Car Shopping!

So last week I sold my car and I now find myself without a vehicle for the first time in years. The primary reason for doing this was I now work from home and the car just sat there most days each week. My long time girlfriend has a commute each day, but she refused to learn how to drive a manual transmission (lame - otherwise she is the best). By getting rid of the car I eliminated about $500/month between the payment, insurance and parking. We are looking to save up and purchase some property next year so this change in income will be beneficial.

The upside - I now get to look for the best used vehicle I can find under $20K! I want to poll all of you, Opponauts, and see what your suggestions are. City car for a couple, no children, no dogs to haul, has to be an automatic, fuel economy is nice but not one of the top things we are searching for. Living in Chicago a little extra ground clearance or AWD would be nice in the snow but is not necessary - can just put some snow tires on and be good to go.

I have a couple of vehicles in mind that I have looked at already, but wanted to see if I am overlooking anything. CPO or some sort of warranty is also a plus. In my mind we get this vehicle, get a house in next 12-18 months and then in 2-3 years I can get myself something light weight with a manual to drive around and have fun.

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