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#9

in 2010 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $11,655 - $17,827
Original MSRP: $21,700 - $33,035
MPG: 20 City / 28 Hwy
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2010 Mazda CX-7 Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The CX-7's interior is spacious, comfortable and now more high-quality than ever. However, the few downsides include a cramped rear seat. Its standard features are on par with its class, and it offers options that many of its competitors don't -- including a rear entertainment system.

  • "Testers agree the gauges are stylish but are divided on whether they're easy to read. Some testers also dislike red, night lighting. A dashtop display puts audio and climate readouts away from controls." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Upon settling into the CX-7's driver's seat, the first thing we noticed was just how German the aesthetic was. With black as far as the eye could see and tasteful silver plastic trim here and there, we'd begun to think that perhaps we had somehow found ourselves back in the VW Tiguan." -- CNET
  • "Compared to segment leaders like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and the redesigned Chevrolet Equinox, the Mazda simply can't carry as much, and it isn't as comfortable for people sitting in back. But none of these vehicles approaches the Mazda in terms of athleticism." -- Edmunds

Seating

Reviewers are generally content with the CX-7's comfort, though they aren't quite as complimentary regarding the rear seats -- but that's a common complaint for a compact SUV. If this is a dealbreaker for you, the midsize Toyota Venza offers a much more spacious rear seat. Several reviewers are also disappointed that the CX-7 offers no third-row seat (though most compact SUVs don't). If you need one, consider a midsize like the Chevrolet Traverse or a large SUV like the Mazda CX-9.

Cloth-trimmed seats are standard, but if you're willing to pay a few thousand dollars extra, trading up to the Touring or Grand Touring will get you leather upholstery.

For a closer look at the CX-7's seats, check out our CX-7 video.

  • "The seats are long trip comfortable, the controls easy to reach and figure out, and the optional sunroof makes up for the generally black dash panel." -- MarketWatch
  • "Five adults fit, but the center of the back seat is hard and thus there's just comfortable space for four tall occupants." -- MSN
  • "The back seat has more legroom than expected for the vehicle's size." -- USA Today
  • "The leather seats were comfortable." -- CNET
  • "Abundant legroom for all [in the front], but taller folks might want more head clearance. The seats are well-bolstered, but some of our testers feel they don't rise high enough for an optimal driving position. The steering wheel tilts, but, disappointingly, is not telescopic." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Reviewers previously reported mixed opinions on the 2009 CX-7's interior controls and features. However, with quality and layout updates, that may change for 2010. For families with young children, the $1,200 DVD entertainment system might be a useful option. Note that a navigation system with a seven-inch LCD screen is optional for the Grand Touring trim only, but there are plenty of portable GPS units with similar features.

For more about the CX-7's interior features, take a look at our CX-7 video.

  • "Inside, a 4.1-inch color Multi Information Display has been added to the top of the instrument panel, and new gauges featuring ‘blackout meters' replace the old ones.  Three-position memory for the driver's seat and the Blind Spot Monitoring system from the CX-9 are now available options." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "There is no 'poor boy' version. Even the Sport has lots of comfort, convenience and safety features." -- MSN
  • "Build quality and ergonomics are both very good, although some might find the location of the radio and climate displays unintuitive, since their locations atop the dash are separated from their respective controls." -- Edmunds
  • "The one misstep in CX-7's interior design, and it's a big one, is the size and placement of the multi-information display. The 3.5" monochrome display sits at the top of the dash, under a small eyebrow. The odd thing is that it sits right next to an LED display that's almost the same size, and sometimes they display the same information -- time, radio station, etc. -- depending on the mode of display that you've selected." -- About.com

Cargo

The 2010 CX-7 provides 29.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which can be expanded to 58.6 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. These figures are substantially less than the compact class leaders, the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, which provide and 36.4 and 35.7 cubic feet of space, respectively, behind their second rows. But a plus for the CX-7 is its multitude of small storage spaces, which include a lockable center console with upper and lower compartments, front and rear cup holders, several door bottle holders, and an under-floor storage compartment in the cargo area.

To see how the CX-7 handles cargo, check out our CX-7 video.

  • "Three full-size golf bags fit into the cargo area when the rear seats are in use. But when more room is needed back there, the rear seatbacks don't fold down quite flat and the front passenger seatback doesn't fold forward at all. I guess Mazda emphasized the "zoom-zoom," rather than cargo-hauling practicality, in this crossover." -- MSN
  • "If hauling stuff is your priority, you have a herd of more suitable SUVs to pick from." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "When folded down, a 70-inch flat floor is created. Seats folded up, we still had room for a couple of dozen traffic cones, cameras and test gear." -- Edmunds
  • "The cargo area is accessed through a large opening and is roomy with the rear seats folded nearly flat, though a few tie downs and the reversible load floor are the only tricks this dog has -- there are no hidden cubbies or special touches." -- Autobytel
  • "Beats most like-sized SUVs for space behind the rear seat, but total space is small by class standards. Loading is hampered by a high deck. The cargo bay has two nice touches: a reversible carpeted/plastic rear floor panel, and easy-to-reach releases that make lowering the standard 60/40 rear seatbacks a quick operation, but they don't fold flat." -- Consumer Guide

Next Steps: 2010 Mazda CX-7

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