IF ever there was a car with a Tardis-like interior, it's the Honda Jazz Crosstar.
Within those compact exterior dimensions there's space for four grown-ups to sit (easily and in comfort) plus their luggage.
And the latest version is equipped with twin electric motors to support its petrol 1.5-litre engine. So with 109bhp on tap it's plenty quick enough to keep up.
The anodyne appearance has been beefed up a tad thanks to tweaked front grill, special alloys and higher ground clearance.
Possibly, the strongest attraction to the Jazz is its incredible practicality, and this remains a salient feature. With clever rear ‘magic seats' folded, there's space for no less than 1,200 litres of cargo. Even with the back seats in position there's nearly 300 litres of space.
What's more the cabin is ingeniously designed to make use of every inch available. There's a large box under the centre arm rest for storing oddments, three compartments in the central tunnel and two big cup holders at either end of the dashboard.
For those who want to take advantage, it's a veritable picnic palace on wheels! Front seats are soft and cosseting but lack a degree of support. Back seat passengers sit fairly upright and have ample legroom, even when the front ones are pushed back.
The dash is smart, if somewhat unexciting with a nine-inch infotainment system bearing decent graphics. The sound system is powerful enough with eight speakers.
Ride is among the best available across the board with fluent movement over poor surfaces, yet limited cornering roll and an ability to absorb all but the worst road imperfections. Suspension movement are slightly longer than the standard model, but there's no sign of sloppiness.
Now, the Jazz is anything but sporty. Why should it be? After all this is a small hatch which majors on economy and practicality. Yet it drives supremely well with sound dynamics, agile cornering and a reasonable turn of speed.
In fact the combination of 1.5-litre engine and electric assistance allows it to hit 62mph in under 10 seconds - no mean achievement for a ‘shopping trolley' that can squeeze about 60miles from a gallon of petrol. Our average over varied routes worked out at 58.9mpg.
As with a number of self-charging hybrids, the Jazz gets a CVT automatic gearbox. Inevitably it can sound a tad frenetic at times as it sounds as if it's forever hunting the next ratio. But the system works well, sound insulation is good and you are always in the right gear.
It has the full armoury of safety equipment including collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and blind spot monitor. It merits a five star Euro NCAP rating.
Also on board as standard are heated front seats and heated door mirrors, electric front and rear windows, climate control, alloy wheels steering wheel with rake and reach adjustment.