NOT so long ago the people carrier or MPV was seen as a prayer answered for families on the move.
It made sense - roomy, comfortable living space with ample height to get in and out of. But times move on, and these days the people carrier looks as about current as a ten bob note.
It's the SUV that has stepped into the vacant tyre tracks and won over families, outdoor singletons and seniors alike.
But within the sector there are noticeable extremes that vary from the full-on four wheel drive (4WD) to soft-roaders that are unlikely ever to venture further off-road than a grass verge. The majority of the latter don't even have all-paw drive.
Some can accommodate seven passengers, others are strict four or five-seaters.
The recently launched Koleos from Renault is definitely one of the larger SUVs, yet doesn't have a third row of seats, choosing instead to offer huger luggage carrying capacity, 579 litres to be exact. And while some of the cheaper models eschew 4WD, the top Signature version is fitted with twin axle drive.
Not to be left out of the rush for sales of high-riders, the Koleos is the largest of Renault's three SUV models. Concentrating on comfort, generous levels of equipment and strong value it lays down the challenge to Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Ford Edge.
It doesn't possess the visual chic of either the baby Captur or the mid-size Kadjar, but what it loses out in charm it more than makes up for in road presence.
Powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine - the most popular option in this sector - it pushes out 172bhp which is enough to give it a reasonable turn of speed. It covers the 62mph sprint in 9.5 seconds and will go on to a max of 125mph. A CVT automatic gearbox makes light work of heavy traffic situations.
At tickover, it's not the most refined unit but good sound insulation and a reasonably high gearing allow it to be relaxed and subdued at motorway speeds. Despite its bulk and generous dimensions, the Koleos has a respectable emissions level of 156g/km and a combined fuel consumption of 47.9mpg.
In everyday conditions most owners will manage around the 35 to 37mpg mark, as I did.
While the performance is more than adequate, the Koleos makes little pretence towards of dynamic prowess. Road holding is safe and sure-footed but it leaves cornering acrobatics to the likes of Porsche Macan and Jaguar E-Pace.
Travel too quickly into a bend and the Renault will exhibit a fair bit of roll as speed is scrubbed off. No nasty frights ...but not encouraging of exuberance. It is, however, a pleasant and effortless drive.
This is a big family holdall which delivers its payload of passengers in comfort and not inconsiderable able luxury. The spec of the Signature version includes leather upholstery, 8.7in touchscreen incorporating sat-nav, blind spot monitoring, heated front seats, hill start assist, heated and ventilated cup-holders and electric opening panoramic sunroof.
Of course, there are always a few extra bits owners can add, such as heated steering wheel and heated rear seats which increase the price by £400.