2001 Mitsubishi Mirage DE 2dr Coupe (1.5L 4cyl 4A)
Astonishingly reliable- I purchased in 2011 used, and within three days a wind storm dropped a 5000 pound tree on the hood. After chopping the tree up, the car took off as if nothing happened. With a mileage intensive job, I've been heaping miles on it without issue. Just swapped out the timing belt after 100K miles to be safe, but it gave no indication that it needed it. It is small, and I'd recommend the 4 door. The mileage is beyond incredible, I get somewhere between 30-35MPG on average, and that's with a 10 year old automatic setup. The pickup is not fast, but it can maintain 90MPH on the highway without issue. I smiled a bit when I overtook a new Challenger on the interstate.
Fuel economy, reliable components, hood that can apparently repair itself.
Nothing that Mitsubishi didn't include in the successor vehicle, the Lancer :)