Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

There are just two petrol engines - a 1.8-litre and a 147bhp 2.2-litre - as Fiat thinks most Croma buyers want diesel. Luckily the diesels are both excellent. There's the 1.9-litre MultiJet, available with 120bhp or 150bhp, and the range-topping 200bhp 2.4-litre. The 1.9-litre with 120bhp offers a good mix of performance and economy. It's a willing unit that pulls from low revs and has plenty of mid-range power for effortless overtaking.

It makes swift progress on backroads, but also cruises comfortably on the motorway. The top 2.4 MultiJet diesel has a top speed of 134mph and a 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds, yet still returns 35mpg in everyday driving.

The Croma is designed to be a cruiser and it does that job well. The ride is very good and comfortable over most surfaces - it's only upset by the worst potholes in the road. However, although the gearchange is smooth and the brakes responsive, the Croma is far from sporty. On backroads the soft suspension is wallowy and the body tends to roll through corners.

The steering is light, which makes parking easy, but it lacks precision and feedback. On the whole it's an easy car to drive and - when driven at a civilised pace - a comfortable one.