How about a VW Eos TDI ? Basically a Golf/Passat hybrid. Does 50+ mpg, great folding hard top so nice and refined with the roof up and makes it a better year-rounder than a soft top. Easily chipped to 170hp level. Get the TDI Sport in a dark colour as the lighter colours tend to make them look a little girlie. Girlfriend has just bought a 2008 in black with 14,000 miles on it for £13,500 from a VW dealer. Years warranty etc.
Nice car, fun but practical too.