Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Mated with a notchy, six-speed manual transmission, the 166hp, 250Nm powerplant driving the front wheels (no four-wheel drive option is available) performs somewhat better on paper than in reality.

It has all the punch of a dandelion clock until the revs climb towards the 3,000rpm mark. Thereafter it becomes somewhat coarse in its efforts to deliver the power promised, further threatening an already lacklustre average fuel consumption figure of 46.3mpg.

And the company's first seven-speed twin-clutch automatic gearbox offers no salvation; its ratio spacing feels ill-judged and its propensity to loiter at high revs until a change is long overdue is both noisy and tiresome. The manual gearbox is a better proposal by far.

Amidst all the fidgeting, and despite a deal of body roll and a rubber band feel to the nonetheless well-weighted steering, the GS actually handles with modest aplomb, displaying eager turn-in, plenty of mechanical grip and a pleasing aversion to ploughing straight on in tighter corners.