The Volkswagen Group cousins that share this platform are an oddly hit-and-miss bunch, but there is enough substance about the Q8 50 TDI to ensure a favourable, if not quite glowing, road-test verdict.

One tester described the design as ‘by the numbers’, but the consensus is that this is still the most successful attempt at a striking coupé-SUV yet. Its design brings practical limitations, but this is a capacious and refined cruiser whose frugal, mellifluous diesel powertrain is as welcome during long journeys as the sophisticated interior. Those in the market for a high-riding car but without the utilitarian connotations could do far worse than this.

Striking and effective coupé-SUV leaves us wanting more

And yet we can’t help feeling there’s more to come from the Q8, whose remit is to offer all of the above but with a hearty hit of driver involvement thrown in. The agility and composure evident here leave it crying out for more power – and character – than this engine can summon, and perhaps a more playful makeover for the software that governs the quattro driveline. Time will tell how special the Q8 can become.