I bought this car after having a go in my friends, which I loved.
I'll start with the inside. Although this is the sports model, apart from the seats, there's very little difference from any other model. It has a leather steering wheel, and sports seat, in the most unpractical colour, white. This means they are hard to clean, or rather keep clean. However, they do hold you in very well, and on longer journeys, are comfortable.
The standard CD player is the bottom spec one in VW/Audi cars, and is a bit cheap, but does the job. A simple adapter mean any CD player is easy to fit. The speakers seem to be fairly good compared to my past cars, and for the average driver would be fine.
Space is pretty good, I'm over 6ft, and can almost sit behind myself, which wasn't possible in my Megane. Also, the extra rear doors are a bonus. The boot is a decent size too.
Looks-wise, this was one of my main attractions. It's a 10 year old design, and still looks good today. The larger bumpers and wheels over the rest of the models, mean only those in the know, know what it is. It has 16" alloys, and a small rear spoiler, all very subtle and smart. People don't expect it to move quite as quickly as it does.
Performance is one of the big ones with this type of car. Now I would class this car as a warm hatch. It's not quick enough to keep with the newer hot hatches (Corsa VXR etc), but is quick enough to outpace your average Saxo VTR, and isn't too far behind the VTS/ Fiesta ST. Handling is good, with little body roll, but not in the same class as the Fiesta, being heaver. When you get to 2k rpm, the torque kicks in, and pushes me back. It's quicker 0-60 than paper figures say.
Having said all this, there is some untapped potential in the PD130; a simple remap can release another 40-50bhp, making those STs and VTSs much less trouble, particularly when up to speed, when traction is less of an issue, and the torque can be used better.
Another thing to point out, is while on a steady run, 55mpg is within reach, and even when in full race driver mode, 35mpg is easy to get.
Insurance is good; I'm 19, a bus driver, with 3 points and no NCB and I'm only paying £1600. There are very few as quick and as cheap to run.
All in all, it's an under-estimated quick little car, and wipes the smile from many a chev or merc driver's face daily, while costing pennies to run.