Powered by a 2.3-litre 150bhp five-cylinder engine, the V5 is engineered for relaxed touring, but is still capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds and reaches a top speed of 136mph. The 2.8 V6 is even more muscular, with 193bhp and 206lb-ft of torque propelling it to 62mph in 7.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 148mph. Fuel consumption averages out at 29.7mpg for both V5 and V6 versions in saloon guise, although the V6 is noticeably thirstier in estate form.
Both new models are equipped to a higher standard than their more mundane stablemates, featuring alloy wheels, sumptuous interiors, twin airbags, ABS and automatic climate control. Dealers will be taking orders for the V6 within the next couple of weeks, but the V5 will not be available until later in the spring. Prices: V5 saloon £21,450, V5 saloon auto £23,150, V6 Syncro saloon £23,995, V6 Syncro saloon auto £25,695, V5 estate £22,400, V6 Syncro estate £24,945.