This past February I bought a brand new 2008 Toyota Yaris. It was my first new car and I bought it after quite a few months of searching and bellyaching over pricing. But, my Yaris has served me exceedingly well so far. Incredible gas mileage is now matched with great snow handling ability. The Toyota Yaris is basically a snow machine, but a lot more practical and safe than the kind Todd Palin uses.
I am convinced the Yaris, with some tweaking and modification would make an excellent rally styled car. I went barreling around in my house to the super market to pick up a few things and even when forcing the car into a controlled slide in poorly paved roads (empty roads too, I'm not completely stupid!) I was able to correct and power out of the slide quite easily. Plus, with the transmission being a 5-speed manual rather than automatic, I never felt in danger of an un-intended skid because I was able to effectively downshift while coming to a stop.
I've driven rally cars before, usually extremely powerful and stiff riding beasts of the automobile type, but my Toyota Yaris would hold it's own as far as handling goes. Not that I'm in the financial shape to be able to mod a car to the teeth, but if I could, my Yaris would make a great starting point.