After a lot of research and test drives I just bought my wife a used 2009 Honda Fit basic model automatic. I was really impressed with the storage ability and the build quality. The car has great handling along with good acceleration (0-60 9.9s 17.6/79mph) and fuel economy 27 city/35 hwy.
My comparison objectives in the $12-13K range and similar years with automatic were:
Toy Matrix base - nice, but seemed underpowered and handling wasn't that great. Also seemed cheap feeling inside and not that comfortable.
Scion Xd 2008 - more power but handling and tranny response not very good and it seemed noisy on the highway, and most seemed over priced. Also had a too boxy looking for my taste.
Mazda 2 2012 - Fantastic handling, comfort and build quality and quiet on the highway, but very limited storage space and the price was too high for my budget. This car is pretty amazing though, lots of fun to drive and has amazing pep for the small engine along with excellent mpg.
It was really hard finding a Fit, they are snapped up around here as soon as they come on the market. The local Honda dealer had just got this one in and it was sitting in the back and hadn't been detailed and checked out.. some guy in the military who got moved over seas. 40k miles and the price includes the original drive train warranty along with the Honda Certified one year warranty, all for $13k + tax, etc.
They are going to deliver it tomorrow and my wife is very excited about it!
I took some pix of it sitting in the back lot and made this card for her: