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ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine: 2007 ICOTY Vehicle Nominees

by Martha Hindes

2007 Mazda CX-7
Crossover/Sport Wagon of the Year - 2007 Mazda CX-7

Anything that adds an adrenaline rush is likely to be an inherent part of any Mazda vehicle's birthright. And if a trio of terms could describe this latest baby -- the sporty CX-7 crossover -- it would have to be fun, function and fast. This is not a part-auto, part-truck, part-rocket launcher designed to sit dormant in a driveway or garage. True Mazda lovers never would endure such indignity.

But before the main theme is lost, RTM editors point out that this after all is still a crossover. Not a sports car. And definitely not a rocket launcher. (We couldn't resist the visuals.) That's what made it winner of the ICOTY 2007 Crossover/Wagon - Most Versatile category.

This is a utility-style vehicle designed to act like a racer, while never sacrificing its ultimate purpose in life -- to serve. It's what Mazda calls "Zoom-Zoom with Room."

Expect to find this as one of the more aerodynamic representatives of its class, even at the probable loss of a smattering of interior stowage. (Sometimes physics simply can't be ignored.)

But what a trade-off. With a wealth of interior cubbies to keep loose items in tow and a mound of three full-size golf bags stowed behind, one presumably could drive off into the sunrise with console-mounted shifter under hand and four companions for chat. Oh yes, power won't disappoint either. Adding turbo charging to the 2.3-liter, 244 HP four has geeked the CX-7 into a most responsive performance mode while barely stressing the atmosphere or causing it to slurp down excessive fuel.

Read RTM's Review of the 2007 Mazda CX-7
(Visit the Mazda CX-7 website)

Honorable Mentions:

Ford Edge
When doling out ICOTY '07 accolades, RTM has to give the edge to Edge. Ford's sleek and refined five-seater crossover is a welcome addition in a segment burgeoning with newcomers. This newest member of the multi-purpose family of car-based utilities mirrors Ford's "bold" ad campaigns. Edge sports a boldly aggressive appearance and stance, without losing a look of aerodynamic refinement. Lines sweep rearward to be anchored by a spoiler. Check the high points of being edgy. One can maneuver, ride in comfort on V-6 power with all-wheel-drive and Advance Trac security and expanded cargo space, all while remaining flexible. A big plus: The vast vista of skylight with a power shade.

Read RTM's Review of the 2007 Ford Edge
(Visit the Ford Edge website)

Dodge Caliber
It posses a chameleon ability to work like a car, to serve like a utility and have fun all at once. Not surprising, since Dodge's spunky new Caliber that replaced the aging Neon compact car obviously was loosened from restraints during development. Dodge's first compact-sized offering to have an all-wheel-drive option also sports a zest for life. Three engines and three transmissions including a manual power this newcomer. Sportiness, security and five-star safety get high marks. A long list of amenities takes it out of base model thinking. One we love? An optional "Chill Zone" bin on air conditioned models to keep beverages cool.

We call it a Caliber above the common crossover.

Read RTM's Review of the 2007 Dodge Caliber
(Visit the Dodge Caliber website)

Car of the Year
Lexus LS 460

Truck of the Year
Chevy Silverado

Most Sex Appeal/ Sports Car
Jaguar XK

Most Dependable/Sedan
Toyota Camry

Most Compatible/Minivan
Hyundai Entourage

Most Resourceful/SUV
GMC Yukon

2007 ICOTY Awards Links