Wow. The last thing I expected when I left Telford under cold but clear skies this morning was to be driving in thick snow just 30 miles later.

But snow it did, and then some, as I wound my way towards Bala.

En route, word came through that a certain Jeremy Clarkson had been giving the Dacia Logan a good kicking in the weekend papers. I'm surprised by that, for all the reasons that is making its sister car, the Dacia Sandero, stand out today.

Sure, it's low power makes going tough on windy roads, but there's something to appreciate about carrying momentum in such conditions.

It's sure-footed, too; the steering may be short of feel or accuracy, but on days like this there's nothing wrong with a handful of understeer to let you know you're trying too hard. The standard-fit Continental tyres deserve much credit, too. A few times I wondered if I'd get stuck, but on I went.

An hour or so ago the snow gave way to blue skies and bright sun. This truly is a day of all seasons.

And – guess what? – 300 miles into my day and the Dacia and I are getting on just fine. It may be cheap and cheerful in the cabin, but it's a perfectly pleasant place to be if you can live without heated seats and suchlike. Its fitness for purpose is beyond doubt.

But, of course, I'm undertaking this 500-mile trek to find more. I want to unearth a sprinkling of sparkle hidden within. I'm still not sure it's there, but the return leg begins now; cleared country roads and then a huge stretch of motorway await, with a chance to check economy at the fuel stop.

If I can't find some joy now, I probably never will.

Read our full review on the Dacia Sandero