Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Mazda has put a lot of effort into providing the driver with an excellent driving position. The location of the gear lever, the pedals and the seat combined mean you really feel in control. Visibility is also good and helped by the raised seating position. Although perhaps not as luxurious as offerings from premium firms such as Audi or BMW, behind the wheel of a CX-5 isn’t a bad place to be.

The dash is a simple mixture of analogue dials and an LCD trip computer screen telling you everything you need to know. There’s a sat nav fitted to the dash with a 5.8-inch touchscreen, but you don’t have to lean forward to operate it; you can do so via steering wheel-mounted buttons or the ‘commander’ module, which is a rotary knob and set of buttons sitting just behind the gear lever.

You can’t change the colour of the dash materials, but can order either ‘sand’ or black leather or fabric upholstery.

The ride is very good indeed, so you get great Mazda CX-5 comfort. It feels extremely measured on less-than-ideal road surfaces and will negotiate bumps and potholes in a style usually reserved for more expensive cars. There’s a lot of room available too; with two fully-grown adults in the front there’s loads of headroom and still enough space for adults to sit in comfort in the back.

You’ll notice a bit of noise travelling in the CX-5, but in a characteristic break from the norm Mazda has decided not to make the car the last word in silent motoring. The firm believes you should hear the engine, so it has engineered the sound-deadening in a way that allows those frequencies into the cabin while dampening others such as road and tyre noise.