But in my long experience of testing vehicles, I always make my mind up about whether or not I am going to enjoy the experience within 10 seconds of climbing aboard.
Volvo will no doubt be pleased to learn that this car passed my test with flying colours. It feels good, drives smoothly for a diesel and looks superb in a stunning gold metallic colour.
Colleague Simon Harris, Fleet News's top tester, had the car before me and was brimming over with praise for it. In a recent long haul trip, he was amazed to find that the car was returning 53mpg — an unheard of figure just a few years ago.
My only gripe so far is that when I dumped a load of shopping on the back seat, there did not appear to be a great deal of legroom behind my chair. However, that's a fairly common problem when you happen to measure 6ft 3in in bare feet.