For a start, they roll. They wallow through the corners in a way that would leave anyone not particularly confident behind the wheel nervous. But in 2018 they roll with grip. They stick themselves to the road and present you with the opportunity to gather everything up should you be ready for it.
We're not talking lift-off oversteer and wild wheel-cocking cornering (unless you're really on the ragged edge), but we are in a world of really being part of what's going on. And muscling our X-Trail through the winding A272 every day really can be a barrel load of fun. Brake and the nose dips, pitch the front in and the innate grip of a modern car pulls you round while the high centre of gravity sends the chassis flying around the wheelbase like a suitcase on a flatbed truck as it attempts to keep going straight ahead. But that built-in grip isn't going to give up, so hang on, keep your course true and you can gather it all up, ready for the next corner.
Sure, it's laggy because the turbocharged engine wasn't really meant for hard acceleration, but there's enough torque to drag you away from the apex, and then when you're through you get that sense of accomplishment. Something some faster cars don't allow any more, you've really been the one to do that, not the car on its own. It could not have done it without you.
MPG this week: 38.9