Don’t dismiss the idea completely of buying a Volvo XC90 completely; there are still plenty of ways in which this family 4x4 appeals. It’s well screwed together, it’s got a decent boot and its seven-up seating layout is great, as is the child seat integrated into the sliding second-row middle chair. And it’s well priced.

It seems the buying public is still responding, too. Even before its most recent round of exterior and interior improvements in 2011, 2010 was the XC90’s best ever year for sales in the UK, as 7000 new models found home. Whisper it: it’s probably even the best Volvo there’s ever been.

The XC90 makes more sense on the used market

Truth is, there’s just not a lot else like it out there. While a BMW X5 and Mercedes ML would appear rivals on badge, price (at least a few years ago) and engines, the XC90 is a genuine seven-seater, unlike the other two. That means the only thing out there like the XC90 is the seemingly peerless Land Rover Discovery.

But, being a seemingly niche product or not, still being sold almost a decade after launch is a long time to expect any new car to remain competitive with its rivals, let alone rivals as talented as the XC90’s. In 2012, in more ways than one, this car seems well past its sell-by date.