The car is very nice looking, it's 80's looks make it look more desirable and retro than dated (in my opinion anyway)
I think the car looks really smart in white, other colours can leave it looking a little bland. Be picky when choosing!
With the leather interior, pop up lights, TBAR etc the car oozes excitement, and leaves you gurgling like an excited 2 year old outside a bouncy castle.
The sometimes overlooked speciality with the car, is that it is so LIGHT. 3 or 4 hundred pounds lighter than the mark 2.
The effect of this is; excellent pick-up, great response from the throttle, superb handling and fuel economy to boot (expect anything between 30/45mpg). What this means in practice, is that you can drive the car very hard and get away with it!
The car flies off the mark very quickly and is really great at scaring the crap out of passengers. With your foot to the ground, 2nd gear will shoot you to the back of your seat and take you upto 50mph very quickly. A change to 3rd gear will slightly delay the 0-60 time to around 8 seconds.
This is all fantastic, however it is after this point where the limitations of a 1600c engine become prevalent. Don't get me wrong, the car will get upto 100mph at adequate pace. But at adequate pace only; not sports performance.
The revs get a little high at 80/85mph, making it a little loud if you want go down a motorway quickly. But that won't happen of course because you all abide by the 70mph speed limit!
Another problem is the sound system. The original speakers are tiny things, placed in tiny grills. If you want bigger speakers (and if you like music you will) you're going to have start cutting out bits of interior, or sacrifice some space inside.
The reason I bought this car, and would recommend anyone having one once in their lives, is because when it is night, and ahead of you, you see 2 popped up lights. You're very low to the ground, hearing a sexy engine noise, conscious that every other driver or passer by may well have their eyes on you, and you put your foot down, it gives that feeling of excitement and euphoria every motoring enthusiast craves. And this, is priceless (well actually, under two grand to be exact!).