2009 Mazda CX-7 GT
2009 Mazda CX-7 GT. Click image to enlarge

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2009 Mazda CX-7

North Vancouver, British Columbia – A crossover that wishes it could be a sports car, the 2009 Mazda CX-7 GT combines car-like performance and SUV-like utility in a very handsome and distinctive package. The CX-7’s aerodynamic nose and rounded tail, sleek profile, wide stance, bulging fender flares, dual exhausts, and meaty 18-inch radials make other crossovers look positively boxy.

Under the CX-7’s sleek sheetmetal is a turbocharged 244-hp four-cylinder engine borrowed from the Mazdaspeed3, a six-speed manumatic transmission, unit-body design, fully independent suspension, and available all-wheel drive. The CX-7 drives like a performance sedan – yet has the room to take the family and their gear on a weekend camping trip – and more significantly, with its available all-wheel drive and high ground clearance – a weekend skiing trip.

The CX-7’s closest competitors are the turbocharged Acura RDX, the turbocharged VW Tiguan, and the turbocharged Subaru Forester 2.5XT; and maybe the Toyota RAV4 V6. But the CX-7’s unique appearance means that it won’t be mistaken for any other crossover – except perhaps the Mazda CX-9.

2009 Mazda CX-7 GT
2009 Mazda CX-7 GT. Click image to enlarge

When it was introduced in Spring 2006, the CX-7 was a trendsetter, not only for its racy styling. Its Mazdaspeed-sourced direct-injection, turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine, producing 244 horsepower at 5000 r.p.m., preceded direct injection turbos like those now being trumpeted by BMW, VW and Ford.

And its six-speed automatic transmission with sequential manual shifting capability was, and is, a cut above many competitors’ transmissions, particularly the boring, one-speed continuously variable transmissions available in some SUVs.

Almost three years after its introduction, the CX-7’s swoopy but sophisticated design still looks fresh, at least to these eyes.

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