What’s is it?
Another new small SUV, and this time a sporty one – meet Mazda’s CX-7.
The market for compact SUVs has grown a bit of late. No fewer than 10 models have been introduced to it, or significantly overhauled within it, over the last 18 months alone, and the likes of the Volkswagen Tiguan, Renault Koleos, Vauxhall Antara and Ford Kuga are now but a blink away.
Were Charles Darwin alive and interested by junior 4x4s, he’d probably forecast a period of fierce natural selection. The weak, ill-conceived and overpriced will die out, while the handsome, capable and versatile live on to, err… inherit the car park. And the new Mazda CX-7 should be among the lucky ones, because it’s one of those rare diamonds-in-the-rough – a 4x4 that’s great fun to drive on the road.
What’s it like?
Well, it’s not a typical small 4x4 by almost any measurement. It’s a high-spec five-seater sold by Mazda UK as such, as a rival for the more expensive Honda CRVs, Toyota RAV4s and Land Rover Freelanders. And it’s roughly the same size as those cars – but that’s where the similarities end.
Unlike most 4x4s, the CX-7’s actually quite nice to look at; a gently sloped windscreen, curved roofline and kinked belt line give it a genuinely interesting-to-behold profile.