AS far as streamlining goes the Fiat Qubo has a lot to be desired, but when it comes to versatility, value and comfort it features right up there with the big boys.
There seems to have been a huge surge in demand for these somewhat box-like vehicles that offer flexible seating plans, the ability to carry oddly-shaped objects, and very light and spacious cabin areas and it's in those categories that the Qubo excels.
Admittedly, it's not the fastest sprinter out of the traps and it may take a little while to pick up speed, but if you're the sort of person that enjoys the outdoor lifestyle and has to transport surfboards, bikes and the likes on your weekends then the Qubo passes on all counts.
Roof bars add to the vehicle's carrying capacity and the rear sliding doors are also a great bonus when loading or unloading bulkier items.
But I'm making the Qubo sound like a load-and-carry vehicle and it has so much more to offer.
Inside, all occupants are treated to plenty of leg and head room and the large windows mean plenty of light floods the cabin from all angles.
There is a certain simplicity about the dashboard layout which means all dials, buttons, controls and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use leaving the driver to concentrate on the task in hand - driving.
There's an abundance of creature comforts throughout including follow me home lights, electric mirrors with demisting function, electric windows, tinted heat-reflecting rear windows, climate control, an audio system with MP3 compatibility, 16-inch alloys, colour-coordinated bumpers and lots more besides.
The Qubo was great fun to drive in busy city centres thanks to its agility and the driver's high seated position which commands great all-round visibility. Then, out on the faster roads, it certainly held its own although picking up speed is not a feature you'd write home about in a hurry.
Fiat has kitted the Qubo out with plenty of top notch safety specifications including driver, passenger and side airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution, electronic stability programme and lots more.