At last, I found myself at the right place and time to drive an Ineos Grenadier. It was only a short drive but long enough to find that I liked it and its off-road capability.

All serious modern 4x4s would have completed the chalky course that I drove but not all with such ease.

I drove a Utility Wagon, which lacks a Station Wagon’s locking front and rear diffs but still has a locking centre diff, a low-ratio gear set and hill descent and stability control systems. It’s not the full terrain-adjustable gamut you would find on a Land Rover or a Jeep, but the hardware is strong.

Still, I wondered whether Ineos would find enough buyers for a £70,000 car that’s not plush enough to be a luxury off-roader yet not cheap enough to be a utility pick-up. Until yesterday, when I ran into another new owner.

I’m suspicious of anecdotal evidence, but he’s the fourth I know who’s enjoying the car, is realistic about its on-road performance (better than an old Land Rover Defender, as good as a Mercedes-Benz G-Class) and who likes the blocky switchgear.

Plus, he joked, if you only open the smaller of the two boot doors, you can slide a sausage dog in without swinging open the bigger door.

On a serious note, that’s handy if you have a trailer: my 2005 Defender’s rear door quickly whacks a trailer’s jockey-wheel handle.

Ineos grenadier side cornering

That Ineos is aware of ‘flippers’ – people who intend to sell cars quickly for profit – even though it will have built 15,000 Grenadiers by the year’s end suggests that demand is strong.