Whether you like GM or not with their offerings. It’s hard (certainly in the U.K.) not to have your life influenced by them.
For example the humble Vauxhall Corsa is the backbone of getting new drivers on the road. In fact all four of colleagues children recently passed and their first cars were 2008 Vauxhall Corsa D’s. Two were 1.3CDTi and two were 1.2 petrol engines.
Above is a friend’s son’s car I did a while back and below is a colleague’s daughter’s car which I’ll be cleaning once they get it from the dealer.
All manual gearboxes. They are cheap, pretty reliable, easy to live with and relatively cheap to insure.
Many will move on to a Ford Focus or stay with Vauxhall and get an Astra later on.