Combining the appeal of a modern family hatchback with the compact dimensions of superminis like the Ford Fiesta, the Nissan Note revolutionised the mini-MPV class when it was launched in 2006. It looks surprisingly stylish given its boxy shape, with neat taillights extending along the roof, and attractive body-coloured bumpers. Inside, the focus is on practicality over appearance, and there are lots of innovative little touches. There are sliding rear seats, and an array of storage options and cubbyholes, all of which further enhance its family appeal. And to top it off, it drives well, too, with secure handling that matches its generous interior space. Now much copied, the Note is something of an older statesman and an all-new model is due in 2013.