In 2003 when we came back to the States so that I could be near my family during my fight with my chronic disease, my brother had a Dodge Neon. The car was almost new. It had been in a crash (back end was smashed), but only had 5, 000 miles on the odometer.
Since I needed to go to a military base near SF for medical treatment. My brother basically gave us the car for repairs. (My brother worked at an auto-body shop at the time). So the first trip was from Las Vegas to SF--several hundred miles.
By my count, we have had this 2002 Neon for seven years. It is a basic dark blue car with alloy wheels. And better yet, it gets about 32 mpg, more on the highway.
In 2005 the car was stolen. A juvenile broke a window and drove the car around one of the bigger malls in Las Vegas. The reason he was caught is that a cop was checking license plates. When he saw a young man driving a car that was owned by older to middle-aged drivers, he realized that the car was stolen. They had the car in the stolen car lot before I even knew it was stolen. Thankfully my brother who owned an auto-body shop by that time was able to get the car and make the repairs.
Not long after that incident we moved to Northern Nevada. This car has been very sturdy. We drive it on dirt roads, paved roads, and highways. It has a layer of dust, which makes it a desert car. During the rising gas prices, I have been able to save money... It has been a great car for the two of us and it still has several miles to go.