People Carriers, Shuttles, Battle Buses, Family Wagons… all names referring to the chunky and arguably most difficult to design (and make look good) cars in the motoring world…the MPV. The ability to seat 7 people in comfort including luggage has always seemed a challenge for many manufacturers, some ultimately producing gas guzzling, heavy machines that steer as tight as cruise liners and have about as much appeal as watching The Biggest Loser eating KFC (before the competition).
Kia have been making a lot of noise recently about exciting new products and projects, having Peter Schreyer on side definitely seems to have got the Korean brand excited about their concepts and for all the right reasons. Not only has he created a signature new grill, but he is also creating some beautiful new concepts and promising sneek peaks.
If you like your cars quirky / looking like white goods on wheels, the Cube is most definitely for you. The fact it looks like something Postman Pat drives (for Christ sake make sure whatever you do, you don’t order it in red!), should be the first clue that it’s a unique vehicle, but hey unique isn’t always bad…is it? I mean look at Wagner, he was ‘unique’, or Heinz’s ‘Green Tomato Ketchup’ that was certainly unique, oh wait a minute, there both TERRIBLE examples of uniqueness…. But then for that matter, so is the Cube.
Well Toyota appears to be on a mission to get the smallest engine into the biggest body they can. Not happy with taking a goldfish bowl big enough for two small guppies, cramming a tiny engine and four seats into it and calling it the iQ (which is excellent I have to say). They’ve now decided to take a tiny engine and fitted it into a Tardis, chucked five seats in and enough space for a swinger’s orgy. But does it work? HELL YES!!
The big daddy Grand Espace is a bus of an MPV, it looks like it crashed to earth in a meteor, not only that but it shifts and I mean REALLY shifts. The 7 seater Grand Espace is a great luxury people carrier, however in the 6 seater formation I tested, it takes on a totally different slant and has somewhat of an upmarket limo-esque quality.
What is going on with Citroen! First came the freakish but cool C4 Coupe (I currently have the special rally-esque "By LOEB" edition on test - great fun) and now the all new C4 Picasso replaces the Xsara Picasso. You remember the Xsara Picasso, a great big round fat thing, kinda looked like an conservatory on wheels with about as much style and poise as a fat queen playing lead in The Nutcracker.