GETTING into the rear seats of any two or three door car is never elegant and rarely easy - unless it's a soft top and the roof's down.
The long doors of two door and three door hatches and coupes also make access very difficult in tight car parks and they are a complete no-no if you have children to get into car seats.
That's a recipe for expensive trips to the chiropractor or osteopath to get your spine straightened and put pack into some sort of order.
The Citroen C4 in five door form is a left field, practical family hatch with good space and a wide range of other attributes.
But the earlier three door "coupe" version, while being stylish and individual compared to the competition, is much harder to live with.
However, the model I'm dealing with here, built after 2011, is a good looking five door hatch, with remarkable refinement which manages to reduce road and most wind noise to a barely noticeable level and has excellent comfort over all surfaces.
Petrol power units in earlier models started with a 1.4 VTi that had 93bhp and then came a 1.6 VTi with 118 and a 1.6 THP turbo with 153bhp.
These were replaced in 2015 - the whole car received a major facelift - with a 1.2-litre turbo that had either 108 or 128bhp.
The lower powered 1.2 is capable of no less than 60mpg and the 128bhp model is only slightly behind, with good 0 to 62 miles an hour acceleration of 10.8 seconds.
The majority of secondhand cars are likely to be diesels and these will mainly be 1.6 units with an occasional 150bp 2.0-litre.
Later e-HDi 1.6 units were real fuel sippers, with 98 or 118bhp and 68 to 78 miles per gallon. The higher powered model dispatches the 60 miles an hour sprint in 10.5 seconds, but the lower powered one comes with excellent 95 grammes per kilometre emissions.
The 2.0-litre is the performance star of the whole show covering the sprint in just 8.7 seconds and yet still capable of over 70mpg.
As I said, this is a family hatch car that majors on comfort and refinement. The suspension is brilliant, rolling over all imperfections in the road with amazing ease and at any speed in a way that few other cars in the class can manage.
This means that there is some roll in the corners, but nonetheless, the level of grip is excellent helping towards very good road-holding.
The steering is a little uninformative, but I soon got used to it and found it gave me enough feedback for safe control and easy and swift progress.
Entry level trim includes traction control, remote locking, air conditioning, heated electric mirrors, audio remote control, cruise, alloys and a decent stereo with aux in.
Top exclusive models add part leather trim, parking sensors and sat nav.
Pay £4,900 for a '15 15-reg 108bhp 1.2 Touch, or £7,700 for a '17 17-reg 1.6 BlueHDi Flair.