I looked at all the compact SUV in the price range, and before deciding on the CX-7, CRV and RAV4 were my other final candidates.
Simply put, CX-7 just felt more expensive. It offeres a combination of style, refinement, and driving pleasure that is very rare in this class. In addition, where else can you find power and heated seats, rear view camera, auto A/C, moon roof, and bluetooth all for $25K.
Yes, the CX-7 can use more room and power, but it never felt slow in my daily communite, and it is large enough for my family of 4 plus a 120LB dog.
CX-7 looked stunning inside and out, and you probably won't find another same car in the same parking lot.
Style, handling, quality material and construction, features, NVH.
More small cubbies (for sunglasses, coins, etc.), more room for the rear seat, USB/IPOD connection, more zoom, better MPG.