I drove '05 models with a friend the other year, when she was looking for a new vehicle. We drove an Echo an Accent, and a Civic. Civic had harsh ride, poor visibility and felt cramped, (I think the older ones are probably better) Accent was rattly and felt underpowered. Echo had best ride, great visibility and felt peppy, so she got it on finance... drove it round about 8 months, and she was hitting near 50mpg all the time despite not really attempting to save gas, she has a bit of a lead foot really. Then early one morning, she did a little offroad excursion at 50+mph avoiding a bunch of deer on a rural road, flipped it 3 times and ended up on the roof, airbags deployed and she walked away without a scratch. Echo was totalled due to roof and A pillar damage, but it held together really well. Insurance wrangling took a while and she couldn't get another Toyota, due to things not being settled with Toyota Finance, so with needing a car, she got a reasonable deal on a 2yo SX 2.0 (Neon) which she has been fairly happy with but misses the gas mileage of the Echo...
Anyway, upshot of that is, I'd recommend the Echo's and Yarises to anyone wanting to have a safe and economical small car.
Other than that, Kia Rios have been really impressing me since '05 models and Ford Focuses got pretty thrifty in '06 and '07, there's still a few '07s out on Ford dealer lots, and I believe Ford has delivery allowances and other incentives on them, and you can argue yourself a damn good deal on them.
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice