Cheers! Thanks so much for your suggestions. What don't you like about the Fiat?
Found a new Clio with Recaros on Mobile.de in Freiburg. Hmmmm. I need to sit in one and see if I can get the positioning I like. Wish the mpgs weren't so poor on all of these petrol versions (real life average being around 9.5 l/100). Even the Swift is nowhere near as economical as advertised. But love how the Swift is jampacked with all the trimmings. You want for nothing in that car and 4k cheaper than all the others. But I agree with you, ultimate driving experience in the segment, Clio, ultimate spec/driving/bang for buck: Swift. Better hop by those dealers this week.
Afraid I don't like the Seat and Skoda as they only come with DSG, prefer to shift myself. Opel, cool car but not a big Opel fan. Pug, always open to them but would have to wait on a performance model. Every "sporting" model since the 106 XSi/GTi has been pretty disappointing. I'm hoping the 208 brings back driving experience of the 205 GTi. Though I should test drive one anyway.