From £51,5008
Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

Given that the Vauxhall Maloo is 5121mm and only seats two, you'd expect reasonable interior space even if it has a longitudinally mounted V8 engine up front and a two-metre load bay.

And so the Maloo proves, featuring two leather and Alcantara-shod electrically adjustable seats, and what feels like a dead-straight, uncorrupted driving position.

Pedals are widely spaced, so heel-and-toe actually means just that

The Maloo's cabin is fundamentally businesslike and suitably butch. The dials are clear and straightforward, pedals are comfortably spaced and the large steering wheel is widely adjustable.

Three additional instruments sit atop a dashboard whose 'Maloo R8' badging belies the car's roots - as does the 'HSV', rather than 'Vauxhall', badging on the partly flattened steering wheel.

Material finish also shows that this is no high-class European; the plastics are of a better grade than in most other pick-ups, but bear in mind most of them don't cost the thick end of a BMW M3.

Then again, an M3 hasn't been shipped from Australia. Besides, if you're sold on a Maloo, we doubt that the cheap handbrake is going to be a deal breaker.

Beyond the handbrake, the gearlever for the six-speed manual 'box is a reasonable stretch, while above it sit the usual controls for heating and ventilation (all fine) and the stereo and comms systems. It's not as complicated to operate as some Vauxhall set-ups, but it does enough to remind you that no GM system is particularly user-friendly.

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Meanwhile, the navigation would be quite capable of guiding you from New South Wales to New Norfolk, but it's seriously uninterested in attempting the trip from south Wales to original Norfolk.

The load bay at the rear has impressive length and decent width, but the standard-fit gas-strutted lid limits the amount of gear you can stow in it. While the Maloo looks the pick-up part, it would be a real surprise to see one acting it.