It’s one of the most spacious and best equipped in its class. It’s not the most enjoyable to drive and can be difficult to negotiate around town, but that’s not the point – this is a practical people mover in which seven can travel in comfort.
The base-level SE has ABS, remote central locking, electric rear quarter vents and power heated folding door mirrors. LX adds 16in alloy wheels, roof rack and an overhead console with trip computer.
Range-topping Limited also has power sliding doors, heated retractable door mirrors, leather trim, electrically adjustable front seats, traction control (on automatic models only), steering wheel audio controls and a four-CD in-dash autochanger with 10 speakers.
Grand Voyager Limited XS has DVD, GPS radio, CD player. Limited has power tailgate and traction control. The entire range was facelifted in April 2004, with a new engine, transmission system and look.
The driver gets a good view of the road ahead from a commanding driving position. Steering has more in common with a large saloon than a lumbering 4x4 and it doesn’t roll too much, considering its size. However, the ride is a little disappointing – it’s noisy and too many bumps can be felt in the cabin.
The original 2.5 CRD diesel isn’t refined and is noisy from cold; the 2.8 CRD from April 2004 is an improvement, though it’s still quite clattery. Hard-revved petrol units are intrusive and spoil Voyager’s otherwise serene cabin space.
Most buyers will go for the 2.5 CRD, as the 2.8 CRD isn’t around in sufficient numbers and the 3.3 V6 – although powerful and refined – is costly.
The diesels give good all-round performance and are the better choice if you do a lot of cross-county driving – they have more urge and are easier to overtake with. Petrol units are suited to motorway work, but need to be revved harder to make fast progress.
Side airbags and ABS are standard – as you’d expect from a car of this class. This generation of Voyager hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, but it’s expected to perform better than the 1997-01 model, which scored two stars. Deadlocks and remote central locking are standard.