Come on then, let’s have it: yes, this is a super-ugly car. There’s no two ways round it, no fudging it, no distraction techniques available. It’s ugly because of those slab sides, that boxy silhouette, the unreconstructed cliff face at the rear, the gauche raised ride height.
Glad we got that out of the way, because I’m now going to come on to nothing but positives, and imagine the next six months will stay that way (the first positive, obviously, is that once you’re inside, you can no longer see the outside).
As regular readers will know, I have a blended family of four boys, two adults and dog, so space and practicality are key. More than key, they’re the difference between a happy home and divorce, for the second time.
We have been through pretty much every seven-seater on the market so far: Land Rover Discovery and Discovery Sport, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, Volvo XC90, Ford S-Max, Mercedes-Benz V-Class, Mercedes GL… there’s more. But boom, if this Vauxhall isn’t the best yet, in terms of practicality and usable space. That third row of seats is something special: two individual seats, which you can tip forward or quite easily remove from the car entirely if you’re not using them, giving a humungous space with a high ceiling and massive opening.
Because the two seats are separate, there’s a massive aisle between them where the dog sits quite happily, or we can bung bags/footballs/sports kit, and the kids can walk through to sit down, instead of clambering on the furniture. Each child has their own windowsill and cup holder in the third row, too, and because they sit higher than the other rows, they have a good view of the road in front which lessens the chance of travel sickness. The children in the second row get flip-up plastic trays mounted to the backs of the front seats (part of the child pack) which are handier than you might imagine on long journeys.