It was great to get hold of the keys to the Mazda CX-5 last month when much of the country was overcome by snow.
The derivative we have been testing since last June has all-wheel drive transmission, as opposed to the majority of UK CX-5 sales.
Most buyers want the cool SUV looks but have little need for off-road ability so opt for the front-wheel drive versions, with a list price some £2,000 cheaper for the same specification.
It’s easy to see why they make such a decision.
Our test car fares slightly poorer for economy and emissions than the front-wheel driven diesel, losing 6.1mpg on the combined cycle and emitting 136g/km CO2 rather than 119g/km.
But 4x4 transmission has its benefits too, and sound qualification will quickly indicate when a customer’s lifestyle will demand a car with better traction.
I’ve repeatedly experienced the struggle of my wife’s front-wheel driven S-Max to claw its way up the snowbound incline to our drive, on one occasion taking seven frustrating attempts to finally get up there.
That no doubt caused much amusement to our neighbours, the ones with the Evoque.
So it was a relief for the CX-5 to complete the same feat first time with no fuss whatsoever.
In fact I even wondered whether to hitch a tow rope to the S-Max the next time it faced being left on the street – the CX-5 is capable of pulling up to two tonnes.
That towing ability is another string to its bow. It meets the needs of caravanning and watersports enthusiasts who sometimes prefer 4x4 trans-mission due to its improved traction on slippery campsites and wet launch ramps.
An Evoque by comparison has a maximum braked towing limit of 1,800kg.
It is these customers which this derivative targets best.
For most others, the £2,000 premium and higher running costs cannot be outweighed by an annual fortnight of snow and slush.