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).