Its French but also common with the Nissan Juke in the car world. The motor is a Nissan and I'm sure some of the electrics in the bay are also Nissan bits. I think you will like the clio but, its super around corners and the brakes work well. I have also done the rstuner map so its very decent off the line too, e-diff function works in overtime out the corners now :p. The gearbox is frustrating in auto mode as it shifts too late or too early and can sometimes feel jerky in traffic (I guess its shift map was for a standard tune). But to get around that I always drive it in manual and that makes the daily drive a much smoother thing. The ride depends on the model version you get also. I drive a cup model and its stiff on SA roads, the sport model I think rides a little softer and then the trophy version I know is firmer and lower than the cup.
Filter from bmc is cheap and rstuner kit was around $600. Then $100 for a deres and you have a very simple stage 1 setup done.