My 1997 Dodge Intrepid was my first car...I bought it for $2,000 and I've had it for about 4 years. It just hit 200k miles and is still going strong!
This car is fantastic...it's fast enough (at least mine is) to keep up with other newer, sportier cars, has great handling, is a tank (some idiot sideswiped me when I was going about 35 mph...his whole bumper came off, and I got a little dent in my door), and is even decent in the snow and in icy conditions! I've had to invest very little into the upkeep, replacing less than $1,000 worth of parts in the entire time I've had it, excluding the cost of tires and oil changes. Extraordinarily reliable...=)
Acceleration, Decent gas mileage for the size, Handling, Comfort, Cheap maintenance and an engine that isn't crammed with random crap
The paint on this year is terrible...I have about half of my paint left, and I've seen MANY other Intrepids on the road with the same problem. Mine also has a couple sensor and electrical problems that started very early on...not really a problem, just kind of annoying.