Whether the Subaru Outback is an estate or more of an SUV is open to debate.

If it is best viewed as a "rugged estate" - as Subaru describes it - then it also seems to have all the attributes you'd associate with a decent SUV.

With robust looks, a very spacious interior and a high-quality 4x4 system, it lacks nothing when it comes to practicality.

The Outback range is priced from just over £30,000, with this SE Premium version costing over £33,000.

The latest model comes with an array of updates, including an upgraded interior and infotainment system, including DAB radio and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The updates also include front and side view monitors to minimise blind spots and make tight manoeuvres easier; as well as LED steering responsive headlights. So this is a car that’s pretty heavy on the safety features.

During a family camping trip to Devon last week, I was able to test its practicality and durability in a range of situations - and it passed with flying colours.

On the motorway jag from Yorkshire, it proved to be much more refined and a bit more frugal than one might expect, with road noise well contained at higher speeds and average fuel consumption not far short of the quoted figure. On the M5, features such as Lane keep Assist and cruise control made the experience all the more relaxing. It means the Outback is, in general, a very competent distance traveller.

Meanwhile, it's sizeable boot easily swallowed a large tent, many travel bags and other equipment.

In terms of versatility, it’s an estate that’s as comfortable on muddy fields as it is on city streets, and you really come to appreciate that versatility.

The test car was powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine - a quiet and smooth unit.

The engine is no slouch, but it won’t provide any thrills either, being more tailored towards making steady and trustworthy progress than outright performance.

The Continuously Variable Transmission is something that continues to divide opinion, but it does its job in a competent if slightly uninspiring way.

When cornering swiftly, the Outback feels more nimble than you might expect for a larger vehicle, helped by the crisp steering.

The vehicle remains very stable and firmly planted to the road, with the 4x4 system combining well with the slightly elevated suspension to secure strong road grip.

In terms of looks, the Outback has a purposeful appearance. It boasts a sizeable grille, confident bold lines, and rugged-looking roof rails. With a silhouette that’s more substantial than sleek, the Outback is as much SUV as it is estate.

Once inside, you’re greeted by a cabin that’s unfussy and well laid out. Beautiful in its simplicity, the uncluttered interior puts all the main dials in easy reach of the driver.

This SE Premium version comes with a sunroof, leather upholstery and a larger infotainment screen, which all enhance the feeling of quality.

The cabin is immensely spacious, with front seat occupants able to find the perfect position with the help of electronically adjustable seats, and back seat passengers having more than enough legroom to stay comfy on longer journeys.

In conclusion, there's no doubt that the Outback remains an appealing option for anyone seeking a versatile, roomy vehicle that’s well equipped with safety features.

Meanwhile, you also have the peace of mind of knowing that Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel-drive system is capable of taking you almost anywhere you could reasonably expect the vehicle to go.

Subaru Outback SE Premium Lineartronic

PRICE: £33,025 on the road

ENGINE: 2.5-litre four cylinder petrol

TRANSMISSION: Continuously Variable, with manual function

ECONOMY: 40.4mpg combined and emissions of 161g/km

PERFORMANCE: 123mph top speed and 0-62mph in 10.2 secs