The Honda FR-V is one of those scaled down people carriers which boasts an impressively flexible set of seating arrangements along with a family-friendly interior, all wrapped up in a package that is relatively unassuming.
It may not be the thing of teenage dreams, but when the realities of life come knocking it provides a good answer to the tough questions.
Originally launched in 2004, the Honda FR-V was designed to compete with rival models from Fiat and Vauxhall. To do this it took up the moderately novel seating arrangement of putting three in the front and the rear.
In the early days you had three engine choices, ranging from the 1.7 litre and 2.0 litre petrol power plants to Honda's well received 2.2 litre diesel.
Two years after its launch the petrol options were consolidated into a singe 1.8 litre model and the range remain in production until being phased out in 2009.
Bang for your buck
Unlike the Fiat Multipla, which was always seen as a bit of a dog in the looks department, the used Honda FR-V is actually quite attractive, in an admittedly chunky and robust way.
As its name suggests, the Hinda FR-V for sale is actually a cousin of the CR-V, which is Honda's lifestyle off-roader that rarely resides anywhere other than the tarmac. It is of course front wheel drive only and a little less fun to drive, but it retains the handsomeness and the convenience of this model.
On the inside, things are generally quite functional and hard wearing, with plenty of good safety features including curtain airbags as well as front and side airbags for those in the forward end of the cabin.
The dashboard does look a bit of a jumble, since it blends both analogue and digital dials and screens in what might initially seem like a confused setup. However, once you have familiarised yourself with everything you will find that there is enough coherent gadgetry to streamline your journey.
Because of the third seat up front, the gearstick juts out of the dash rather than rising from the floor, which might upset the balance for first time users. The same goes for the oddly positioned handbrake, although again the shallow learning curve will mean you soon adapt.
Six adults can sit relatively comfortably inside, although a group of rugby players might be a bit squeezed. For families, it is ideal, particularly if you need to ferry around lots of kids and equipment.
Luggage room and flexibility is enhanced thanks to the fact that you can fold all of the rear seats down so that they are level with the floor, making loading large packages much simpler.
What you'll pay
Prices for used models are always being revised, but at the moment an early reg second hand Hinda FR-V for sale can be had for around £4,000, with diesel examples costing up to £1,000 more than their petrol equivalents, in part because they are less common, as well as being more desirable.
2008 used Honda FR-V cars for sale still go for £8,000 or more and what you pay will largely depend on the mileage, because some relatively modern models have topped 150,000 miles, which is a good indication that they might have been used as hire cars or private hire vehicles.
What to check
Honda is known for the reliability of its cars, although that should not lead you to be complacent when choosing a used example.
Always check for the service history and give the vehicle a thorough examination both inside and out.
If you need to replace the radiator of an approved used Honda FR-V then you will spend around £142, with starter motors starting at £225 and brake pads costing £45 for twin front options. Costlier still is the exhaust system, which retails for £380.
How it drives
The Honda FR-V is a relatively tight little car and has decent handling and performance credentials for its class, which means that the driving experience is not as sluggish or wallowy as you might anticipate.
The economical nature of the 2.2 diesel engine, which can get more than 47mpg on a run, makes it a frugal choice. Meanwhile the 2.0 litre petrol unit offers the best performance thanks to its 148bhp and 0-60mph time of just 10.5 seconds.