Big. Climb into the cabin and you’ll find acres of space. The dash is dominated by a centrally positioned instrument cluster, which (despite being large and clear) seems a long way from you, and requires quite a glance away from the road to check your speed. Otherwise, there's a lot of graphite coloured plastic, akin to a budget fridge from Argos, and some squidgy plastics around the top of the dash and along the doors.
There’s plenty of storage. The central armrest doubles as a usefully deep compartment and there are numerous cupholders and map holders in the doors. The standard leather seats are too firm at the mid to upper back regions, the squabs are a little on the short side and the driver’s seat doesn’t lower enough. All this contributes to an unavoidably high-set driving position that feels similar to that of a van or minibus. Unhelpfully, the steering wheel isn’t reach adjustable, either. Visibility, however, is excellent all-round, although the over-the-shoulder view is hindered by the thick C-pillar and rear headrest. An overhead digital clock brings memories of Ford Orions from the 1990s.
The middle row consists of two comfortable, individual armchairs, which can slide and recline and have plenty of room around them, and even get roof-mounted air vents and a USB charging point.
There are two ways of getting to the third row of seats, but neither is perfect. The traditional way of sliding and tilting the middle seats forward is awkward, requiring two separate actions, so many will find it easier to climb through the cabin and between the middle row of seats. The rear bench, if used for three, is best limited to children; head room is excellent and leg room is good, but three adults would struggle for shoulder room.
The boot is a good size, with a large square opening, low lip and flat floor, so it'll easily take four suitcases. If that's not enough space, all the passenger seats can be folded or removed for weekend van duties.
When driving the Turismo, it’s best to think of it as a van or minibus because it’s never going to engage a keen driver. When pushing on, there is plenty of understeer and bodyroll through the corners, and on the odd occasion you’ll get a snap of oversteer as the weight from the rear makes its presence known. The steering is vague at best, with no feel or feedback, leaving you to question whether it is attached to anything other than the dashboard. Constant steering adjustments are required on the motorway, which can become tedious.
The 2.2-litre engine is surprisingly eager off the mark, although much of the usable power arrives in a lump between 2000-3000rpm. That hefty weight shows at higher speeds, too, where an increase of speed either requires patience or a manual downshift.
While not perfect, the ride is decent and the Mercedes gearbox is smooth provided you don't ask it for rapid responses. The engine is relatively hushed when cruising, but it becomes really audible under hard acceleration, with road, wind and suspension noise always prevalent. More brake feel would be welcome, too.