Scott Kovacevic test drives the Mazda CX9 in Gympie.
Scott Kovacevic test drives the Mazda CX9 in Gympie. Renee Albrecht

Surprises inside 'unassuming' SUV

THEY say looks can be deceiving and the Mazda CX9 takes this to heart.

While the all-wheel drive looks like an unassuming family SUV, on the road it has everything you could want from a car - and a bit more.

For those looking for a rich and luxurious driving experience, the Azami model I drove offers it in spades, with leather-seated comfort, sport mode, electronic everything and seven seats for practicality.

While the Azami's $72,000 price range might strike some as a bit high, there is also a $46,000 front-wheel drive Sport, with Touring and Grand Touring options for those seeking middle ground.

The CX9 does suffer some minor hiccups from modern regulations, with the large A pillars creating some blind spots and the Lane-Keep assist can sometimes feel like it's hijacking your drive but this can be switched off.

If you like your family and like your driving, then the CX9 is a great way to bring both worlds together.