I live and work in London. I therefore need a car that can easily be parked, and gives reasonable MPG round town. So I need a small car.
However I also spend my holidays driving across Europe. I therefore need a car that is comfortable hour after hour after hour, and is capable of being loaded to the roof with me, my wife, all our clobber and half a tonne of French wine. So I need a big car.
In the past, and on the basis that small cars can't be made to be bigger, I have run big cars and put up with the petrol bills and parking difficulties when not on holiday.
Then, two years ago, my Ford Scorpio broke a wheel while on holiday, and the replacement hire car provided was a Vauxhall Meriva - and suddenly I realised that it was possible to carry a lot of stuff in what was - at least outwardly - a small car.
So when my Scorpio finally died a year ago, my first thought was to get a Meriva, but then I remembered that actually driving the Meriva was horribly uncomfortable and - on further researching the car - I found that the Top Gear Reader's Survey didn't rate then particularly highly in terms of long term reliability either.
Then a friend told me that Honda made a similar car called the Jazz, and that had come in the top ten of the TGRS.
So now I own one. And it is breathtaking.
It does everything that a small car should - returns decent fuel economy (40ish round town and high forties on the open road). It is also very easy to park, and it is nimble and agile.
On the other hand it also does everything a big car should - comfortable for miles upon miles of motorway, with decent air-con and stereo, and capable of cruising at 80 for hours at a time, with still enough in reserve to overtake if required.
Furthermore - and I can scarcely believe this myself given the size of the thing - it holds over 1300 litres with the back seats down. But even with the seats in place, the boot is pretty big and you can fold up the rear squabs. Even when I've had people the back, they say there's enough room - even behind me and I'm 6'3".
There are two tiny criticisms, the suspension is pretty tough and can jar on bad roads, and there's a fair bit of road noise from the tyres at speed (although the stereo is up to drowning it out). I would hold however, that these are not that serious when just about every other car in the size bracket has the same problems, but without the advantages.
Finally, it's worth remembering which company built it. Yes, Honda means that the servicing is a little pricey (£400 last time), but on the other hand it also means bullet proof reliability. According to the car's history, the only things beyond consumables and routine service items that has ever needed changing in 62000 miles was the bulb in the boot's light.
Rather says it all really.