Erm, me, me me..
I have run fleets of them and I still own one, a pulse 700cc flappy paddle one.
I love em.
The Pures are the basic ones and arguably the best, I ran 7 of them and they were excellent for whizzing around in. Ave MPG was 55-60 heavy in town driving. I like the Pures better than all of them as thay have the pure ethos of the brand.
Pulses are the “avantguarde” version with the flappy paddles, excellent fun, zippy enough, good excelleration (don’t know where folks get this notion that they’re slow). Bigger front and rear wheels, holds the road better.
Passions are the “elegance” version. And the same thin wheels as the Pure (but alloy)and have more ellegant trim options, come with aircon as std.
Get one witht he upgraded stereo in it, the sound is far better than the std one.
Having had all versions in the 700cc engine variety I’d say go for this one. It’s more punchy and far better torque than the 600cc one, better mpg and far more robust engine wise (not that there is anything wrong witht he engine, but for some reason folks get in them and floor it expecting it to go like stink for some reason) I’d had cabrios on test only, for me they were a waste of money as all bar one of the cars I ran was for work. I know two folks that have cabrios and they have had issues with sticky retractable hoods where the mechanism has a bit of a sticky fit and needs a helping hand. Only other issue is the seal near the front of the drivers door can leak if the alloy arm over the drivers door hasn’t seated well enough.
I’ve done lots of mileage in them, all our cars were bought new, FSH by a local independent SMART dealer and 4 I had remapped to stage 1 only. Of those four the kids knew which ones were remapped and always took them to the point I had the remaining cars mapped too. I got better mpg, better pick up and smoother gear changes, I’d do it if you get one, only £100.00 and takes 15mins incl a filter change. As for motorway driving, well this talk of wandering and light steering, it can be a little annoying, doesn't happen all the time, but if you get a bit of a strong cross wind they can catch it and wander a bit. But for general 65-70mph stuff it's like any other car.
They’re easy to look after, I’ve never had any problems with them. All had AirCon and I think needed it, they get quite hot in summer (especially those with the glass roofs). I do have issues sometimes with pot holes too, due to the wheelbase being small you tend to miander around the road dodging pot holes and rough surfaces, we all do it, the ride can be a bit crashy if you hit poor surfaces. But give them a smooth road and it's like driving a go kart.
To say which option is better for you (pulse and passion have a cabrio version) is moot, try one, try both. You'll feel the differance soon enough. As for price, you are looking at the low'sh end if your budget is £3.5k. You may end up getting one with lots of miles and/or the 600cc version, but you pay your monies etc. etc.
I think if you understand the car and what it’s designed for and drive it accordingly then build up a relationship with it you’ll always keep on.
I’m about to buy a Brabus one, the new version, I’ve had it on test for a couple of weeks and it’s a real lovely car. I'm torn as to whether I should sell my pulse, it's an excellent car but I'm getting another so I keep the faith.