No. of Recommendations: 0
I have to add my 2 cents since my favorite cars have not been mentioned.

I think safety is important. You don't want your au pair to break down on the freeway or your kid to get stranded in the middle of the night. So though I am in favor of cheap cars you need to have something reliable too.

First, the Ford Focus was on the Car & Driver top 10 list for a few years and we have one. For about $10K you can pick a basic model up and the thing is GREAT! It is safe and zippy and is a great little commuter car. Gets about 35-40 mpg on the highway. We even cart around our 3 dogs, one is a German Shepherd in the back.

Second, with your big Excursion, I understand your main problem with it is safety? If it was gas milage for about $500-1000 you can convert ANY diesel engine to a WVO car. That is car that runs on wasted veggie oil. Yes, you heard me right. We just bought a 1982 Benz that runs on veggie oil, or biodiesel or diesel. You can either filter your own oil from resteraunts or buy fresh stuff at the store. However, they get INCREDIBLE gas milage, about 40-50 mpg in the city I think for the Benz. Our car has been running on the same tank for 5 weeks now so I don't really know what the milage is yet. Sounds strange but it's really nice. It may be an option instead of a hybred as it is much cheaper per gallon.
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