2005 Ford Focus ZX3 SE 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I drive a good bit for work and this car fit the bill, litterally. I get 31- 32 mpg all highway and average about 26 mixed, and as low as 20 in city, winter driving where I sometimes park for a coffee and leave the motor running with the heat on. The motor is no slouch; and I've owned SVT Lightnings. I have absolutely no complaints, save two. I bought this car from a senior in Florida to use in Michigan. The problems are the driver door window seal at the bottom fusing to the glass so that I can't roll the window down and have to use a credit card to separate the rubber from the glass. It happens quite a bit. The other is the washer fluid lines freezing up in below zero weather. I'll survive.
Cup holders in the center console and doors. I can fit there soda bottles in each door. I also really like the little side bins in the back seat area. The zippy 2.0 engine is not bad at all. All around visibility via the mirrors. The larger than you would expect rear seat room. Power hatch release.
Make the telescoping steering wheel adjust out further by at least 1.5 inches. All the driver seat to fully recline. Driver dead pedal.