Mazda’s SUV range has gradually grown and Mazda’s designers have cleverly been able to develop the same Mazda family “face” with the vertical five-point grille and defining body lines. Mazda calls it Kodo (‘Soul of Motion’) design, and CX-5 is a great example of this treatment. Although the exterior design is SUV, there is nothing SUV-ish about CX-5’s handling as it’s equal best in class, and it drives with the nimbleness of a small sedan. The 2.5-litre engine, which is shared with Mazda6, is quiet and powerful. Overall the judges were very impressed with how well most of the engines in this category performed. With the demise of the large station wagons, Australian families can turn to the likes of CX-5 with confidence. It’s roomy enough for the whole tribe and easy to park, and while off-roading is not its strong point it does have some capability for the odd camping trip. However what may be lacking in this category compared with the old station wagons is towing capability. While CX-5 is fairly well off the pace compared with Outback and Sportage, it is a stylish and practical SUV that will be a winner in the eyes of many modern Australian families.