I had my teeth gritted as I walked into the sprawling halls of the Paris motor show. And it wasn't because I was lugging the hefty bag of cameras and other electronic equipment that has replaced what was once a journalist's jotterpad and biro.

I was excited about what I was going to see, but I felt a bit uncomfortable about the financial backdrop and the effect this is apparently having on car buyers. Was it all going to be a bit puritanical or would we feel like we had our communal heads in the sand?

In fact, it was neither. The show-stopping glamour of the Citroen Hypnos, Lamborghini Estoque, Renault Ondelios and Mazda Kiyora, to name but a few, was superbly blended with a set of vehicles that looked as though they'd be just as much fun, but slightly more accessible.

The Nissan Nuvu may just be a concept, but it's got more than a hint of production car about its proportions and passenger capacity. Similarly, we all knew pretty much what the new Ka was about, but seeing it on the show floor in the metal, then zipping across the screen in the Quantum of Solace trailer, really did make you want to rummage around the back of the Ford stand for the keys.

It made you realise that even if there is a bit less money sloshing around, there are going to be some great cars out there - the Audi A1 Sportback concept, for example - that will be fun to drive, good to look at and easy on that strained wallet.