I 2nd the neon. They are dirt cheap parts are readily available new and bone yard. Easy to work on and with snow tires on mine goes like a raped ape through snow.
I would stay FAR FAR AWAY from a Neon, Cavalier, Sunfire or other domestic econobox. Seen too many of them turn into money pits! While the engine in a corolla or civic can and will go on forever, the domestics are not so lucky.
Of course now I've opened up a ball of wax any everyone will tell me about their uncles ford escort that went 800,000 miles, but the stats don't lie. Toyota's last longer.