A recent test car drought at Haymarket Towers meant I found myself shuffling about in the 190E for a long stretch, which gave me time to really appreciate just how together it feels to drive - no doubt helped by its recent new shocks, discs and full balance.

As somebody on the comments quite rightly pointed out, it isn't quick, but as somebody else pointed out, driving in London isn't exactly a brisk activity at the best of times. In fact, sloping around the capital's urban roads, the little 1.8 actually has everything required and, although the gearbox is a little jerky when cold between first and second, it gets better with warmth and a sympathetic throttle position. 

Driving in London also presents another problem: poor roads. Again, the 190E feels up to the job, sailing over ruts and cracks without becoming particularly unsettled or creaking in protest. It handles pretty tidily, too. Although you'd hardly call it fun, it steers precisely and keeps its body nicely planted despite being quite soft.

It isn't perfect, though, and I've spent the past couple of weeks attending to a few smaller problems before I take on the bigger ones. First, the windscreen, which had a large crack and a chip. National Windscreens turned up three days after being called, and replaced it in an hour or so, all for an excess payment of £75. I was very impressed.