I bought this car new so that I could commute to college in something that would get me many miles in few gallons and not break down. The Focus actually feels solid and made of steel unlike the Corolla, and the Sentra is lethargic and boring. I've enjoyed taking on twisties and downshifting to 3rd for passing, the manual transmission is great. The pickup is good too, first gear loves to move and all the others do so as well at the right time. Snow performance was awesome, you'd be amazed at what a little momemtum can do. My sister's 4WD Jeep got stuck in the same driveway in 10 inches of snow that my FWD Focus took like a champ. The looks combine both youth and maturity, and it works well.
Being able to say that my five passenger compact sedan has 6 cupholders, folding seats for hauling as much as an SUV. (well, almost) Good gas mileage (low to mid 30's) Only compact that combines practical conservative style with fun youthful features and awesome handling. More headroom than Honda.
I'm very thin, and the seats seem kind of narrow. Quieter acceleration would be nice. A light for the backseat when I open the door would be useful.