I purchased a 2003 Pontiac Vibe with 165,000 miles for $2,500 in July 2014. It has a Toyota engine, but it burns oil at a rate of about 600-800 miles per quart.
The Pontiac Vibe was one of the recommended cars on MMM list. However, because the 2003 burns oil many complainypants on this website told me not to buy it. I'm glad that I ignored the noise.
After almost 3 years it currently has 201,000 miles. I know that 36,000 miles in less than 3 years is a lot of driving. However, it was my wife's commuter car for about 9 months and we took it on a lot of road trips. It has been on 4 separate cross-country road trips of at least 2,000 miles each. I also use it 15 times a year to go snowboarding. It's about 200 miles round trip from the Denver area to the mountains.
The only needed repair was fixing the starter. I was able to do it myself for $137 and 3 hours of my time that to youtube. I bought a case of motor oil from Costco on sale for $2.15/quart.
I bought an ultra-gauge and the MPG is way better than I expected. It lists 22/29 for mpg. Without very much effort, my overall mpg is 32.5.
If I put more effort into my driving, I think it's possible to get 40 mpg overall. However, in my opinion, it needs to be 90% highway to get above 35 mpg. For city driving, I'm probably around 27 mpg. My best trip on the ultra-gauge was 47 mpg when I was drafting on the highway at a safe distance around 50-55 mph.