Get a Honda or Toyota, 2-3 years old, pay cash if you can, and drive it till the wheels fall off. I hit 300K on my Toyota this year, last mechanic that looked at says I haven't even broken it in yet, lol. Pay yourself a car payment.
re: Car note(Posted by EA6B on 1/28/13 at 9:50 am to Redfin)
As many have said save up the cash and by a good used Honda or Toyota. My kids have purchased Civics and Accords in the 6-8K range and driven them for years with few problems. I have bought Toyota trucks with over 100K miles on them and put an additional 100K with no issues.