Having taken the Sport for a test drive, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it was put together. All the interior panels fitted together well and it had a satisfying clunk when I shut the door.
The interior is a nice place to be. First impressions were good. It looks fantastic, the dials and switch gear are well laid out, it has a leather interior, air-con, decent safety spec and huge amounts of space.
Driving it is where it tends to let itself down a bit. It's 1.8 is OK but it just feels slow and doesn't feel eager enough. It could just be me because I drive an Ibiza TDi and am used to a bit of mid-range grunt.
The only time it has any feeling of power is if you rev the life out of it and keep it above 4000rpm, not great for economy. It has traction control that is non-switchable, what a pain. I felt it constantly smacked me on the wrist for trying to get any performance out of it.
The gearbox gate is wide and doesn't leave you sure that you're in gear. The steering, though, I found to give good feedback.
In all, not a bad car but not a great one either. However, for £12,000 you'd be hard pushed to get anything in its class that looks this good with this amount of spec. Should I not win the lotto and I don't fancy another diesel, this could well be where my money goes, although I can't help think that a Fabia vRS would be a better investment.
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