Never judge an engineering book by its marketing jargon cover. Take Mazda's 'Skyactiv' program, for example. Talk about head in the clouds, and seriously, where's the e?

But over the better part of this decade Mazda has focused its engine and aero efficiency developments, as well as weight reduction and chassis improvements under the Skyactiv umbrella, with spectacular results.

The Japanese brand has been wringing everything it can from the internal combustion engine, conspicuously avoiding turbocharging its mainstream petrol units until long after key competitors had gone down the forced-induction route.

And it's a tribute to Mazda's determination that when it finally dropped the 2.5-litre turbo-petrol 'Skyactiv-G' engine into the CX-9 and Mazda 6, you knew it was going to be a thoroughly developed response to ever-tightening emissions restrictions rather than a quick-fix.

Now that engine has found its way under the bonnet of the country's best-selling SUV, the CX-5, and we've driven the top-spec Akera to see how the new drivetrain matches the mid-size five-seater.