But the focus on interior packaging continues to improve the pedigree of cars that are subject to more intensive use than usual – and some designs clearly do better than others in providing the little things that can mean a lot in practical terms.
Take the Skoda Superb, for example. Like most large saloons, this car has a cargo area big enough to cope with huge amounts of the material that often accompanies businessmen and women on the move.
Yet each time our long-term model heads out on the supermarket run, I'm grateful that some bright spark on the Czech company's design team appreciates the fact that plastic bags always manage to disgorge their contents over the floor of the boot on the way home.
The solution to this problem adds only a few pence to the production price of the car. But the sturdy plastic double hooks that swing down from the roof of the boot do a great job of holding at least four bags of groceries in place.
Because they keep bags upright, the hooks mean eggs don't get broken, yoghurt lids remain intact and tins no longer roll around the boot during the drive back from the shops.
It's hardly rocket science, but the hooks idea is a classic example of what good design is all about: deriving maximum benefit for customers from minimum cost.
It also speaks volumes for the Skoda rationale of providing a lot of car for the money and serves as another, not so obvious reason why the Superb is in a class of its own for high value in the upper-medium sector. Set to more ambitious driving tasks, the Superb, with Volkswagen's renowned pumpe duse diesel engine, is proving to be a delight as it covers the miles in the quiet, relaxed fashion of a car with a much higher pricetag. I'm enjoying it.
Company car tax bill 2003/04 (22% taxpayer): £57.90 per month