Long term report: Ford B-Max
Surfing in the UK is torturous. The sea is bitterly cold, meaning one requires a wetsuit so thick it can happily double up as a spare tyre when not in use.
But more importantly, the surf is so poor and infrequent, one needs to drop everything, pack up the car and drive to the appropriate beach (there aren't many) as soon as there is a whiff of a wave.> I will admit to being one of the aforementioned torture victims who enjoys riding pathetic waves on a glorified ironing board and so require a vehicle that can be loaded up in an instant and driven to the most south westerly points of England at the drop of a hat.
I can happily report that the B-Max fulfils all of the above requirements. Not only is that little EcoBoost engine adept at motorway cruising speeds it is also remarkably comfortable.
The driver's armrest is a neat addition to the already relaxed driving position and when cruise control is activated; the plucky Ford will happily sit at 70mph while returning almost 50mpg.
Secondly, it can swallow all of the kit a surfer could possibly need. The sliding rear doors mean a 6'2" surfboard can slip into the passengers' side and more importantly, the front seats fold forward and flat, meaning the cumbersome surfing implement is hardly noticeable from the driver's seat.
Granted, passenger space is limited when boards are loaded (in fact, my fiancé is forced to sit behind me) but the fairly sizeable boot takes care of towels, lunch and a tent.
There is also a handy stowage compartment that has "sopping wetsuit" written all over it. And Ford, if you're reading, I did line it with a bin bag first!
Above all else, I was impressed with how easy the B-Max is to maintain. The seats wipe down with a damp cloth while the sliding side doors make it a doddle to access with the awkward hoover nozzle.
Simply climb aboard and vacuum away.
So in conclusion, forget a VW Camper Van, the coolest thing you can park in Newquay this summer is a Ford B-Max.
Model: Ford B-Max Titanium
Price: £18,720 (as tested)
Engine: 1.0-litre EcoBoost, three cylinder
Power: 117bhp, 200Nm
Max speed: 117mph
Mileage this month: 750
Costs this month: £0