You do get a lot of kit for that money, mind you, including a range of safety and convenience features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a collision-mitigation system. The exterior has plenty of colour-keyed elements to please the eye, including bumpers, mirrors and door handles, and the interior is swathed in nappa leather.
But there is more to a good supermini than standing out in a crowd. It needs to remain practical enough for family life and decent to drive. Admittedly, the Micra lacks the overall polish that makes the latest Seat Ibiza and Ford Fiesta both stand out performers. But the little Nissan goes about its business quietly and with minimal fuss, with only fidgety ride at low speeds providing a real grumbling point. Although I suspect sticking with 16in wheels rather the optional 17s fitted to our car would cure that issue.
What lets the little Nissan down is its 0.9-litre petrol engine, our preference remember over the 1.5 diesel and the non-turbocharged 1.0 petrol. Although at cruising speeds the engine is quiet and refined, with enough thrust to make overtaking almost effortless, there just isn't enough power at lower speeds.
As ever, most buyers in this market will buy on a PCP finance deal, where the X2 could be more competitive. Demand is expected to be high, though, meaning that Target Price discounts will be slim for the forseeable future.
It's a given that you should keep your car maintained throughout the year, but it's doubly vital in the cold and inclement winter months. The reality is that winter checks really aren’t much different from normal car maintenance procedures, although a few items should be given some extra attention:
Our new long-termer is a 2016 one-careful-owner car, which I picked up from the bustling Mitsubishi main dealer Shelly Motors in Epsom, Surrey. There, brand manager Lee Higlett talked me through some of the finer points of Outlander ownership. On close inspection, our PHEV certainly seems little troubled by its one year of usage. I was interested to hear that if you were to buy one like ours from a main dealer, it would currently set you back around £28,000. New, our top-spec 5hs will set you back a whopping £43,555, and that’s after subtracting the £2500 grant – so straight away there’s something to be gained by buying it at this age.
It isn’t the most sophisticated small SUV going and its interior feels rather cheap in places, but the Suzuki SX-4 S-Cross is still decent enough to drive and spacious enough for most families. It’s great value, too, with lots of low-mileage examples going very cheaply, and it comes with plenty of equipment. What’s more, Suzuki has a great reputation for reliability, so the SX-4 S-Cross should be dependable.
• Adaptive dampers
“WRC 7 is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. I’ve had a few weeks with the game and I'm just getting the hang of it. Of the new crop of racers I’ve played recently, this one took the longest to get proficient in. But was it worth it? Yes, I think so.