The Volkswagen Golf GTI delivers superb acceleration, handling and stability. It is also built solidly and has enough space for four.
Those attributes drew 44-year- old Geraldine Tan, a director in a company that manufactures and sells decorative surfaces, to the German hot hatch.
With husband Paul, who works in corporate finance, she has two teenage children. They outgrew her previous car, a Mini Cooper S.
While having a car that can accommodate four comfortably was a huge consideration, it was not the biggest deciding factor.
"What ultimately made me sign on the dotted line was how the car drives," she says. "And the GTI ticked all the right boxes for me back in 2012, when I bought it.
"I am a decisive driver and I always anticipate situations around me. In life, there will always be unpredictable moments, many twists and turns. Piloting a car is no different and my ride has to be prepared, like me."
What's in the boot?
• a tote bag
• a pair of running shoes and socks
• running attire
Her GTI is a limited-edition variant. Named Edition 35 to commemorate the model's 35th anniversary, it has 18-inch Watkins Glen alloy wheels and "35" badges.
Its 235bhp engine is essentially a detuned version of the steroidal Golf R's power plant.
"The performance is so immediate and ample," Ms Tan says. "I can confidently weave in and out of traffic."
The Golf GTI is not her first performance car. She had a Mini Cooper S, which she bought in 2007.
She says she loved the Cooper S, but decided to sell it after five years. "I had to part with it for a practical reason. The children were growing taller and bigger," she explains.
She considered several models, from Audi to Lexus to another Mini, before settling on the GTI.
"The Mini Cooper S Countryman was on my shortlist when I was car- shopping, but it didn't drive like the Cooper S," she says.
"The Golf GTI did and it was more spacious to boot."
She says she enjoys driving the car and would "love to take it to the Bergamo region in Italy".
"Driving it through the hills, along the country roads and past the numerous quaint towns will be such a blast," she adds.
Asked what car she would get next, Ms Tan shrugs.
"I haven't really thought about it as I currently own my dream ride," she says. "But if I had to choose a car to replace it, I would pick the Golf R."
•The writer contributes to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines.