You’ll have noticed immediately the fly in the ointment...
Not the most pressing one, of Henry, aged eight, George aged six, Josh aged six and Max aged three, all trying to entertain themselves for six hours in a car, which normally means hitting one another until the first one cries, then the one that gets told off crying in turn, then the younger one writing over the middle one’s face with a Biro, then the two adults arguing, then everyone needing a wee.
No, not that one.
The most pressing problem for anyone who cares a jot about cars is the need for a seven-seater.
Unless your budget stretches to six figures for a car, or a monthly payment on a finance deal of about £500, the only attractive seven-seaters, i.e. premium SUVs, are out of bounds.
At which point, you’ll be left with nowhere to go but the humble MPV.
I have accepted my automotive fate well enough, and so we will shortly be driving west in a Ford S-Max.
The kids couldn’t be happier - what’s not to like about plastic flip-up trays in the back of the front seats?
But having run the full gamut of seven-seaters, not in a motoring journalist sort of way, but in a proper I-might-have-to-buy-this-car sort of way, here are my top, magnificent seven, multi-seat vehicles of all time.
Costing from £74,545
3. Hyundai i800
Costing from £22,995
Whoa, I hear you cry. Quite a leap eh? But what is essentially a van, with room for eight, drives and handles surprisingly well. If you were foolish enough to have a family bigger than ours, you could do no better…
4. SsangYong Rodius
Costing from £they’ll be begging you to take it away...
…Except for this monumental nine-seater. Cheap as chips, which is just as well given the flimsy plastics and somewhat sub-par drive. It’s an old model now, but if you like cars as ugly as they come, you’ll love this, and it is the ultimate people carrier - cheap, robust and spacious.
5. Kia Carens
Costing from £17,995
I ran one for six months and it was magnificent, an absolute tardis of a car. Small footprint for easy parking, but a genuine third row of seats. The 1.6 diesel takes care of most eventualities; the suspension is very soft but the kids love that.
Costing from £30,640
Another tiddler from the outside, with an optional third row. This is the posh Carens really, for those with a bigger budget - great looks, the brand’s capable off-roading systems.. in many ways the ideal compromise.
7. Ford S-max
Costing from £23,075