My partner's daughter and son-in-law have a two-year-old boy and happily tootle about in a three-year-old Citroen Xsara, which they have owned from new and love to bits.
Quite a few of their trips out include grandma and grandad, so the Xsara is just big enough for this family unit.
Shortly, the family is about to be extended with the patter of tiny feet, so son-in-law is currently looking to chop in his old car for something bigger.
Being a fan of the French marque, his thoughts naturally turned towards the Xsara Picasso, which offers the extra room needed for all the baby paraphernalia (he is not, by the way, a car nut like me).
Knowing what I do for a living, he asked me what I thought of his choice of new car. I replied that the Picasso was, indeed, a fine mini-MPV. 'But,' I asked, 'what are you going to do with grandma and grandad - there won't be room for them.'
'I know,' he replied. 'But all the mini-MPVs have five seats and I can't afford a full-size people carrier. They'll just have to use their own car from now on.'
I had to put him straight there and then and tell him that while 99.9% of mini-MPVs have five seats, there is one that offers seven - and that car is the Zafira.
Coincidentally, I happened to have our Zafira parked outside and I spent 20 minutes demonstrating the various seating arrangements - and to say he was impressed was an understatement.
Suffice to say thoughts of the Picasso have now been banished (sorry, Citroen! - ed) and the lad is at present hunting the used car section in the local paper for a Zafira. Herein, mind you, lies a problem. Used examples are not that common and the ones you do see are commanding fantastic prices. CAP and Glass's Guide prices are all well and good, but they don't always seem to have much bearing on forecourt prices in my neck of the woods.
Meanwhile, our test vehicle is continuing to give sterling service. It has accompanied me on trips to the local dump (I'm moving house soon), two outings to the seaside and two long-haul trips.
At first, the front seats didn't impress me. I seemed to be perched on something akin to a bar stool but I'm now getting used to them and those long trips didn't leave me with any back twinges, so they must be okay.