ESTATES have always been about as interesting as a dinner party with Nick Clegg while listening to a James Blunt album.

The most famous load lugger was the boxy moving conservatory that was the Volvo 240 in the Good Life in the 70s.

Yep, estate might as well have stood for middle-aged and boring.

Volvo 240 Estate in The Good Life

Volvo 240 Estate in The Good Life

Well those days seem to be over.

Take these first pictures released today of the Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer for instance.

It actually looks like an estate you’d want to drive to the dump or B&Q.

Unfortunately it probably goes from 0-60mph quicker than managing to blurt out it’s crazily long name – but apart from that it looks the business.

It’s rivals are the VW Passat Alltrack and Skoda Octavia Scout and all three add kit to make them look more rugged and macho.

The Country Tourer is made to look like it can climb mountains, in fact the highest altitude it will endure is mounting the kerb on the school run.

Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer rear

Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer rear

However, an increased ride height of 20mm, a skid plate at the underside of the front bumper, black-cladding around the wheel arches and along lower body plus a skid plate at the rear all add a bit of drama over the basic Insignia Estate.

The rest of the car abilities are much the same as the newly-launched Insignia Sports Tourer. That means extra 92mm longer wheelbase and 1,665 litres of boot capacity – that’s enough for 10 full black bags for the tip run.

Under the bonnet will get the array of Vauxhall diesels available on the current Sports Tourer. But, let’s face it, you won’t be driving it round the Nurburgring, just need it to be ultra-economical.

Annoyingly, it doesn’t come with extras like wellies and tweed jacket.

The Good Life’s Tom and Barbara will be dreadfully disappointed.

Phil Lanning