I went looking for a car for my 16 year old. I started looking at beaters and ended up with the Scion xA. We all piled in (four of us) for a test drive and I was hooked. For the money there is nothing equal in value and quality. Yes the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa, are great cars too but you'll probably pay $2,000 or more for them. Resale values are high for Scions and it's a Toyota. A comparable Corolla will cost your more. I like the ala carte options. Plus, the no haggle pricing is kind of nice too. It would be nice to have more power, but for its intended audience it has just enough. I must confess I'm considering the xB and loading it up, and Im not its target market...I'm 54 years old!
The quality construction for the money, unique styling, and cool factor. There is tons of aftermarket stuff for this car too.
Make side aribags standard, add more horsepower, make more upgrades available.