The Toyota Echo is the value for your dollar car next to the Honda Civic. If you are looking to give your new high school graduate a new car, A Honda Civic or Toyota Echo is the car. Although 2005 is the last production year for the Echo, look in 2007 for the Toyota Yaris to be the next best thing. Japanese producted Yaris is the exact same frame and structure as the Echo, but you now have a 3rd or 5th door (hatchback).
Gas mileage from 36 to 40, depends on your driving habits. Laughlin and 1/2 the way back on one 11 gallon tank, tell me what car can do that, non hybrid and having 108 horsepower stock. Instrument cluster is designed so that you will not move your eyes very much to see how fast you are going.
Seats are a little harsh, very little leg room for rear personnel, but with 38+ mpg, do not carry more than 2 people in the car.