I replaced my 2000 Pontiac Bonneville with a 2007 Toyota Corolla LE 5 spd. The only reason we went with a small car was because of the cost of gas, otherwise we would have never done it. The 2007 Corolla is horribly uncomfortable to drive. There is no support under the front part of your thighs, and the steering wheel is too far away. It seems impossible to adjust the seat to get into a comfortable driving posting where you can actually grab the steering wheel at 10 and 2. My wife owned an '89 Toyota Corolla and it seems like it has changed little since then except gotten more uncomfortable.
Great gas mileage. I drive 45 miles a day and I am getting every bit of the sticker posted gas mileage for the 5 spd (32 - 41). The Toyota also has a good size trunk for a small car, I've got my golf clubs, and a whole bunch of other stuff in there.
Better side impact. IIHS gave this a poor rating without the side impact airbags. That is the worst rating. That is almost like signing your own death certificate. I am scared to put my kids in this car. Also, fix the seats, give it a telescoping steering wheel.