What car do you recommend?

I need a car. Considering the following preferences, what would you buy?

Automatic trans

needs to last several years

good MPG (30 in town)

hatchback preferred

cruise control

electric windows

$10,000 or less (no financing)

$10K can buy a really nice Civic hatchback. I get 35 mpg in town and 42 on the highway, but mine is a standard so expect a little less out of an auto trans. At 160,000 miles, the motor still pulls hard and doesn’t smoke or leak.

Hope that helps.

Consumer Reports 2008 Buying Guide has suggestions. You get it free with a subscription (you get it soon, no matter when you subscribe) or you can buy the April Automotive Issue every year.

Agree; a good publication. In that price range I would look at those mentioned above and the Mazda Protege hatchback, Hyundai Elantra Hatchback, Ford Focus hatchback. The book will have other choices. Avoid nay Volkswagen, Saturn, or imported Chevrolet models from Korea.