Mazda CX-7 GT: Room to Compromise

Crossovers are about compromise. But if you’re looking to buy a car with your girlfriend, the Mazda CX-7 GT crossover may be a compromise worth investigating.

For the performance lover, it’s as sporty as Mazda gets this high from the road. There’s a turbo-charged 2.3-litre four-cylinder beneath the hood with sport mode transmission for more control, outputting a head-snapping 244 horses at 5000 rpm and 258-lb. ft of torque at 2500 rpm. All this riding on sleek 18″ aluminum wheels. (Careful, revving it burns a lot of gas.) All-wheel drive is optional — you probably won’t need it in the city though you’ll want it.

For the little woman, it’s up high enough (1645 mm) to feel in command in city traffic. She’ll appreciate the heated seats — OK, guys like them too, they just don’t say it. Being on the sporty side, it may not offer the space of a Denali or its sister Mazda CX-9. But the 3-seater in the back divides, allowing for 60/40 cargo/passenger carrying.

It’s not quiet but the four-speaker Bose stereo masks any noise from the turbo thrusts and wide tires smacking the pavement at speed.

It’s hard for car manufacturers to impress with their data interfaces. We’re spoiled with PDA technology that turns over in 18 months, while cars are built to last for ten years. That said this luminescent backlit interface is intuitive, futuristic and almost fun. Just don’t get distracted by it in traffic. The resolution on the reversing monitor is indistinct after a rainfall, and your girlfriend will make you wipe the camera.

If you’re serious about fuel economy but still love performance and space, give it a test. (If you’re very, very serious about fuel economy, maybe SUVs aren’t your thing.) It’s a compromise but a decent one.

MRSP: $35,295

This is a test