Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

The 2.0-litre petrol and diesel models offer adequate performance, although the 130bhp 2.2HDi and 160bhp 2.2-litre petrol engines make for more relaxed transport. In August 2006 the 2.2HDi was replaced by a much smoother 2.0HDi, available with either 120bhp or 136bhp. This diesel is a punchy and powerful unit that's at home on the motorway where it cruises easily - especially with the six-speed gearbox, while the lower powered version is capable of 41mpg.

The dash-mounted manual gearshift looks odd, but is easy to use. An automatic transmission was offered with the 2.0HDi from May 2005, although this really takes the edge off performance. In early 2008 an excellent 2.2HDi engine with 173bhp was introduced. With strong pulling power and a refined nature it suits the C8 perfectly, yet is still fairly economical with an average fuel consumption of 34mpg.

The C8 rarely really feels as big as it is, with nicely weighted steering and limited body roll considering the cars height. However it can wallow a little when pushed hard and doesn't feel as surefooted as modern alternatives. But as a long distance cruiser it's more than capable with excellent ride comfort that's only shown up by particularly poor surfaces and bumps at lower speeds.

The brakes work well for such a heavy vehicle, and an electronic stability programme is standard on most models.