Making its first U.S. appearance, the 2010 version of Mazda's compact crossover
gets a series of visual and functional refinements as it prepares to make a late-summer on-sale date. Biggest exterior change to the five-passenger CX-7 is a lower and larger front grille treatment that brings it into line with the new Mazda
"face." However, closer inspection shows a restyled rear fascia and optional 19-inch alloy wheels for the top-line models. Inside there's a new multifunction steering wheel and revised instruments and trim. While the CX-7's existing 244-horsepower/2.3-liter turbocharged/direct-injected four-cylinder carries over in front-/all-wheel drive Sport and Grand Touring models, Mazda hopes to broaden this CUV's potential buyer base by offering its more fuel-efficient corporate 2.5-liter/161-horse naturally aspirated four in front-drive SV and Touring trims. Backed by a mandatory five-speed automatic, this free-revving also found in the MX-5/MAZDA6 earns 21/28 mpg EPA numbers in CX-7 form. Other changes of note include Bluetooth connectivity on all but the base SV model, and an available Blind Spot Monitoring System similar to the one used on the larger CX-9.