With the right engine for this market at last, the CX-7 suddenly looks a little more like a serious contender rather than just a peripheral player. Now you can consider it not just for its striking looks and nimble handling but also because its running costs have dropped to a credible level compared to its lusty but thirsty turbocharged predecessor.

Not everyone will like the unashamed sportiness of its chassis and occasional neurotic feel compared with its European rivals, but the flip side is that the CX-7 is more entertaining to drive than most SUVs, while still being comfortable enough for family duties. But while at least now it’s capable of competing on level terms with a Q5 or Freelander, it is, perhaps, not as desirable and is a more expensive ownership proposition.

The CX-7's odd size and curious brief may limit its appeal, but there are things to appreciate here