Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

Originally there was just one engine - a 1.3 that produced 75bhp. It was upgraded in late 2003 to produce 91bhp. A 1.2 with 79bhp arrived in May 2005. All units are adequate for town driving, but can get rather breathless on the motorway. The vast majority of cars on the used market have the 1.3-litre engine. It's bigger than the 1.0 and 1.2-litre engine available in the Agila and as a result feels marginally quicker and more agile than its Vauxhall cousin.

However, if you make the most of the space and load up the Wagon R+, or have four on board, it can struggle.

It's set up for urban driving, which it does well, with light power-assisted steering to make parking and three-point turns as easy as possible. It's surprisingly agile and adept at darting in-and-out of traffic and able to change direction quickly. However, on the open road, Wagon R+ does roll through corners and the gearchange can feel clumsy. Its tall profile and light body means it's affected by crosswinds on motorways.

The ride is reasonable, though over broken surfaces it's rough and crashy.