Japanese build quality is scarily worth considering over any other country, YES that good. I drove a 2008 4 door automatic during a service visit and got 40 mpg. After driving the hatchback, I purchased it instead due to a more sporty demeanor, again getting 40 mpg. The build quality and quietness of this car has shocked many of my skeptics. I am 6 foot 2 inches tall, weighing in at 235 pounds, plenty of room and love the front seats.
Fast steering, easy to park, peppy engine, build quality, reasonable price, styling, better than rated gas mileage, lots of aftermarket upgrade parts available.
Cruise control and ABS on the base 5 speed model without the power package upgrade. Rear wiper/defogger and 15 inch wheels should be standard equipment.