2005 Ford Focus ZX3 S 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
The 5-speed manual transmission gives this car a muscle car-like acceleration. It's the most fun-to-drive car I've owned since my '79 Turbo Mustang was new. It actually has a quicker feel than that Mustang had. Handling is superb. The car easily accomodates my 6 ft 1 in 280 lb body. My 6'3" son is a frequent back seat rider and he never complains about the space he has. The hatchback easily holds my cart golf bag, and it would easily hold two smaller bags. Mileage is great. I'm getting 29-31 average around town, doing a mix of 70mph freeway driving and stop and go in-town driving. I have a stripped version. My only complaint is that the manual windows feel like they operate backwards.
I love the drivetrain combination and the mileage. The body style is cute. I've seen several tuner versions around town, so I guess is has some kid-appeal as well.
Manual windows should operate so that clockwise goes down, counter-clockwise goes up. The black everywhere interior gets darn hot. A version with creature comfort upgrades (leather seats, climate controlled AC) would be great, but that would kill the available at a bargain price. Mine was $10,400.