I wouldn't go with a Wrangler for comfort, fuel efficiency, or reliability. The Wrangler is the antithesis of those traits. The Encore screams old people to me.
Since you only need two seats, I'd go for a 2010+ Mazda MX-5 Miata. Reliable, stylish, and efficient. It might not be the most comfortable riding car, but the seats hug you and you won't notice the firm ride after experiencing the fun of driving it. I owned one a while ago and is one of my top 3 favorite cars I've owned. 0 problems in the 5 years I owned it, except when someone rear-ended me and a couple things broke because of the collision. It may make you fall in love with cars if you drive one (with a stick-shift of course). It won't hold too many things in the trunk, so maybe my next option would be better.
The 2010+ Mazda3 Hatchback (or sedan) is a good car. It is efficient, very reliable, practical and has a comfortable ride. There is a lot of road noise, so look for that in a test drive. It is one of the most sporty options and is fun to drive.
The 2007-2011 Honda Civic Coupe or 2008+ Accord Coupe are practical and very reliable. It has a sporty design, is comfortable, efficient, and pretty fun. Again, these cars have a decent amount of road noise.
The 2007+ Prius is another option, though the previous generations were not sporty at all in driving dynamics or style. It is comfortable, gets 50 MPG, super reliable (mine is still running with 250k miles), and is way more practical than it looks on the outside. Quiet interior, too, and is the most comfortable car on my list. These cars are built with efficiency and reliability in mind, not sportiness.