2007 Mazda MAZDA3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)
My wife got one of these as a loaner when her 06 Jetta TDI died, after driving it for a week, I loved it so much I went out and bought one for myself. It has excellent space, I'm 6' tall, and can sit in the backseat after I've adjusted the front to where I'm comfortable. The hatch is a wonder of engineering how it can be reconfigured with all the compartments, and it is big enough for everything I can throw at it. I love the seat fabric, it's comfortable, tough and cleans up well, and best of all, this car is FUN to drive! It handles great, and the ride is sporty without beating me up. Honestly, I love it more every time I get in it.
Space, great styling, great handling. It already comes with the good stuff, 17" wheels, 50 series tires, good sounding stereo with MP3 input, steering wheel audio controls, comfy seats. Plus, it's got good power and is great fun to drive in addition to being practical.
Gas mileage could be better. I'm averaging 27-28 mpg; a car this size should really be in the 30s. Parts could be cheaper as well, a rock hit my foglight on the way home from the dealer breaking it, replacement light is $250!