I am 22 years old and straight out of college looking for a reliable way of getting around town. It came down to the Mazda3, Civic Si, or the Scion tC. The overriding factor came down to the overall package that the car gave me. The Mazda3 was asking for over $23,000 (OTD) with all the features I wanted and I couldn't stretch my bank account that far even though I know it was a solid car. The Civic Si has superior handling, performance, and interior design over the Scion tC but like the Mazda, was asking for a tad more than I wanted to pay ($22,000 OTD). I compromised with the tC paying just under $20,000 because of the value package being my overriding factor in purchasing the car.
My favorite feature(s) would be the ability to upgrade with relative ease because of the open engine compartment underneath the hood.
The improvement I'm suggesting might be a little over the top but coming in at over 3,300 lbs, this car can feel sluggish and heavy at times which isn't necesarily a bad thing in an event of an accident. A lighter car would improve handling and performance overall.