Well I chose a Ford for my first new car, and my first manual transmission, and I have not once looked back. The tranny takes a little to break in but once it is you get seriously good fuel economy. The engine has some power, but it is found around 2000 rpm or so. The seats could be a little more comfortable, I don't know why they aren't real cloth, instead some weird shiny cloth material. It is comfortable, so that works. Other than that Ford makes very reliable cars that get you where you want to go, treat them well and they will treat you well.