Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

The Multipla has been offered with either a 1.6-litre petrol engine or a 1.9-litre turbodiesel engine since launch. While the 103bhp 1.6-litre hasn't changed much, the diesel has evolved from 105bhp when it was launched to 110bhp in late 2000, to 115bhp in 2002, and 120bhp in 2006. The diesel would be the preferred choice whatever its power output with its better mid-range response.

The petrol model can feel like accelerating is hard work - performance is more effortless in the diesel. The short gear lever is mounted on the dashboard and is within easy reach while the shifts themselves are quite slick.

The Multipla's wide stance on the road helps reduce its centre of gravity and give it surprisingly good road manners. It is able to turn in neatly and corners with very little body movement for such a tall vehicle. It's no sportscar, and owners wouldn't expect it to be, but it is surprisingly agile. The steering offers a good level of feedback, and the Multipla also has quite a comfortable ride.