Fiat Qubo: driven
* Sliding doors and airy feel * Van-like cabin, though * On sale now from £10,750...
It's hip to be square, Huey Lewis and the News once sang. If that's true, the Fiat Qubo ought to be achingly cool.
In truth, the Qubo's boxy looks come from the van that it's based on, and it's more likely to be bought because it's practical and cheap. How practical? Well, the upright shape and low floor allow it to contain a lot of space in a footprint that's shorter than some superminis'.
There's not as much legroom as you'll find in the biggest superminis, but the raised seats and acres of headroom make it comfortable and airy.
Sliding side doors make it easy to get things and people in and out. The boot is a good shape, but the huge tailgate can be a problem in tight parking spots, and the rear seats take up space when you fold and tumble them for larger loads.
The 1.3 Multijet diesel engine suits the Qubo perfectly, however. It has only 75bhp and it looks slow on paper but, in practice, it's usefully gutsy and refined. The Qubo is better to drive than you might think, too, and the spartan-but-sturdy cabin adds to its no-nonsense appeal. LW