When you fancy a night at the opera and you’ve got to transport seven of your friends in one vehicle what do you choose?

Well the big three are the Toyota Proace; the Peugeot Traveller or the Citroen Spacetourer. They’re all built on the same production line and they’re all pretty good and look much alike. They just get a different body as they come out for the road.

We went for the big SpaceTourer which basically is a commercial van turned into a people-carrier, with the space behind the driver replaced with two rows of seats and windows.

If you’ve got a bench seat at the front then you drive three-three-three otherwise it’s the driver and shotgun rider and then two rows of three.

It is mainly aimed at taxi and transport companies and there’s lots of space for passengers but not that much for luggage for eight or nine.

All in all there are 12 different versions costing from £31,000 to £43,000 and there are three options, ranging from 4.6m to 5.3m in length, with five, seven, eight or nine seats. We had the £32,000 Feel version for private buyers which gets more hard-wearing materials inside such as the rubber floor mats.

But beware those rubber mats. They tend to be quite slippery when they come into contact with leather soled shoes! Ladies with high heels need to be warned.

While there is sufficient room for eight, I’m not sure how long I would endure being a passenger for. Thirty miles? It’s quite tight in the back row and a tad claustrophobic.

But tall passengers have an acceptable amount of legroom and shoulder room is good as well.

Visibility is good due to the high-up driving position and it drives and rides extremely well even with eight passengers on board. It is extremely quiet so much so that three conversations can take place without any shouting!

The two litre diesel engine is more than enough, and the vehicle pulls very well from low in the rev range. There is a six-speed manual box and pretty good steering steering. Going up a reasonably steep hill I was able to overtake slow moving traffic on the left with my seven passengers, in complete safety. There is a 1.6 diesel engine as well. The engines are all BlueHDI diesel units, with 95PS, 115PS, 150PS and 180PS outputs. CO2 emissions are also relatively low, peaking at 155g/km for the largest and most powerful versions.

The two litre gives an impressive economy of more than 50mpg and emissions of 139g/km. This means there is a BIK rate of 27 per cent. Top speed is just over the 100mph mark not that you’ll ever need to drive at that speed and 0-60mph is reached at under 11 seconds.

There is a well-finished dashboard and seven-inch touchscreen display (with DAB radio and Bluetooth) and standard equipment is good, with remote central locking, ISOFIX child seat mountings, hill start assist, cruise control, parking sensors, LED daytime running lights and a USB port.

All versions are well-equipped as standard, with cruise control, parking sensors and a full-size spare wheel plus automatic headlights and windscreen wipers.

The options include hands-free opening for the motorised sliding doors (operated by waving a leg under the side skirts), and a rear window that opens fully, to avoid having to open the huge, heavy tailgate unnecessarily.

Boot capacity is almost 2,000 litres in the XS with five seats equipped, or almost 3,000 litres in the XL version.

The Spacetourer is 1.9 metre tall which makes it an easy fit into multi storey car parks although you will duck as you go in and there is high level of standard equipment which makes it a good choice. There are plenty of cubby holes and storage spaces although some of the cubby holes in the doors are difficult to get into.

All of the seats are firm but supportive and business models also get controls for the air con in the back, along with darkened privacy glass and window blinds.

As well as at sat nav being available as an option there is a head-up display that will read speed signs and display them on the dashboard.

There is a three year 100,000 mile warranty and servicing is due every 20,000 miles. The insurance group is 21D