This is my second car, my first being a 1996 Saab 900SE Convert. I got the Accent because though the Saab was great in the snow and on gas, the cost to repair it was crazy so was the time it took. The Accent doesn't have these problems at all! Still good in snow and on gas! It doesn't have the turbo the saab did but it still has plenty of punch being almost 1000 lbs lighter. Best $4000 I ever spent (yep, thats right, 4K).
Low cost, great gas mileage, looks, easy to work on, and fun to drive.
Trunk release would be nice. That and better headlights are the only two things I can think of.