My first impressions are very positive: this feels just like those previous-generation Volkswagen Group cars that I so enjoyed, and that’s even despite the fact that it’s a fully fledged SUV. For although it’s undoubtedly a big car, it’s certainly not as big, either literally or visually, as rivals like the Kia Sorento.
It has more than enough power to minimise stress on the motorway, while it doesn’t float or roll around like you might expect, riding quite firmly in order that it can serve up some semblance of sporty handling (furthered by steering that gains weight progressively as you turn). It is indeed only a semblance, but I see that as for the better, because it means the car still feels laid-back rather than always raring to go like proper sports SUVs, for instance our Ford Puma ST. (You could also add Dynamic Chassis Control for £1105 if you wanted to.)
It also feels eminently practical, right to the brief, with loads of space for passengers and luggage, convenient little features, a big boot with a third row that’s easy to erect and then fold away again and all the gear you could reasonably expect.
As such, in addition to the Virtual Cockpit, the only options fitted to our car are a USB-C port by the rear-view mirror (for further facilitation of our surveillance state), the Virtual Pedal (so you can make the boot open by swiping your foot beneath the rear bumper) and a Canton stereo, which has passed the ‘does it trying to do justice to drum-and-bass make me cringe?’ test but disappointingly for some reason isn’t possible to order in the UK at present.