It's hard to think of a car maker with a better-looking range of cars than Mazda. From the smallest 2 to the largest CX-9, every single design can be considered one of if not the most handsome in its own class in my view.

Mazda speaks about a 'design language' more than most manufacturers, stuff that typically can be jargon and not prevent a car from looking like a dog's dinner despite all those lovely PowerPoint slides of some waterfalls and a spiralised cucumber. But whatever the language behind the 'Kodo - Soul of Motion' design philosophy that Mazda employs, I'll happily speak with it.

Mazda has a habit of lurching around between generations of car trying to reinvent itself. Such an approach can reveal an overall lack of confidence and direction in what is going on. You don't have to look too far up the road towards some of Mazda's Japanese counterparts for current evidence.

But back in 2011, Mazda relaunched itself with a suite of technologies called SkyActiv and the Kodo design language to style its next generation of models. And they all looked lovely, looking as good as they drove for once.

Now a potential crossroads has arrived. For at the LA motor show, we have the first Mazda to be replaced since it went Kodo and SkyActiv: the second-generation CX-5.