AROUND the Â£50,000 mark can never, in anyone's wildest and richest dreams, be considered cheap for a car.
But in some ways the latest Volkswagen Touareg which wears a price tag in that region can be considered something of a snip.
How so, you ask understandably. Well, it happens to share technology with the ultra posh Bentley Bentayga (price: £140,000) and its four wheel steering system is the same as the still more exotic Lamborghini Urus (price: £160,000).
The Volkswagen Touareg is a proper big SUV which lines up against the Land Rover Discovery, BMW X5 and the Volvo XC90, rather than the more stylish and performance related large high-riders like the Range Rover Velar and the Porsche Cayenne.
And big the Touareg is certainly is. The boot holds an enormous 810 litre of luggage even before the rear seats are folded down. Perhaps surprisingly it is just a five-seater although there's space for a third row of seats.
Two 3.0-litre V6 diesels are available. This car had the more powerful 282bhp version married to an eight speed automatic which deals admirably with the huge torque - 443lb/ft to be precise.
Permanent four wheel drive offers a choice of driving modes including snow, sand, eco, comfort and off-road expert via a control on the transmission tunnel.
The cabin and facia is appropriately high tech with a huge 12-inch touchscreen centre stage that makes the elaborate graphics particularly impressive. It is logical to use but operating the appropriate symbols on the move can prove difficult because of road undulations.
High quality materials are used but despite this and the leather seating, it doesn't ooze luxury in the way that say an Audi Q7 or Ranger Rover do. The overriding impression is of smart practicality as opposed to outright self-indulgence.
But, that's the character of VW - commonsense quality rather than OTT extravagance.
When it comes to driving, there's no escaping this is a big, heavy car with a body that's slightly longer than the five-metre benchmark that tends to apply in Europe. Yes, it feels miles more manoeuvrable than the latest Touareg but it's still a tad ponderous around the curved stuff. It does, however, grip well and body-roll is manageable enough.
The hulking V6 endows it with ample punch both for outright acceleration and, more importantly, mid-range high gear overtaking. A smooth, creamy flow of power is delivered with little accompaniment of mechanical noise. An efficient and impressive long-distance vehicle then.
This model was in R-Line trim which comes with some subtle styling tweaks such as bespoke front and rear bumpers, side skirts, LED lighting and gloss black front air intake.
A panoramic opening sunroof was a £1,260 extra and the Savona leather seating pushed up the £56,300 list price by £820.