The look of this car is what made me order it, and you feel a lot more special driving it than a BMW of similar price.
Compared to my previous BMW 520d SE, it is remarkably smooth and quiet. The engine is less coarse and is significantly less tractor like in sound. However, it is less powerful (140bhp vs 163bhp), and slower by some margin.
Traction is OK, off the line it's initially quick as a front wheel drive compared to the BMW, but the engine runs out of puff after the first couple of seconds and acceleration becomes rather sedate. In the damp or wet, initial wheel spin with even moderate acceleration is high, with a thunderous judder if you give it anything more than a quarter throttle.
Handling is good, ride is hard, but to be expected with the lower and harder S-line suspension. Be wary with 3 or 4 people in the car, the slightest of speed bumps, humps and undulations in the road will be accompanied by a scrap of your undercarriage!
In car equipment is excellent, you want for no extras apart from Sat Nav, apart from that it's all there.
All in all a very good car. Looks good and makes you feel good. Power is lacking and ride is generally harsh, but drive it gently and calmly and it's all fine.
You get everything you need for a £30k car, but if I purchased it with my own money I would opt for a bigger output engine, an automatic (which I test drove and is excellent), and quattro 4 wheel drive.