Townsville Bulletin - - Cars Guide -

HERE’S one of the more stylish ways to join the SUV set. The CX-7 has been a hit for Mazda, be­cause it joins the SUV stance to car-like han­dling and good looks. The two-wheel-drive model kicks in at $ 33,990, then it’s a $ 5000 jump to the on-de­mand all-wheel drive of the Clas­sic Sports. Nei­ther comes with stan­dard Blue­tooth — that’s on the Diesel Sports and Lux­ury Sports mod­els only — which shows just how much wire­less tech­nol­ogy has in­vaded our ve­hi­cles since the CX-7 was launched back in 2006. When $ 15,000 base-model ve­hi­cles have Blue­tooth as part of the pack­age, there’s re­ally no ex­cuse other than bad prod­uct-cy­cle tim­ing not to have it in more up­mar­ket cars. Points, though, for hav­ing a re­vers­ing cam­era across the range. And there’s a lot of stan­dard gear even in the Clas­sic ver­sion, in­clud­ing cruise con­trol, auto wipers and lights, an MP3-com­pat­i­ble sound sys­tem, and a steer­ing wheel ad­justable for tilt and reach. There’s noth­ing out­ra­geously new on or in the CX-7, al­though a ma­jor over­haul late last year fresh­ened up the de­sign. It’s hard to get ex­cited about re­designed pis­tons that, if the en­gine is built the way you’re pay­ing for it to be, you hope never to ac­tu­ally see. Two-wheel-drive mod­els have a 2.5-litre four-cylin­der en­gine linked 120kW and 205Nm. All-wheel-drive ver­sions use a smooth six-speed au­to­matic cou­pled to a 2.3-litre, di­rect­in­jec­tion tur­bocharged four-cylin­der de­vel­op­ing 175kW and 350Nm. The 2.2-litre turbo diesel isn’t far be­hind, with 127kW and 400Nm, but it’s hitched to a six-speed man­ual gear­box.

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