I bought this car a year into college. I have always been a big fan of Toyotas, and the Scion brand offered many options standard for a reasonable price. There probably isn't a better overall car you can buy for 17k brand new in the U.S. Since its a big 4 cylinder 2.4 liters, I would expect a bit more horsepower, at least 175-180. Overall it's a great car, fuel efficient, very reliable, unique styling, Lexus like interior, fairly priced. This is definitely a great car to give to your high school grad.
A lot of torque for an N/A 4 banger, 6 CD changer, 17" rims standard (I got the chrome upgrade). Glass top.
More horsepower at least 175-180. 5-speed automatic.