ONCE the prime domain of Subaru's Legacy and then muscled into by Volvo with its XCs, the 4 x 4 estate market has a welcome newcomer, Vauxhall's Insignia Country Tourer.

This top-of-the-range model has all-wheel drive and extra ground clearance when up against the standard fare and shares much of its engineering with the recently announced Sports Tourer model.

Its more upright and distinctive look, though, is aided and abetted by all-round black protective cladding and fairly visible silver front and rear skid plates.

It comes with a broad range of power-train options.with one of those the latest top-of-the-range diesel rated at 163bhp and another the new eight-speed automatic transmission.

Expect an extra 20mm underneath the model, plus the innovative all-wheel drive with the safety of torque vectoring and a new five-link rear suspension which is aimed at helping tackle some light off-road stuff.

Instead of a traditional rear differential, it has two electrically controlled multi-plate clutches that Vauxhall argues will give a more individual and precise transmission of power to each wheel. To stabilise the vehicle and counteract understeer on tight corners at higher speeds, it also sends more torque to the outside rear wheel, without any driver intervention.

It has new central ‘Drive mode control’ software at the heart of an adaptive chassis adapting itself to individual driving styles.

Practicality abounds and the tailgate can be opened without touching the car via a simple kicking motion under the rear bumper – giving access to 1665 litres of load space, which is 135 litres more than the outgoing version and there's optional 40/20/40 foldable rear seats.

The wheelbase increase of 92mm gives a more spacious cabin, which also features the latest IT gizmos,such as Vauxhall's award-winning adaptive IntelliLux LED matrix lighting system, adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking, lane assist with automated steering correction and rear cross traffic alert.

It won't be launched until September, so the UK can expect deliveries by the end of the year or the start of 2018. Expect to pay north of £26k for this one.