It's hard to pinpoint how or why some cars can lift your spirits from the moment you sit in to drive. Some, of course, have the opposite effect - as I've learned to my cost several times.
Take this week's review model, the Peugeot 2008 GT. It is a much more powerful (and expensive) version of the cars in the French firm's small-SUV range - some of which I have driven, indeed reviewed here, this year.
Ordinarily, I would just mention it in passing because I don't hold much with the petrolhead salivations that often accompany a bit of power and performance in cars of this ilk.
But it is such a different car to the rest of the stable in a couple of crucial ways that it would be unfair, after putting it through its paces, to set it aside so glibly.
It just happened that I had it for test during one of those awful pandemic days that can make you feel like you are trapped.
However, unlike so many others, I was privileged to be able describe my test driving as 'work' (I did not abuse the privilege, I promise you) and was delighted to head off to see what sets this car apart.
I can't emphasise enough that we are talking about a compact crossover/SUV that, in this case, happens to pack a punch; it's got a tangible 155bhp in its armour.
I wouldn't blame you if you dismissed it as being largely irrelevant. To many cash-strapped buyers it is - and will remain so.
That doesn't necessarily stop them from aspiring to owning a family car with a quick turn of foot. But it is not what most want or what the core 2008 SUV range was primarily designed to provide.
However, there are those - and I know one or two - who place great store in having a powerful version of anything.
They see it as setting them a little bit apart as well as providing a slice of the driving edge they crave in other, more expensive, marques.
They like upmarket interior surroundings, too; another area where the 2008 SUV comes up trumps. All the versions I have driven have had smart and comfortable cabins. I felt good in them. Peugeot do good interiors these days; that has not always been the case.
The GT takes things that step further: you can have tri-material grey Alcantara, 'Isabella' cloth seat trim with lime green and blue stitch detail. Sorry to use the word, but it was downright snazzy. It put me in a good mood before I even started the engine.
Out on the open road, it was just a lovely, lively buzz. There was loads of pulling power and I savoured the reserves of top-end pep. Feelin' good was easy. Yes, I have reservations about some of those small turbo-charged petrol engines in that they flatter on fuel consumption in city driving to deceive on longer, higher-speed runs.
I could criticise the GT on that front but, hey, this is supposed to be enjoyed and you expect to pay a price for it.
My driving embraced a good sample of mixed speeds and conditions. It is surprising how enjoyable it can be to repeat a cycle of surging to near the legal speed limit and easing back. The engine, despite being revved hard, never sounded strained.
I delighted in the tiny steering wheel with its flat top letting me see what speed I was doing. It's part of the now famous i-Cockpit combination, and I just like the go-car feel of the little wheel.
So would I buy it? The head says 'no'. Why would you spend €35,000 on something of this size and purpose? Not to mention the limited opportunities you are going to get to legally enjoy this 155bhp hotshot?
The heart, poor thing, is far more positively inclined and would use the array of practical elements to partially bolster argument against the apparently superfluous.
For example, the 2008 in whatever guise, is a much bigger car now. And the GT still enjoys the much-improved rear-seat room, expanded boot (434 litres; and 1,467 litres with rear seats down) and so on.
Ultimately, of course, it comes down to personal choice and affordability.
Now is not a great time to be throwing money around for luxuries such as added edge and pace. By the same token: how much is that extra feelgood factor worth when you get in the car on a miserable, wet October morning?
Peugeot 2008 GT SUV:
1.2-litre 155bhp petrol engine, auto 8spd, €200 tax, €34,950.
Spec includes 18in diamond cut alloys, double-chrome exhaust, adaptive cruise control, lane positioning assist, active blind spot monitoring, tri-material grey Alcantara and 'Isabella' cloth seat trim with lime green and blue stitch detail. Wide spread of safety and driver assists, 3D i-Cockpit. Range starts at €23,900.