After everyones advice from here I went out and tried a 2.2.
I really wanted to try a coupe but I had a look at a lovely black 2.2 sri instead.
I must admit I injoyed it. Nice driving position, quick (although not what I would call fast, I was kinda expecting it to feel a bit quicker...) and lovely quiet and smooth at motorway speeds.
Also drove a new celica and there wasn't much in it. The astra definately had more mid range punch but overall didn't feel much different in speed (although you do sit a bit closer to the ground in the Celica). Similar comfort level but the celica had terrible visibility! That spoiler really gets in the way!
Can anyone comment if the driving experience to the normal hatch and the coupe is much different? I tried to find a coupe to try to do but they were all autos!