I've owned my 2003 Ford Focus ZX3-5 speed manual since July of 2003. For being a lower priced vehicle I couldn't have asked for a better more reliable vehicle. I've only had two problems over the last, almost, 8 years. The first full summer I owned the vehicle the A/C went out, but was covered under warranty-no hassles. Recently I had to replace the alternator, otherwise besides routine maintenace it has been a fantastic reliable vehicle I couldn't be happier. When I bought the vehicle I was just going to college. The storage in the back of the vehicle is amazing for the size. For being a small vehicle it handled Wisconsin winters very very well.
Definitely recommend Focus.