The large SUV from Mazda, the CX-60 PHEV, came at the right time for me to thoroughly put it to use. Summer brings school holidays, sports events and lots of gardening chores. I needed a practical vehicle that could cope with various demands.

The Mazda CX-60 is available from £43,950 and comes with three choices of specification. The vehicle expands Mazda’s SUV range and becomes their Flagship model. The entry line is called the Exclusive -line, and then you have Homura and Takumi. It becomes Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid technology powertrain, combining Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 100 kW electric motor and a 17.8 kWh high-capacity battery. The powertrain produces 327ps with torque of 500Nm, so it is a powerful car that will be ideal for towing a caravan or boat.

You get good economy from the PHEV, with the Mazda CX-60 getting 39 miles of combined electric motor-powered driving with the vehicle running at 62mph or less and 42 miles of city EV range, while the performance of the combined drivetrain delivers a 0-62mph performance of just 5.8 seconds. Handling is crisp for a heavy car, and you always feel in control, even when taking tight twisties at speed.

Ergonomically the Mazda delivers for the Driver with the display and all controls within easy reach and simple to use. The driving position is excellent, high off the ground and offering superb visibility. If you choose the Homura model and up the driving position in the Mazda CX-60, getting a comfortable position with the Driver Personalisation System is simple. Facial recognition is employed to adjust the seat to your settings when you get in

You get a rear-view camera that projects its image onto the large 12.3-inch infotainment screen, helpful for reverse parking manoeuvres. Other great features are the Automatic LED headlights and high-beam assist standard, with optional adaptive systems as part of the Driver Assistance Pack. They actively dim certain sections of the headlight cluster, so you don’t dazzle other road users. You get physical switches for the climate control system, which are much easier to use when driving than touchscreen or touch-sensitive controls.

Mazda has always put infotainment at the heart of their vehicles, and the CX-60 keeps this trend. You get a physical rotary controller making it easy to navigate through all the menus while on the move. You also get wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and two USB-C points in the front and rear to charge portable devices.

In the front cabin, you get a large amount of leg and headroom for taller passengers and enough width between the seats. Storage space includes a pair of cupholders, a roof-mounted sunglasses holder, long cubbies in the doors, a large glovebox and a tray for your phone.

The CX-60 offers 570 litres of storage with the rear seats up (or 1726 litres with them down) and with no load lip to contend with, and the vast, square opening makes it easy to load items. Other features include a storage net on the side to prevent smaller items from rolling around and a 12V power socket. Levers on the side help fold down the rear seat backrests remotely, which split-fold 40/20/40.

The Mazda CX-60 PHEV’s e-Skyactiv powertrain couples with the eight-speed automatic transmission and Mazda’s i-Activ All-Wheel Drive system. the Mazda Intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive) gives you a selection of drive modes: Normal, Sport, Off-Road, Towing and EV, the latter makes it possible to drive under electric power alone.

The Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV has plenty of safety features for you and your passengers with i-Activsense driver assistance systems. Hill Descent Control (HDC) assists in safely descending steep slopes with slippery or rough road surfaces, ideal when the British weather turns wintery. You also get Adaptive Cruise Control (i-ACC), which recognises speed limits from Traffic Sign Recognition. See-Through View is a next-generation 360-degree monitor with an extended field of view at low speeds.

Mazda’s CX-60 competes with the Audi Q5, the Lexus NX450h+  and the BMW X3xDrive30e.

The Mazda CX-60 Skyactiv PHEV is a great vehicle offering versatility and practicality, which is what you look for in a large SUV. You get the space for all occupants and carrying capacity, you can cram in plenty of bags, sports kits or oversized tree branches. It is worth a look if you are in the market for a large SUV.

Jeremy Webb has a website where you can read more reviews on cars, motorcycles and more.