What is it? We’re not sure. High, wide but certainly not handsome; as responsive as a boulder; corners like a battleship. A warehouse on wheels? Oh, hang on, it’s that ubiquitous road-rage catalyst: the people carrier. Performance: all cars are people carriers. But not all cars are created equal. In raw-power terms, the people carrier’s engine (choice of units: feeble or feebler) produces enough brake horsepower to tear open a packet of crisps with oomph to spare. (Then again, not all horses are created equal either; in these eco-conscious times equine could be a better way to go, especially if you’re in a hurry.) Drive: a special feature of the people carrier (standard on all models) is that the accelerator is not connected to the throttle valve. This results in unbeatable fuel consumption, but also means that unless there’s a tailwind howling and a steep downhill stretch beckoning, the people carrier won’t actually go anywhere. This explains why country parks are permanently congested in summer. Around town: in urban areas, the people carrier’s lack of forward motion is not a disadvantage. Because every street is already jammed it looks perfectly at home. On the rare occasions when the people carrier does manage some forward motion, this is quickly corrected by an attempt at reverse motion, usually when a vacant parking meter is spotted. But although many people-carrier jockeys have tried the tricky manoeuvre of backing into a parking spot, this has never been accomplished successfully. After inching through 180 degrees, the driver gives up and rolls away (if on a slope), to the soundtrack of hearty encouragement from every other driver nearby. Roadholding: the people carrier we tested boasted exemplary roadholding. Indeed, it held its place on the road effortlessly, because despite its lack of thrust through the air, not a single driver behind could see past its concrete bunker-style trim and rear barn door in order to overtake. Proving once again that people carriers lead the way. Ride quality: one of the people carrier’s unexpected delights is a comfortable ride evoking the flexibility of a mattress. Not because it has innovative suspension, but because five screeching children in the back are bouncing up and down while playing video games on the built-in cabin screens. Verdict: consider this unique design attribute: should you happen to park in a hot car-crime zone and return to your people carrier to find it jacked up on four piles of bricks, fear not. As you pull away (downhill), you will experience improved vehicle performance. And non-applicable tyre wear means you can invest a few pfennigs on blacked-out windows for that mystery-VIP look. Happy people-carrying!