Well, after much shopping, etc., I bought this one: Mazda3 i sport in "sunlight silver." It is so cute, and fun to drive, and definitely within my budget. I did get the 2008 model. I figured since the last car I bought was the 95 Escort, when it was new, I could buy another new car. Brian, you weren't the only one who recommended this car, and you are so right!