It sounds like you have a bit of a thing for French cars right now, Carmel. In fact, you could argue that the French brands are experiencing a bit of a resurgence in Australia, particularly as each brand gets its quality act closer to the mark and the factory warranties have never been better than right now.
All three of the cars you’ve nominated have their strong points, and it will really come down to your personal preferences when it comes to which one is right for you. And let me guess; it was the Peugeot 2008’s odd dashboard/steering wheel relationship that put you off. That’s particularly true for shorter folk who have trouble looking over the wheel at the instruments. But then, such quirkiness has always been part of the charm of French cars, no?
In any case, it would also be wise to sample the Japanese and South Korean contenders at this end of the market, too, as there are some interesting offerings there as well. The Toyota C-HR would be one, the Honda HR-V another. Don’t forget, either, the Hyundai Kona, Nissan Juke and the Mazda CX-3. All have their strengths and weaknesses, but all are worth short-listing.
As for the MX-5, it’s true that Mazda has stuck to the original formula for the new latest little convertible. And, yes, that dictates a small, low car that is huge fun to drive but isn’t for everybody physically.