I'm a bit of practicality freak, which might be because I've spent much of the last 13 years on building projects.

When you are spending the weekend shuttling backwards and forwards to the tip, or carrying 2.4m long flatpacks from Ikea, there's one thing that transforms a car from useful to indispensible.

Vauxhall Meriva 1.4i Turbo first drive review

A fold-forward front passenger seat is one of the single most useful innovations of the last 20 years. Volvo - much to its credit - fits them to all of its cars. Other carmakers - including Saab and Vauxhall - have offered them as options on various models.

Although the long-term V70 T6 we ran a few years ago was not much of a driver's car, nothing could touch it for long-load carrying (unless it was a tall object).

I once managed to load in a very large and very tall Ebay-purchased fridge freezer cabinet. Even the bloke I bought it off couldn't believe we could squeeze it in.

So I was very disappointed to hear that the fold-forward seat option has been dropped on the new Meriva. Product managers say that the option had a 'very low take up'. Which is hardly a surprise, as few Volvo owners know that own cars are so equipped.