If we could award road test verdicts without rotating a tyre on asphalt, the Citroën C4 Cactus would have done better.

It’s cleverly conceived, distinctive to look at on the outside and intelligently designed on the inside. It’s not as significant a car as the Nissan Qashqai, we suspect, but it’s a novel, interesting and well targeted one nonetheless.

It's an original take on an oversized supermini. Charming and frugal, but not great to drive

Trouble is, it could be cheaper. A generous dealer discount would make the difference on that front, but getting one isn’t guaranteed.

If only, then, it were a bit more pleasing to drive, with more of the vigour of a DS3 THP 155 than the dourness of a humdrum Citroen C3 hatchback. The former is no less comfortable and, by a margin, is less tiring over distance.

The gearshift, the clutch action, the steering, the damping… all could be improved. Still, above all, we crave cars that are interesting, even if they are flawed – and the C4 Cactus is certainly interesting.