What do you think when you come across or drive up behind a newish small car? Something like a Kia Picanto, MG 3 or Suzuki Swift.

Do you think that there must go a smart person, because compact cars are light and uncomplicated and easy on consumables? That this driver has to be pretty enlightened, confident within themselves, to choose something as practical and usually very competent and refined yet seriously unassuming?

Do you credit them for resisting the expensive drip payments that could have led them to a more glamorous yet no better badge on their driveway?

Do you look and think that there’s a reason why those consumer motoring experts at the world’s longest-established car magazine, Autocar, are so taken with cars like this?

Or do you look and think, like one of those consumer motoring experts from Autocar (me), ‘come on, Doris, get out of the way. I’m in an Audi/Mercedes/Tesla and I’ve got places to go’?

Sigh. I’m sorry about this. I genuinely am. But yesterday I came upon a small new car on a dual carriageway that exited a roundabout and stayed in the overtaking lane, showing no intention to overtake anything, and thought less kindly about it than I would have done if it were, say, a new German SUV – a car that I know would either get its skates on and start passing things or pull over to the left. I assumed the city car doggedly wouldn’t, as indeed it didn’t.

I know I’m not alone in thinking things like this. I regularly drive cars on both sides of the dial and I know you get more patient treatment from other road users in something swanky than you do in something small and cheap.

Do you drive a posh company car? The next time you take it for a service, ask for the cheapest, smallest courtesy car the garage has to find out how it feels to be bullied relentlessly by people who assume things about you.