Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

The 1.2 with 77 bhp is good for town driving, but feels out of its depth on the open road - especially if it's fully loaded. The 1.4 engines are willing and free-revving, but don't have enough pull at times. The 1.4 8v is adequate for short motorway trips, but could do with a bit more oomph when there are three passengers in the back. 16v versions of the 1.4 don't offer much more power and aren't really worth the extra money.

Don't get any ideas about the 1.4 16v 94 bhp Blue being a performance car - despite its bodykit - it 'aint.

Handling is dull with little feedback from the steering or brakes - but a sporty drive isn't the reason to buy Kalos. However, the steering and brakes are predictable - so no nasty surprises. Roadholding in the dry is good, and Kalos feels grippy and nimble, although not up to the standards set by the supermini class leaders. In the wet it feels less confident.

Bodyroll is evident and can be off-putting into fast corners. Ride is pretty good on all surfaces (if a little bouncy), although the Blue has sports suspension, and can be a bit crashy.