We could wax lyrical about many aspects of the Mazda CX-5 but undoubtedly its stand-out feature is its 2.2-litre 148bhp Skyactiv engine.
It’s exceptionally smooth and eager to rev right up to a 5200rpm red line, delivering strong, linear performance in the process; and yet it manages to return exceptional economy when driven more sedately.
Our True MPG testers managed an average of 47.2mpg, which is better than similarly priced rivals such as the Audi Q3 or the ever-popular Land Rover Freelander.
That low official CO2 figure also keeps down your tax liability. If you’re a 40% taxpayer you can expect a to pay an encouragingly low £142 per month.
What the CX-5’s cabin lacks in touchy-feely materials it more than makes up for with plenty of standard equipment, including automatic lights and wipers, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone climate control and a touch-screen audio system. Leg- and headroom are particularly impressive, while the rear seats are elevated to give everyone a good view of the road ahead.
The CX also features a much larger boot than most and comes with Mazda’s brilliantly simple Karakuri rear seating arrangement; one tug on one of the two levers on the sides of the boot and the seats fold down flat to reveal a completely flat floor and a yawning loadbay.
Should the worst come to the worst there’s a comprehensive batch of safety equipment, including smart city brake support to help avoid low-speed collisions, and six airbags to keep you and yours from harm. Together, all these attributes add up to make what seems like an extraordinary amount of car for the money.