Yeah, Clio RS cup was pretty high on the list. Forgot to put that on there. I'd have to contact my local dealer to see if there any around in standard RS with Recaro's. Its definitely the weapon of choice for ultimate driver's car in this segment. No doubt. I was looking at the SportAuto Edition but the list price is out of my budget (27k). However, poor car is just rather ugly. Not to say Impreza's are pretty and they've won my heart! I love the Clio though.
torquemada - since you're playing along. Here's the deal, 23k€ max budget list price. Has to be fun to drive but with a reserve of some comfort as it will be a long daily commuter as well as be used to drive around the Continent. Good seats/seating position are important. (stuff like Xenons, heated seats and brembos are nice but not a deal breaker if the rest of package is good).
What would be your top diesel and petrol hot hatch choice? Though gas will be covered by company, I need to see if there any additional tax implications with how much gas I use. 9 l/100 with the Clio or the Abarth is pretty high compared to any of the diesels that use half that amount.