What’s new: In a welcome move, Volvo has now fitted a manual gearbox to the range-topping D5. This version is the super-sumptuous SE Lux spec.

Excellent: The 180PS five-cylinder engine is wonderful. Despite being a diesel it makes a fabulous noise, and acceleration from 30-70mph belies the estate bodyshell in which it resides.

Good: The V50 is another very good-looking estate from Volvo. Our test car was further enhanced by a paint job that was a sparkling blue from one angle, and a sharp metallic grey from another.

Average: It might be brisk from 30-70mph, but low-end pull doesn’t match up and running costs of 52.6ppm means pace comes at a price.

Poor: A P11D of £23,680 is high anyway, but options soon add up – an extra £4500 on our version. Charging £25 for a passenger airbag cut-off switch is cheeky.

Verdict: Manual gearbox is a welcome addition to a model with appeal, even if it’s a little pricey.