Volvo reckons the XC70 will play an increasingly important role in its line-up, expecting an increase in the ratio between sales of its plastic-clad four-wheel drive estate versus the V70 it’s based on.

The new XC70, driven here in SE Lux trim with the 2.4-litre diesel engine, is the better looking of the two models, with the butch extra styling cues moulding well with the slightly fussier styling than the old V70 and XC70.

With the optional Geartronic auto transmission, the car matches Audi‘s A6 Allroad to the tenth of a penny in cost per mile figures, with both quoted at 48.1ppm. That’s nearly 5ppm more than the equivalent V70, although the XC version does get some extra standard kit.

The XC70 is desirable, but probably not as much as the Audi. The interior quality is good, while the driving experience is a little patchy, with slight question marks over the ride quality and the tendency to understeer in particular.

Verdict: A practical and attractive package, and a car that gets better the more time spent with it