Words by Declan Glynn

The first generation of the Mazda CX-5 5-seat SUV graced our shores in 2012, and offered stylish good looks, terrific efficiency, spaciousness, and famed Mazda reliability to those in the market for a mid-size family crossover/SUV.

Mazda has recently launched a redesigned CX-5, which offers a rewarding feeling in tune with the ‘Jin-ba Ittai’ (Car and Driver as one) ethos behind all of Mazda’s SUVs.

There are four trim levels in the new Mazda CX-5 SUV – Executive, Executive SE, Platinum, and Platinum + (plus).

While the Executive model is available only with a 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol engine with 165bhp, all other models can be specified with either that petrol engine, or with a 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D diesel engine, with the power levels of either 150bhp or 184bhp.

A slick six-speed manual gearbox is standard across the range, with an automatic available as an option on the majority of models.

The standard drivetrain in the CX-5 is front-wheel-drive, with Mazda’s intelligent All-Wheel-Drive sys-tem available in the Platinum model, when mated to the SKYACTIV-D engine.

My review car was a range-topping Mazda CX-5 Platinum + 2.2 SKYACTIV-D AWD automatic, and it looked fantastic in executive Machine Grey metallic paint, with Stone Nappa leather interior.

Capable of a top speed of 208kmph, the 0-100kmph sprint can be completed in just 9.6-seconds (9.3-seconds in manual guise), while consuming as little as 7.1l/100km along the way (based on strict testing procedures).

Producing 184bhp and a thumping 445Nm of torque, the engine in my test car always felt lively and willing to perform to any request from the accelerator pedal.

The human-centric cabin of the CX-5 surrounds the occupants in luxury, while excellent ergonomics ensure that every major function within the car is easily accessible to the driver.

Priced from €29,495 (ex-delivery), the new Mazda CX-5 is the new definition of pleasure. Lastly, Mazda’s 3-Year/100,000km warranty comes as standard.