The Crossover segment saw quite a few new models launched in 2017 including the Chevrolet Equinox, the Honda CR-V, GMC Terrain, Jeep Compass and the Peugeot 3008. While all these CUVs had their particular strong points, such as build quality, styling, features, ride quality and so on, none encapsulated all these into one neat package like the Mazda CX-5 did.

The second-generation crossover takes the brand’s design and technology tenets forward. It features the next iteration of ‘Kodo’ styling language seen in the 2015 RX-Vision with a reworked fascia anchored by bolder grille that extends all the way to the headlights, along with wider tracks, lower ride height and a restyled rear. All these lend more character to the CX-5’s appearance.

The cabin is well put together and is noticeably quieter than most other models in this class thanks to better insulation. The 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder is good for 188bhp and 251Nm of torque, and the six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and sharp in its shifts, and is impressively responsive. And thanks to the upgraded steering, suspension and brake systems, the CX-5 is much better to drive than the average car in this segment.

Mazda has also continued its tradition of packing a large amount of tech features into its models for a surprisingly affordable price. The new CX-5 features a head-up display, a remote controlled power liftgate with user-defined height adjustment, Smart Brake Support, Driver Attention Alert, Smart City Brake Support, Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go function, Traffic Sign Recognition System, Blind Spot Monitoring, lane Keeping Assist and Lane Departure warning among other features. It also promises to be one of the safest options in the family car market with a 5-star rating by Euro NCAP that gives it a 95 per cent rating for adult occupants, and 80 per cent for child occupants.

Our Crossover of the Year offers an excellent mix of driving pleasure, practicality, good looks and the latest technology.