History/Description: The Mazda CX-7 is gone now – though we miss it, largely because its turbocharged four-cylinder engine was torquey as all snot, the AWD system knew what it was doing, and the cabin, relative to its price, was all fancy. So, this now-retired machine appealed to Canadian shoppers after a sporty and sophisticated crossover ute that was big on fun-to-drive factor, all-season confidence and performance enjoyed from a nice-looking cabin.

Numerous sporty touches could be had here, including alloy wheels, chrome accents, fog lamps, dual exhaust and an integrated tailgate spoiler with LED brake light. Clear tail lamps and a sleek and sculpted fascia helped round out the package. Look for high-end covetables including premium Bose audio, a sunroof, heated leather seats, automatic climate control and plenty more, depending on the model selected. Navigation, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, full multimedia connectivity and a lengthy list of safety equipment were also standard or available, depending on the trim grade.

Do you have things, people and pets? If so, they’ll mostly fit into the CX-7, thanks to nearly 1,660 L of cargo space and a set of split-folding rear seats.

Engines/Trim: After maximum mileage? The CX-7’s late-availability 2.5L four-cylinder engine is for you. It generated 161 horsepower and used an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission.

Do they find traces of blood in your adrenaline stream? Do straight stretches of road leave the desire to apply full throttle burning in your guts like a Spicy Big Rig Burrito from Lonestar Grille? You’re looking for the award-winning 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder DISI engine instead, with 244 horsepower backed by by nearly 260 lb-ft of torque. You’ll get heaps of sauce for passing, merging and blowing away CR-Vs at stoplights if that’s your deal.

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Mazda CX-7, 2007-2012. Click image to enlarge

Trim grades were numerous—if you’re after a Maude Flanders–grade unit with no goodies, search for a GX. The GS was the mid-grade model with most of the good stuff bundled into a delicious package, and the GT got all the toys. Plus, if you have a trailer and stuff, the CX-7 can tow up to 907 kg (2,000 lb). Thanks Mazda!

What Owners Like: Owners of the CX-7 typically rate fuel mileage on non-turbo units as being pretty decent, and a nice blend of handling, sportiness, comfort and long-haul readiness is typically reported. Good outward visibility all around was commonly reported by blind-spot aficionados, and performance from the wooshy turbo engine is reported to be pretty badass. The owner reviews on autoTRADER.ca show numerous repeat owners raving about their machines, and especially the BOSE stereo system, when fitted.

What Owners Dislike: Gripes typically centre around fuel consumption with the turbo engine, coupled with that engine’s requirement to be fed premium-grade fuel, which is pricier. Pricier gas makes people angry, so we get it. Also, wind and road noise tend to enter the cabin at more generous volumes than drivers typically expect.

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2009 Mazda CX-7 GT. Click image to enlarge
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