I read several posts say the Metro is unsafe? No car will save you in a major wreck. There was a really tragic head-on collision here recently between a late model rent-a-car and a F350 truck. Crossed the centerline at 60mph. BOTH vehicles were destroyed and all occupants perished, despite all the airbags inflating, etc.
I'd say the best way to protect yourself in any vehicle is to drive very defensively and not just count on any "new technology" to help you if the worst happens.
A major wreck always has a chance of overcoming a car's crash protection. That is more likely with a decade old model than a newer one. People complain above the wider roof pillars creating blind spots, but they do provide more protection from roof collaspe during a roll over.
What makes those older cars really unsafe is how well they protect in a more minor accident. Accidents in which occupants in a new model just brush themselves off can mean an ambulance trip with an older model.
Of course no car will protect you from the most extreme examples, but the most common examples are not that extreme -- and either way, there's no point discussing the crashes where you can't help protect the occupants, only the ones where you can. Of course the best safety choice is avoiding the crash, but sometimes crashes happen. I can understand wanting something up to modern crashworthiness standards.
...and don't go thinking I'm defending my own choices, my daily driver (80 miles per day) is from 1980, just after they cut a ton of weight because of the gas crises but long before crashworthiness was anything more than seatbelts and a collapsible steering column. The passenger cabin is my car's crumple zone.
I'd take the much safer Spark over the Geo Metro any day of the week. Getting 50+ MPG is not worth the risk to me personally. The newer crash technology in smaller cars really increases the odds of surviving a crash.
I was in a pretty horrific crash last year, in a "budget" car, but it was from 2008 so modern compared to the Metro I guess. We were hit at 60 MPH by another driver who skidded onto our side of the road, the first impact smashed all the windows and took one of my wheels clean off, and snapped the steering. Still travelling at 60 with no brakes or steering, we then rolled over into the ditch and slid for a while. The car held it's shape really well, I reckon if we were in a car from the late 80's or early 90's I wouldn't be typing this message. The other driver was in a 2001 VW Polo and spent 6 months in a comma, but to be fair, he car rolled down a hill and was about 3 foot high after the crash. You cannot avoid crashes sometimes, they happen in a thousandth of a second.