The term 'pocket rocket' was coined for this car
Fantastic: the perfect hot hatch in my view. Just the right size for me (a single guy, who does carry adults in the rear fairly regularly). Ride/handling compromise is fantastic; ride is firm, but well controlled and not at all uncomfortable. Handles terrifically, for a relatively tall front drive car (though, I think it handles very well by any standard). Acceleration is wonderful, at any speed, the throttle response is (I think this is the best word) URGENT. And it's not just what it does, it's the way it does it, the engine is silky smooth (but with a very nice note when the revs climb) and the thing just FLIES along. It gets up to and cruises at speeds of 180 to 190 km/h so easily and quietly and without drama, it's ridiculous. Brakes are very good, pulling the car up smoothly and smartly, and are confidence-inspiring. Very well equipped: airbags all over the place, climate control, rain sensing wipers, etc, etc. It only misses out on cruise control, but for what I paid for it, it's fantastically well-equipped.
It's superbly finished, feels very solid and reliable. To top it all off, the styling is wonderful: very stylish, very European.
Oh, and the factory-fitted stereo is wonderful, you can crank it to the max, and it's still perfectly clear, without distortion. I do miss having a CD stacker (I've a ton of CDs, and in a manual car in particular, swapping them on the move is a bit of a chore, but that is nit-picking. Besides, one can fit a stacker...)
I'd forgotten how much fun driving could be until I got this thing. It even makes driving in traffic fun (the way you can instantly zap into gaps in the traffic is heaps of fun).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th November, 2006