Best is Best for You. Read Car and Driver and get to know what is available and its driving reports. Read Consumer Reports on customer satisfaction. That's how I bought my Mazda 323- highest overall C/S for a small econo car.
Suggestions? A Mazda 6 4 door, 2006 or newer. A Toy Camry 4 door, '06 or newer. A Malibu or Buick V6 as they have Bulletproof engines. Whatever you get, pay Enough that you won't be constantly fixing it. Then you will have enough saved by the time it wears out to buy what you Really want. Its better to get a reliable car that only gets 26 on the freeway than one that gets 50 but breaks down. Gas is cheaper than mechanics, even nowadays..
Whatever you get, if it has a timing belt, Change it Immediately. Cheap Insurance.
Avoid: Pintos, Aveos, Explorers, PT Cruisers, Vegas unless motor sleeved. Euro cars, great Until it needs a $300 hose or something. Citations, can't get parts.. Chevettes , great cars but any one you find will be old and parts unavailable. Same with Tercels.