The all-new version also gets ‘reach’ to go with ‘rake’ for the steering wheel, a softer-touch dashboard and, for Europe, darker interior trim – the light grey look is history. Which is good, but many things on the admittedly pre-production car tested – from cubbyholes to seatback tables – felt like they might one day break without a fight.


Outside, the exterior gets a 300C-style grille graft plus chunkier proportions and rear lights. The idea works superbly on the saloon, but less well on the MPV.

To drive, the 163PS 2.8 diesel is underpowered for a car five metres long and in excess of two tonnes, but nevertheless bowls along without much noise and fuss. It offers a decently compliant ride on British roads but at higher speeds over more uneven surfaces starts to feel a little roly-poly, perhaps to be expected for such a large and high-sided vehicle. The six-speed auto-only gearbox makes driving easy and gears can also be selected semi-sequentially for more control through corners.

The auto’s downside is that it affects official economy and emissions badly with 30.4mpg and 247g/km of CO2. With no manual option, top-rate taxes beckon across the board (the only other engine is a 3.8 petrol auto). Those that genuinely need all the space it can offer will find few true rivals, but with no whole-life costs now, we’ll have to wait until nearer February to see how the Grand Voyager fares against them.