I know it's been said before, but I love to say it again. Toyota. I've had Coronas, pickups, and just got done driving a Camry across the US. They are made by people who love cars. They are cost effective, because the money you put up extra in buying one you will make up in lack of expenses and in resale.
The comment about parts of America where they don't like Japanese cars is bullsh*t. People recognize quality. Maybe in Ford Motors parking lot you'd have a problem, but if you got chased by a bunch of people in Fords you'd outlast 'em!