Who is it for: Those adventurous types who yearn for the great outdoors at weekends.
Why we love it: The best SUVs are like those fitspo girls you see at the gym – they look bulked up from the outside, but aren’t at all intimidating when you spend time with them. Mazda’s big (but surprisingly petite) CX-5 perfects this mystical formula – it looks large but shrinks when you’re behind the wheel.
The CX-5 (from $28,690) takes top honours for the way it deftly handles both urban duties and the demands of an active lifestyle. This was the vehicle that started the whole SUV thing back before SUVs were even a thing. But a sprinkling of the brand’s Japan-inspired Kodo design language (want to know more? Check out p114) ensures the CX-5 looks sleek, solid, practical and polished, and way sportier than anything else in its category.
And while it is practical, it’s also lovely to look at and easy to drive.
Look out for: The truly impressive safety features, such as the car’s ability to sense an accident and stop by itself. Clever.