After getting into an accident with my Kia Sephia, I needed a car bad. I decided on a Toyota Echo and have never felt a shred of buyer's remorse. This little car is quite deceiving with its roominess and and overall handling. Under the hood looks just as nice -- everything labled and easy to reach. I highly recommend this as a first car or one to replace a gas-guzzler!
Center console, roomy interior, gas mileage, storage within interior (there's a nifty tray under the passenger seat for maps or snacks), quality Toyota parts.
Fold-down backseats, better handling in windy weather... maybe add a CD player.