Long story short - Easyjet flights back to Gatwick cancelled - no alternative other than driving to Calais (via Belgium) to get a ferry back. Then hire a car to get back to Gatwick (although a train would have been possible). From this I have deduced the following about these new cars:
Vauxhall Vectra - despite it's "family car" size, there is not really comfortable space to carry 3 people in the back. Long journeys (2 hours +) are uncomfortable, and rear headroom is poor on the hatcback. The head rests are uncomfortable and in the wrong place for attempted sleep, and the window ledges are too high so that you can't rest your arms on them.
Ford Focus (08 model) - space in the back is plentiful for 2 people. Seats are comfortable enough for sleep on the motorway. However interior feels very cheap, poor quality plastics, manual winding windows even on Zetec model. Noise in the back in excessively loud on motorways.
* Mini pictured above is the Mini I've recently bought. I've also added some more pictures of cool cars randomly spotted to the gallery (pages 2 and 3).