My goal with any car is low cost of ownership.
The Honda CRV (2000) is an AMAZING value. I bought mine with 5000 miles on the odometer, and kept it for 10 years. Its transmission finally gave up the ghost at 210,000 miles. Other than shocks, routine maintenance (timing belt, water pump, tires, etc.) it needed NO repairs, not even a headlight replaced.
not the most comfortable or stylish car but it is one of the best values in the world.
-Ease of driving
-the 2000 is a bit weak in horsepower compared to later models
-it's a bit cramped compared to the Element which I just bought (another Honda!)