2006 Ford Focus ZX5 SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
This is a great car...for the price. If it cost as much some competitors I'd have trouble recommending it, but you get a LOT for the money here with rebates etc. The ride and handling combination is very good for the class. I like the 5 door hatchback...it is more practical than the 3 door but sportier than the sedan. There is plenty of room up front. I'm 6'4" and have no problem fitting. I'm getting around 33 mpg overall with the manual transmission and I read they improved mileage for 2007.
Ride/handling combo. This car handles much better than you'd think. Fuel economy. Stick shift is easy. Roomy interior. The price was very nice.
Fix the doors so they don't sound so cheap when they close. The cup holder location is too low. Rear head restraints...this is 2006, Ford! Side curtain airbags as an option.