Since the Space Star was launched, cars such as the Peugeot 307, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla have all seemed to follow its tall-bodied, high-driving position style. The Space Star range was freshened up in 2002, which included the introduction of a Renault-sourced common-rail diesel engine, while this year, a more powerful version of the diesel has been added to the range.
Producing 115bhp and a healthy 196lb-ft of torque, the Space Star is capable of moving along at a reasonable pace, with 0-62mph completed in 10.3 seconds and a theoretical top speed of 118mph.
Our top-of-the range S model is priced at £12,999 and comes with electric windows and mirrors, alloy wheels, ABS, central locking, titanium-effect trim, air conditioning and an electric sunroof.
As well as offering more equipment than you would expect for less than £13,000, it also proves a practical choice. The rear seats can slide forwards and backwards by 150mm and offer four reclining positions. Fold the rear seats forward and there is a usefully large luggage area, with a maximum of more than 1,300 litres.
The Space Star 1.9 DI-D majors on comfort and effortless performance. It might not fit the bill of a typical fleet car, but for the money it offers more toys than you might get with a lower-medium car while it has more pleasant driving characteristics and better performance than some of the van-based MPVs available in the £10,000-£13,000 price range.
It will be interesting to see if other road testers find it a viable alternative over the next few months.
Company car tax bill 2003/04 (22% tax-payer): £42 per month