the seats in the front are comfortable and supportive, those in the rear don’t offer adequate knee- or headroom for most occupants. With the rear seats folded, maximum cargo capacity is 58.6 cubic feet, which is also fairly low for the class. Base models are equipped with cloth seats and a basic four-speaker CD stereo. Upper trims and option packages add things like leather seats, automatic climate control, a power sunroof, a Bose stereo with CD changer, satellite radio, Bluetooth, navigation and a backup camera.

See the full 2009 Mazda CX-7 specs »

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Other Cars to Consider

If you’re looking for a practical 2009 compact SUV, you should check out the 2009 Toyota RAV4. Critics said its cabin is very spacious, its seats offer plenty of comfort and its cargo area is very large for the class. It also has one of the few third-row seat options in the class, and while most reviewers said it isn’t all that spacious, it could be good for families.

Another alternative to consider is the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan. Critics said that the Tiguan offers a very upscale interior and taut, refined handling. And while it may not be quite as sporty as the CX-7, it is offered with a manual transmission, which driving enthusiasts may appreciate.

Compare the CX-7 to the RAV4 and Tiguan »

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