Sorry for a delay replying to you, only just checked the forum.
There are quite a few engines to choose from now, work is underway to prototype for the new Ford Ecoboost engine too.
If you want an Auto, the Honda route may be your easiest choice, there are quite a few Auto Honda powered cars around, performance is around 6.5 seconds to 60.
Several people have used their cars regularly, a friend of mine did every day for work, and he didn't really have any major issues with it, just a few niggles to sort like squeaking trim etc.. once those were sorted all was good.
All mod cons are available, power steering, comfy seats, air con, tyre pressure sensors etc...
Any other questions don't hesitate to ask