FUNNY how little things can cloud your outlook.
"What's the engine in this then dad?" quizzed son No 2, as he swivelled the Fiat Ulysse's front passenger seat.
"It's a lively derv-burner actually; 2.2 litre with 128 brake horse-power," I replied.
"Dunno what derv means, but it's certainly a burner," he laughed.
I could tell from the tone that something wasn't quite right and, true to form, five minutes later my posterior had virtually caught fire.
Yes, he'd spotted the little 1-2-3 switch for the seat heater on the side and flicked it up to the sizzle setting. And of course there's what seems an age of shifting uncomfortably round before it cools down.
Not the ideal way to start a test drive and, purely from a driving point of view, the big Fiat doesn't offer anything you won't find in most of its rivals.
But if heated seats are options you either love or loathe, this vehicle is hardly short of touches that make it stand out for the right reasons.
So much so that it's barely recognisable from its predecessor, which was replaced in all but name less than a year ago.
For one thing the latest Ulysse is appreciably more spacious, comes in a 10 model line-up and has prices starting at a competitive £17,400 for the two litre petrol version in entry grade Dynamic trim.
Interior space is adequate in the seven and eight seater models and magnificent for those choosing flagship Prestigio versions, which boast six individual leather captain's chairs.
The usual slide, fold, flip and remove options are all there, along with no less than 35 various storage compartments, including a drinks fridge, moveable waste bin and a restraining net for the luggage area.
And a beauty of the Ulysse is that even the less expensive models are well specced up, so you don't need to shell out a fortune on extras. All models have the bonus of sliding rear doors which can make such a difference in tight spaces.
When it comes to driving the news is both good and average.
You can't fault the driving position, simple layout of the instruments or the terrific visibility. The engines are strong, too, with the test car's common rail turbodiesel offering fine performance if a degree of rattle at low speed.
But the gearshift is anything but smooth; not something that hinders operation but clunky nonetheless.
The Ulysse, which is given similar styling to the company's Stilo range, also scores well for safety, with a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP tests putting it joint top of its sector.
There are front and side airbags plus full length ceiling bags that deploy from the roof lining to protect heads along all three passenger tiers, while there's also an electric door lock system that can be set to operate automatically at speeds above six mph.
All things being equal, it's a stylish and versatile people carrier that brings an extra touch of class to the genre.
Fiat Ulysse 2.2 JTD Prestigio
Mechanical: 128bhp, 2,179cc common rail turbodiesel engine driving front wheels via 5-spd manual gearbox
Max speed: 113mph
0-62mph: 12.6 secs.
Combined mpg: 38.2
Insurance group: 12
CO2 emissions: 199g/km
BiK rating: 26%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles; 12yrs anti-rust