Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

There most popular engine in the Kyron range is the 2.0-litre diesel with 141bhp and decent pulling power. It's available with either a five-speed manual gearbox on the lower spec S and SE models or with a five-speed automatic. Unusually, the automatic gearbox (a Mercedes-Benz design) actually has two reverse gears to help when off-roading. On the road the Kyron pulls strongly although the automatic takes a moment or two to respond from standstill.

The engine is also pretty noisy but economy is good at 38mpg and it pulls adequately in gear. The other choice is a 2.7-litre five-cylinder diesel with 165bhp which is only available with the five-speed automatic transmission. It manages the 0-62mph sprint in 12.8 seconds and feels noticeable livelier on the road, although economy is only 30mpg. Once off road, both engines have more than enough power to cope with difficult terrain.

The Kyron is a real off-road machine, equipped with sophisticated suspension to cope with rough terrain. It also features hill descent control, a system borrowed from Land Rover, which at the touch of a button will control the brakes and throttle to ease it slowly down difficult hills so the driver only has to worry about the steering. ESP (Electronic Stability Program) on the SE and SX models help prevent it from sliding about both on and off the road.

As with many cars like this, the ability to impress when the going gets tough comes at the expense of some on-tarmac composure, where it initially lacks steering response and feels like it’s on tip-toes through corners. With a little familiarity it becomes more confidence inspiring but the ride is rather bouncy.