You mention one important factor which is directly attributable to how a car drives: is it safe?
Safety isn't just about whether you die or not if someone crashes into you. If you have to swerve to avoid something, are you going to be able to maintain control of your car? Can you reach 70 mph up a steep slip road to be able to filter into a busy motorway? Are you confident that you can stop safely if someone or something jumps out in front of you? Unfortunately this last example is one of the worst things about the motor industry. Higher spec models get good brakes and the entry level models get crap brakes. People have this misconception that you only need good brakes if you "drive quickly".
The safest cars are usually the best to drive. OK, so a rear wheel drive car with loads of power is going to allow you to powerslide should you wish to, but you don't have to drive like that even if you're car's capable of it.
The NCAP stuff should be a given. All cars have a driver though and cars which give the driver control and confidence are the safest.