Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

A choice of two petrol units, a 2.0 turbo and a 3.5 litre V6. Neither feel as quick as the figures suggest - especially the 3.5 V6. So, we'd go for one of the diesels, as they're better suited to Vel Satis: either a 2.2 dCi and 3.0 dCi V6. The biggest diesel unit offers best compromise between performance and running cost; it's happy to cruise on longer trips.

The 2.2 dCi is an able performer too, punchy and able to cross back roads swiftly.

Far less able than an equivalent BMW or Mercedes-Benz. However, despite being designed for wafting along Autoroutes (which is does superbly with a comfortable ride and light steering), it's drives surprisingly well on backroads and is genuinely surprising. Use the auto gearbox in manual mode and you'll find confirmation that Vel Satis is set for comfortable cruising, rather than rapid acceleration.