A Peugeot 208 GTI around 10,000 bends

There's more too. It's got all you need to make it a car for every day. It looks great, the cabin works well, and the stereo's a cut above the small-car tinny norm. And there's a suppleness to the suspension that doesn't just mean it can career through a bumpy corner, it's also well calibrated not to crash in urban potholes or slap and judder down ridged A-roads. And the suspension is pretty quiet too, which was never the case in previous small Peugeots. See? Lots and lots to like. The problem is actually loving it.

Ah, but then we climb into uplands, where the roads get more open, the corners faster and the views even more remarkable. Not that I'm looking. Because now the car is coming more alive. It's still grippy and immensely chuckable, but it's letting me in on the party. There's more life to the steering: it lightens a little as the suspension stretches its legs over a mid-bend crest or the tyres ease their hold in a damp patch. It's subtle, but it's enough. I'm properly grinning now.