THINK SUVs and it conjures up images of upright, practical family cars that are nice to drive, versatile and easy on the eye, but they can be so much more.
And to prove that SUV's needn't be dull to drive, Land Rover has really spiced things up with its mighty 5.0-litre turbocharged Range Rover Velar delivering a whopping 550hp and a 0-62mph sprint time of just 4.5 seconds.
The five-door performance model still covers all the comfort and practicality bases but with 680Nm of torque, a top speed of 170mph and some jaw-dropping design cues, this isn't just any old SUV - this is a Land Rover Velar SUV!
Admittedly, you'll have to dig deep into the savings as the Velar in range-topping SVAutobiography Design specification costs Â£86,685. Optional privacy glass added Â£400 to the final price-tag on our car.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that just Â£400 worth of extras on such a premium car is pretty reasonable and it is. But that's simply because this model has it all factored into the starting price.
You will also need to have a fuel card because the combined mpg figure is just 23.0 so it drinks petrol for fun and the carbon emissions figure of 270g/km will keep the annual tax charge high too. But sometimes you get what you pay for and this is one of those times.
Viewed from any angle, this sportiest of the Velar line-up is dynamically designed and guaranteed to turn heads. It boasts Matrix LED headlights with signature daytime running lights, door handles that are flush to the bodywork, a sliding panoramic roof, black contrast roof, rear fog lights, four exhaust pipes, 21-inch alloys and red brake calipers to complete the styling.
Move inside and the interior is quality through and through with high-end, plush fixtures and fittings throughout.
The powered seats are made from the finest Windsor leather with a quilted pattern and they have memory settings and can be heated or cooled. They even have a massage function for longer journeys. The soft grain leather sports steering wheel can be heated and is also powered which makes finding the perfect driving position a complete doddle and the elevated seating results in excellent all-round driver visibility.
And the list of on-board technology cannot fail to impress with the innovative Touch Pro Duo screens that provide quick and easy access to all the on-board systems. There is a Meridian surround sound system, smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, four-zone climate control and lots more besides.
The driver can easily switch through the various driving modes called Dynamic, Eco and Comfort as well as some off-road settings such as Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud ruts and Sand. And being a Land Rover, the Velar is very capable away from the comfort of the Tarmac should it be faced with more demanding terrain.
My only slight gripe about the layout of the car is the start button which is rather awkwardly tucked away round the side of steering wheel. But once you start up the vehicle, that is very soon forgotten. That's because the car starts up with quite a roar - you won't find yourself on any neighbour's Christmas card lists if you have an early start.
When it comes to the driving experience, this Velar is definitely not for anyone who suffers with their nerves. The acceleration is blisteringly quick and the gearbox is perfectly timed with paddles if you fancy taking a little more control of the gear changes.
The road holding is ultra-assured meaning tight bends can be attacked with confidence and there is minimal sign of body sway into long sweeping bends. The steering is nicely weighted with ample driver feedback and after a few hours behind the wheel you soon realise this is a car of many moods. It can be sensible and comfortable when necessary but, should a little excitement be on the cards, it adopts are far more fiery manner and is brutally quick.
And if you switch across to Dynamic mode, then expect even more volume with onlookers likely to hear the Velar long before they see it, thanks to the enhanced exhaust noise.
On the practicality front, the Velar also ticks all the boxes with a boot capacity of 558 litres which increases to 1,731 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. Elsewhere there is a lockable glovebox, deep door bins, a central cubby box containing the USB ports, a SIM card slot and 12V outlet, seat back pockets, front and rear cup holders and a secret storage compartment hidden away by the gear selector dial.
As one would expect, the list of safety kit and driver assistance systems is extensive with the likes of lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, rear traffic monitor, a driver condition monitor, emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and adaptive speed limiter, advanced emergency brake assist, high speed emergency braking, park assist, six airbags and plenty more besides.