2008 Volkswagen Jetta S PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)
Excellent value and features. Wasn't a big fan of the 2005 redesign (looks are too Japanese...), but the 2.0T and 6-sp manual sold me! You get the GLI/GTI powertrain and top-notch build quality for not much more than Civic money. You'd have to spend thousands more to find a car with comparable performance, features, and quality. Herbie made me a VW fan. And owning 25+ VW's over the years have only made me more enthusiastic about the brand.