Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

While the Daihatsu Sirion offers a range of engines up to a 1.5-litre, the Subaru Justy is available with just one – the smallest 1.0-litre petrol with a modest 69bhp. The three-cylinder unit produces a characterful sound and is surprisingly peppy, especially at low speeds, which makes it ideal for nipping around town and city streets. It pulls reasonably well in-gear too, so despite a leisurely 0-62mph time of 13.9 seconds it feels much quicker in every day driving.

It’s not out of its depth on the motorway and will happily keep up with fast flowing traffic in fifth gear with a surprising turn of pace for such a small engine. It can get noisy at high revs and it invariably needs to be worked hard to get the best out of it, but it’s certainly not coarse or unrefined. There are two models in the range – the 1.0 R and the 1.0 Twin Cam, but despite the ‘sportier’ name of the latter, both use exactly the same engine.

The standard gearbox is a decent five-speed manual but there’s no automatic option. If you’re after one, go for the near identical Perodua Myvi or Daihatsu Sirion which both offer an auto with a 1.3-litre engine.

The Justy is based on the 2006 Toyota Yaris, so it’s no surprise it handles well and is great fun to drive. The steering is light, which makes difficult manoeuvres such as parallel parking easy – helped by a small turning circle. The downside is that it’s lacking in feel, however it’s responsive enough and thanks to impressive levels of grip, the Justy corners very well with minimal body roll, making it enjoyable to drive.

On the motorway it feels stable and reassuring, so although the steering could with being slightly firmer, it has quite a big-car feel for what is a small hatchback. The ride is also smooth and forgiving, although it can get a little bouncy on particularly bumpy roads.