Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

There’s a choice of three petrol engines in the Sirion – starting with the 69bhp 1.0-litre. This three-cylinder unit has a characterful sound and rarely feels strained in everyday use, however it does run out of puff when climbing long hills or when trying to get up to motorway speeds from a standstill. It gets from 0-62mph in a reasonable 13.9 seconds but low emissions mean it’s very cheap to tax and economical too – averaging 57mpg.

The 1.3-litre is a four-cylinder engine with 87bhp and covers the 0-62mph sprint in 11.4 seconds, but like the smaller engine it is geared towards town use, rather than open roads. In May 2008 a top of the range 1.5-litre engine with 103bhp was added to the line-up. This covers 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds but is still economical, averaging 46mpg.

The Sirion is an easy car to drive, with light steering and a tight 9.4-metre turning circle, making it ideal for driving in the city or supermarket parking. On the open road it delivers little excitement and suffers from bodyroll – though it’s not unbearable – but it’s grippy enough for a car of this size and quite fun to drive. The ride is good, too, smoothing out most lumps and bumps and is acceptable over the majority of road surfaces.

The gearchange could be smoother, as the gear lever needs to be treated firmly for a precise change.