If you want to go down that path, I would recommend the Fiesta with the 1.0 turbo I3. You can easily swap in a cheap FiST suspension, it was available in a manual. I have wanted one (with cold weather package) but the manuals are very rare. Would give you at least some OEM upgrade stuff from the FiST.saké?
I actually catch myself thinking about my 80's s*tboxes with excellent steering, hard narrow tires, insanely light and easy shifters, and 75 peak hp with maybe half that torque at anything below 4k rpm.
Fun with a capital slow. Lol.
On that note.. what could a person do with a cheap manuel tripot Mirage?
A proper used cheap 5 speed Mazda2 never came up locally for me.