So some of you know that my cars warranty is up in August and its fate after that has been on the fence for a little while. I talked to my folks about it today and its been decided, once the warranty ends, my ownership of the Volvo ends as well. I just can't afford parts when they break and working on it is beyond my fathers and my own scope of knowledge. Plus our go-to mechanic will not work on anything European and thats led us to going to some sketchy shops for repairs. The wagon is a great car but I just don't love it. Normally when I wash a car that I love, it takes 3 hours and includes a full polish and waxing and happens every other week. The wagon gets a light rinse for 20 minutes once a month. So anyway, come August the Volvo will be up for sale. My goal is to have a job and my budget will most likely be 10 grand. I'd like to have a Japanese car again but have decided against a Subaru.

Some cars I've been considering:

Lancer SE AWC/GTS

Mazda 3

Mazda 6

Scion FRS (can one of these be found for under 10k used yet?)

Honda Fit (pretty unlikely though)

What I need - reliable, decent on gas (20MPGs minimum really), decent aftermarket, easy to keep running (it's a DD, not a project car)

Have a gratuitous shot of my wagon with its older sibling -

Help me pick my next car...