Every time that Mazda throws me the keys to their latest new model, I get excited. Of course it’s not quite the same as if Ferrari were to call and say that they were delivering a 488 Spider, but it’s still more exciting than many of Mazda’s competitors. The Mazda3 is one of the best compacts you can buy and you’ll never be in a bad mood behind the wheel of the new MX-5 Miata. So when Mazda gave me the keys to the new CX-9 crossover, I was excited to see how Mazda could add some excitement to the somewhat boring three-row crossover segment. Here are the five things I either hated or loved about the 2017 Mazda CX-9.

1It’s a looker

Mazda’s latest Kodo design language has done an amazing transformation on the CX-9. The old Ford-based CX-9 was dowdy looking and not very memorable. Now the new CX-9 could easily be one of the best looking “mainstream” three-row crossovers on the market. It doesn’t try to butch things up with a big imposing “fake” grille or place so much emphasis on interior volume that it ends up looking like a jacked up minivan. Instead, the new CX-9 looks sculpted and sleek.