2003 MINI Cooper S 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl S/C 6M)
After owning a MINI S for 2.5 years and 15,000 miles I can say this is the most fun car I have ever had. However, it has been the most troublesome car for me to date as well with $2000 in repairs, and that is parts only because I can repair it myself. Now, this is a car that was owned by the lead MINI tech at the dealership for its first 70,000 miles and maintained religiously since new. And now it has rust, yes rust on a 7 year old car. There are two big holes in the sheet metal just below the taillights. Keep in mind when buying one that you are buying a BMW product and thus comes with BMW prices for parts and service.
Super handling, solid feel, rocket acceleration with JCW kit, BMW quality interior, good MPG, and surprising cargo capacity with seats folded down.
Make it so it doesn't rust and all those electric bits don't fail.