Finally, the thing that matters the most is "desirability". this comes above everything in the list. when you sit in a car, you should feel that - man, this is what i was looking for, this is what i want to own, this is what i want to drive everyday! if you feel so, thats the car for you.
In the end of your post, you have stated just what I believe. It is nothing but all about the desirability which one should have from their car, only if they want to be a satisfied buyer. No matters whatever rest of the world thinks about it, the owner should be contented enough. Speaking about my “desirability” factors which must be present in a car, considering current situation, they are:
1) Engine (Faster the better)
2) Handeling and brakes (That leaves out almost all SUVs and Tall Boys), would love a rear wheel drive too!
3) ABS and Airbags
4) Interiors and Gadgets! (More the better) :D
5) Exterior looks (Prefer timeless design over futuristic)
6) Build quality