Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Three engines are available in the Coupe line-up. The entry-level unit is a 1.6-litre with just 103bhp and as you'd expect it feels underpowered and sluggish. However it's an ideal choice for younger drivers wanting something other than a hatch as it is cheap to insure and economical too. The most popular engine is the 2.0-litre which originally came with 136bhp, but was upgraded in 2003 with variable valve timing, a little extra power and lower emissions.

It sprints from 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds - two and half seconds quicker than the 1.6-litre model. However, as with the smaller engine, it never feels especially responsive and needs to be worked hard to get meaningful pace. The top of the range choice is the 2.7-litre V6 but unfortunately sounds better than it performs. At low speeds it feels quite urgent but this promise disappears when you accelerate, and it doesn't deliver the kind of exciting performance you'd expect given the 162bhp it offers.

Both 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre come with a five speed manual gearbox, while the V6 has a six-speed manual. Both the 2.0-litre and the V6 are available with optional four-speed automatic transmissions but this is best avoided as it saps power and isn't especially smooth or responsive, especially when forced to kick down.

The Coupe may look sporty, but the handling, like the engines, doesn't live up to the expectation. It's safe and predictable but there's little fun or excitement to be had along the way. It is far happier cruising along than being thrown around country lanes, but also suffers in town where potholes and rough tarmac cause the suspension to jar badly.

The steering is lacking in feel too and lacks the sharp response you'd expect in a sporty coupe while electronic stability control is fitted only to the V6 model.