Drove this (it’s my Mum’s) up to Lincolnshire yesterday.
I’m not really sure what this car is for. It can’t be meant for motorway driving, for all that it pulls well in 4th and 5th in the 50-70 range thanks to the diesel engine: it’s horrifically noisy at those speeds. I even had to turn SatNav woman’s volume up, which given she was set for high-speeds and no roof in an MX-5 should tell you something.
On A-roads it’s worse; in addition to the noise it’s annoying at roundabouts. You want to go around them in 2nd, but you can’t change into it until you’re doing less than 35, which means you’re still fiddling around with gears at the last minute. Accelerating away is a pain too, as even 3rd gear won’t reach 60; you’ll do a lot of left-hand stirring.
I can see it being OK in town, where you can mostly leave it in 2nd, so maybe that’s what it’s for. Even there the low gears are going to be a bit short.
To summarise, it would make more sense everywhere as an automatic, and is best avoided entirely if you value your sanity on long high-speed journeys.