Felicias have excellent points. Owners look after them, they are hugely practical, very cheap and the VW engines are superb. Even the 1.6 will deliver easily over 40mpg, but (see below) is too much for the car. Beware, though: Felicias are notorious for overheating (as mine has) but parts are cheap and DIY repairs incredibly easy. There are constant niggles: mainly electrical accessories and the boot release popping open at any time. The metal is paper thin, making dents easy and corrosion (always on the rear arches) a problem. This cannot be recommended for safety (though it has an airbag); it simply feels flimsy, the brakes are dreadful and it does not feel stable at speed (don't cruise beyond 65mph). Overall, if you can pay a few hundred for a cheap, low-mileage hack, fine. Otherwise go for something newer with thicker metal (Polo, Golf or go up to an Octavia estate) - all much cheaper than the hatchback.
David Brown, Kent, June 19th 2008