- Competes with: Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester
- Looks like: All of Mazda's models are putting on a happy face
- Drivetrain: 161-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder with five-speed automatic or 244-hp, turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder with six-speed automatic; front- or all-wheel drive
- Hits dealerships: Summer 2009
Offered until now with only a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Mazda CX-7 crossover gains a new normally aspirated four-cylinder for the 2010 model year. The new engine displaces 2.5 liters and makes 161 hp, which is quite a bit less than the 244-hp turbo four-cylinder, which is still available. The base four-cylinder teams with a five-speed automatic and is only available with front-wheel drive (the turbo CX-7 uses a six-speed automatic and can have all-wheel drive). Gas mileage is one of the low points of the CX-7's high-powered turbo engine, and though fuel economy figures haven't been released, the new base four-cylinder should give the CX-7 more competitive fuel economy.
The 2010 CX-7 sports new exterior styling highlighted by a restyled front end that has more aggressive — and vaguely happy-looking — bumper styling. The rear bumper receives minor changes, too. Mazda says the 2010 CX-7's chassis rigidity has been improved and wind noise has been lessened.
Interior revisions include new dash vents, a new steering wheel, new instrument panel backlighting and a larger dash-top display screen. Mazda's blind spot warning system is newly available.
The 2010 CX-7 recently appeared at the 2009 Canadian International Auto Show and will be at the New York auto show in April, Mazda says. Pricing information has not been released.