WHEN you have a daughter living just 40 miles away the journey can get rather repetitive.
So I tend to vary it with alternative routes and like to keep moving.
Whenever I come up behind what looks like a large jam for instance - and it's not on the motorway - I take the first left or right, or even turn round and go back to the last turning.
Out comes the map, and within a few minutes I have an alternative route that's usually much more interesting than staying on the main road.
Heading down to said daughter's new home recently in the all-singing, all dancing Volkswagen Touran R-Line, I headed straight across country instead of taking the usual dual carriageway.
What a cracking drive - and the car wasn't bad either.
R-Line is the range topping Touran and the car came with the most powerful engine in the range - the 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel - driving the front wheels through an excellent DSG automatic gearbox.
The setup is standard in this model and is a superb combination. The engine is supposedly good for 149 miles an hour flat out and feels smooth and immensely powerful at any speed.
With the superb DSG automatic it is absolutely superb. The gearbox seems to know exactly what you want every time, kicking down easily and very quickly and changing ratios far quicker than anyone could do it manually.
My Sunday morning trip was one to be savoured in every way. Not only does the Touran have great performance, but it's comfortable and refined too, soaking up country lanes and B road in its stride.
It also had very accomplished handling and road holding, with good agility and a positive feel through the corners, helped by excellent power steering - something which is always good in any VW model.
I found the Touran very easy to park and manoeuvre, with front and rear parking sensors and a rear camera as overkill.
There's good support in the comfortable front seats and the centre row of three are adjustable for legroom.
All Tourans are now seven seaters, with two seats folding up easily out of the boot floor and all five rear seats can be folded to make a huge, flat load area.
Standard kit in this range topper is excellent as you would expect. It comes with stability control, an automatic differential lock for improved traction and handling, automatic braking in the event of an accident, loads of airbags, alarm, pre-crash occupant protection, adaptive cruise, battery regeneration under braking, climate and a trip computer.
It also has an electric parking brake, see you home headlights, electric child locks, heated seats, and keyless entry and starting.
This Touran is a superb family car in every way that can also be huge fun for an enthusiastic driver.