LIFE'S all about compromise. Well, that's what we're taught from an early age.
And as we get older, we have to compromise more often - family responsibilities, lack of the folding stuff and generally having to put others before ourselves.
That's why it's a great feeling you come across a car that's got everything you want... all wrapped up in one attractive package - speed, space, style and even acceptable economy. No compromising required!
Such a model is the Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake 2.0 R. Long, low and shapely, the R version of this estate puts an emphasis on performance without sacrificing either comfort or practicality.
Powered by a thumping 316bhp, 2.0-litre turbocharged engine it sprints past 62mph in under five seconds, putting it well and truly in the fastest 10per cent of cars on the road. Fat low profile tyres on beefy 19-inch alloys and four wheel drive ensure that it stays anchored firmly on the road.
Thus cornering and handling is of a very high order - sufficiently dynamic to rival recognised family sports stars such as the BMW M340 estate and Audi RS4 Avant.
The only slight fly in the ointment is the Arteon gets a four cylinder engine rather than a silky six-pot. Despite having oodles of torque, the engine becomes a tad harsh and coarse as the revs rise.
Nevertheless, a continuous stream of power fed through the four wheels via seven-speed twin clutch automatic box seems relentless continuing to impress and helping to make it one of the most complete large cross-country expresses on the market below £60k.
Switch into R mode, and the throttle response is sharpened and the gear changes become snappier, making the VW's sizeable shape feel more compact and more athletic.
Emphasising, the R's Jekyll and Hyde nature, space in the five door body is cavernous. Five can sit and stretch out comfortably and the long boot with a low platform can cope with 590litres of cargo with a full complement of passengers on board. The rear seats split and fold to boost space still further.
No shortage of goodies as standard, after all this is the flagship model. You get sat nav, three-zone climate control, LED headlights, heated steering wheel, panoramic opening glass sunroof all-round parking sensors and Nappa leather heated seats.
Naturally, there are a few fancy sporting tweaks too such as four exhausts, silver door mirrors and macho bodykit to mark it out from the standard mode.
On the safety front, it's fitted with blind spot warning system, autonomous braking and cross traffic alert.
It should come as no surprise that the most powerful Arteon in the range lags behind its cheaper brothers in terms of frugality. Nevertheless we managed an average of 33mpg with a best of 38mpg on a gentle cross country run. Emissions measure 209g/km.
The Arteon Shooting Brake in R form, in our view, is more visually appealing than its hatchback counterpart and is one of the few seriously good all-rounders that manages to tick all the relevant boxes.
2.00-litre, 316bhp, 4 cyl petrol engine driving 4 wheels via automatic gearbox