Hey Oppo, it's been awhile! Anyways, I'm taking a co-worker/friend out on Friday to go car shopping for a new-to-her used car. She's looking for a reliable, economical (to an extent) family sedan type car. I have a few cars on my list that we'll be hunting for (watch out Carmax!) but was wondering if you guys had any suggestions I might have missed.

She's a single mother with an 8-year old daughter. Car must be cool looking, fun, and children capable. It must be able to occasionally carry more than one child. Also, it should be able to make it to L.A. from San Diego in under a tank of gas. Preferably and back as well.

- Price range: $12k - $16k ($12k cash down, no more than $4k additional financing)

- Sedan (Convertibles okay. No wagons, hatchbacks, vans, coupes (Gran Coupes okay technically))

- Automatic

- Reliable (Mostly, to an extent)

- 4 Cylinder (Inline or flat), or possibly 6 cylinder (again, inline or flat only)


- Comfortable

- Economical (Something better than the 12 mpg she currently gets)

- Somewhat sporty but more practical than sporty

- Most look good - as in the general populace finds it a decent looking car, not Oppo-fetish 240-wagon good looking or whatever

Any suggestions? I'm personally hoping she ends up with an IS300 or 318i(s).