And although the car is due for a facelift in early 2005, the styling still impresses now, with its sleek shape proving more aerodynamically efficient than many rivals.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the 1.6 engine. Thankfully it is very free-revving, because you need to thrash the life out of it to achieve any rapid progress, but on long motorway journeys the engine whine tries its best to drown out the CD player.
Equipment levels are good for this price tag - air-con, sports seats, alloy wheels and electric mirrors come as standard - but leather trim and metallic paint will add another £1,270 to the total.
Safety equipment includes front and side airbags and ABS with EBD, which when coupled with its insurance group 8 rating and five year warranty should help the car appeal to young drivers seeking a good-looking runabout.
Demand for the Coupe remains strong, especially in the used car market, where this year it won Used Car Buyer magazine’s Coupe of the Year award.
Strengths: Attractive styling, thrashable engine, 5 year warranty
Weaknesses: All looks and no go, engine noise is tiresome
Opportunity: Young poseurs on a budget
Threat : Rivals are more fun to drive
USP: Worry-free motoring
Engine : 1.6-litre, 4cyl, 16v, 103bhp
Transmission: five-speed manual, fwd
Performance: 0-62mph 11.6sec, top speed 115mph
Efficiency: 37.2mpg combined, 182g/km CO2
Rivals: Toyota Celica, second hand Ford Puma