I bought this car for the fuel savings over my old Grand Cherokee. You could say I got a free car out of the deal once you factor in the savings, and not a bad one at that. Tons of space for a small car and fun to drive. I drive this in a mountainous area of Canada which has the highest snow fall in Canada, most years anyway. So it is December and the studded tires are on and the car seems to be fairing quite well. A little noise from the studs but not as much as I thought there would be from a small car. The first gear is a little spongy but actually works well in limiting wheel spin in slippery situations. Other than that, not much wrong with this econ-o-box.
The fuel mileage. With the adequate ground clearance it seems to handle well in the snow, which is why I didn't buy the Civic. My friend gets stuck in her Civic, even with studded tires, to low to the ground. I suspect you will see lots of these in Colorado. I live in a very similar place.
The transmission is a bit whiny, maybe a heavier fluid will help and the gear ratios could be looked at for some fine tuning. Maybe scissor hinges on the trunk lid instead of the >in the way< C hinges. Other than that.. good job Toyota.