When I came back from Canada in 2006, I was looking for value and economy. I'd had a Mazda MX5 there, but couldn't afford the Australian equivalent. I compared small cars and the Yaris came out on top.
It's a great car and I've had a lot of fun in it. It just hit the 113600 mark (5 trips to QLD from VIC and back) and I've never crawled out of this car in agony. The seats, front and back are so comfortable.
It's a bit noisy (1.5Ltr), but a smooth ride. What I like about this version is it has a lot of "oomph", so that if you need to pass in a tricky situation, you just drop it down a gear or two (on the manual) and it takes off like a scalded cat. Good fuel economy (6.7/100). Huge interior with more storage space in the dashboard area than the later models; back seats lay completely flat (I'm short so I can sleep full length in it comfortably); has a real spare tire.
It had been vandalised in 2012; someone had tried to break off the rear windscreen wiper. I thought I was going to have to spend a fortune to have it repaired but the Maintenance Manager at the Toyota dealership I went to came out with a wrench, gave it a few twists, and it was good as new. He said: "You can't break these cars." I was totally impressed. I'm going to have to sell it - which I'll hate to do - but I now have a standard poodle, so need the five-door model. GREAT CAR!