2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LT 4dr Hatchback (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
The Malibu Maxx came out of no where while searching car lots, oddly enough it had every feature I wanted and for a very reasonable price. Don't believe the in-dash MPG rating, instead calculate it out yourself. I've found the computer is off by a large margin, including waiting at a light in the MPG calculation. I average (with city and highway) around 26-28 MPG. Great car for a college student like myself or a family just starting out.
Heated seats, plenty of pep, decent gas mileage, storage, traction control, sport-shifter, nice audio system, 5 year warranty, price.
MPG could be better, a slap-stick for the sport-shifter would be nice and an available AWD system would be excellent. Perhaps include HID lights stock as well.