THE Toyota Aygo is a car designed for use in the hustle and bustle of towns and cities - so what better test for it than a trip down the motorway.
It was certainly an exam my family doubted could be undertaken by this mini marvel. They looked askance when I pulled on to the drive - 'we'll never get the luggage and us into that' clearly written on their faces.
But the Aygo proved them wrong. Its smart exterior matched by a clever interior that offers more room than you think.
Despite the wife letting slip a manic giggle, the boot took a decent sized suitcase and assorted odds and sods, while a holdall containing the rest of our gear fitted neatly between the kids on the back seats without them complaining about a lack of space.
On the road, the car is nimbler than a ballerina. It's obviously better zipping around town than cruising on a motorway - but that's not to say it's painful on a long journey.
Yes, the seats could be more supportive, but general comfort and noise levels in the cabin are acceptable - even at motorway speeds.
When we arrived - after more than three hours on the road - there was certainly no need for a shoe-horn to get us out of the car.
The driver and front passenger have plenty of room - the impression is of sitting in a much bigger car as you gaze out of the windscreen. But look over your shoulder and the rear window slaps you in the face.
A decent driving position is instantly achieved and all the controls and switchgear are logically placed and easy to use.
The steering wheel is a dinky little number providing the driver all the information you could wish for from the front wheels.
There are a couple of cup holders, but otherwise storage space is in understandably short supply - especially places to lock away valuables from thieving eyes.
Fuel economy is excellent though returning an average of 61mpg.
The one-litre engine is willing, but crammed with a family and luggage it struggled a bit on steeper hills.
Overtaking in general needs a decent amount of room and is not for the faint-hearted. A 0-62mph time in excess of 14 seconds lets you know that this is no Speedy Gonzalez.
However, I've sat in the back of family hatchbacks with less leg, head and shoulder room than the Aygo offers. It is also incredibly easy to get into and out of.
In short the Aygo punches above its weight. I travelled long distances in a car designed primarily for the urban jungle - but apart from the odd hill and the inability to overtake anything other than a pony and trap, it stepped up to the plate and performed the job of a much bigger family car with bravado.
Obviously the Aygo is a dream to park, which in this day and age is almost reason enough to recommend it straight off the bat.
The 1.0 Sport version also has a decent level of equipment. There's electric front windows, ISOFIX seatbelts and headrests all round.
Unfortunately air conditioning is optional and I thought the controls for the heater a bit cheap and plasticky despite their ability to glow at night.
The radio/CD player is set into the centre console and provides the class act to counter the heating's brash styling. There's also an MP3 socket which my daughter had to explain the purpose of to her dinosaur father.
Completing the goodies' list are 14-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels with locking wheelnuts and snazzy front foglights
The dashboard is Mickey Mouse - or at least looks like Mickey with one ear missing - his face being the speedometer while his left ear accommodates the rev counter.
There's also a fuel gauge which is a simple digital affair.
Also on the simple side are the wing mirrors which are operated via a lever and vanity mirrors with no lights.
The Aygo costs a little more than its mechanically identical Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 cousins, but it's cheap to keep on the road with insurance in the lowest band and wallet-relaxing servicing costs.
Safety isn't neglected with front and side airbags plus anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution.
Life is made difficult for thieves by etched windows, a fully integrated stereo and marked mechanical parts.
Good things they say come in small packages and the Aygo proves it.
Toyota Aygo Sport 1.0 VVT-i 5dr
Mechanical: 67bhp, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5spd manual gearbox
Max speed: 98mph
0-62mph: 14.2 secs
Combined mpg: 61.4
Insurance group: 1
CO2 emissions: 109g/km
BiK rating: 15%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000miles; 3yrs paint; 12yrs anti-rust