When buying a car these days one has to be quite careful. I remember back when I was in high school I had to make a choice, I could either choose to pick a university in another city or a car and go to the university in my home town. At the time a car seemed like a good idea but after a lot of thought I picked the first option. When I finished high school I moved to a new city, had a lot of fun, learned a few things and generally had a good time. If I had stayed I would have ended up with a mediocre thousand dollar rust bucket that would be gathering dust in the junkyard by now. A few years have gone by and now I am considering purchasing a car again. I know the economy is tough but I have a stable job and I am beginning to have need for travel more so a car is looking like a worthwhile investment again.

Now I am not rich. I make a good living from a good job. My bills get paid, my rent is never late and I can afford the finest malt liquors sold in forty ounce form. So a used car is my best bet. Should I go foreign or domestic though? If I go domestic my best bet would be a Ford simply because they are the best off amongst the Detroit three. Worsgt case scenario at least I will be able to get spare parts. Thank Henry Ford for standardized parts and his anti-Semitic legacy will live on.

If I go foreign though; it boils down to two choices, either the Honda Civic or the Volkswagen Jetta Diesel. Fuel economy is a major concern. American cars unfortunately cannot compete with European or Japanese cars when it comes to fuel economy. Japan has no natural petroleum deposits and Europe's are limited at best. In those places a philosophy has developed when designing cars to ensure that they get the maximum out of each drop of gasoline. Volkswagen after recently designed and successfully tested a car which can get up to 250 miles per gallon. Granted the car only sits one person and has almost no trunk but that's impressive.

The 2005 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel can get up to 41 miles per gallon on the highway and 32 in the city. That is on par with the Toyota Prius and best of all I wouldn't have to drive a Prius. Plus Jetta's are great cars for modification. They are similar to the old Chargers or Mustangs I grew up loving. You buy a started package with the car then it is up to you to do with it what you wish. Kind of like a PC. Honda Civics are the same way but are slightly less fuel efficient. A 2005 Honda civic with 4 cylinders gets at best 39 miles per gallon highway and 31 miles per gallon in the city.

A car is an investment and when you buy a car it needs to be reliable. I might be driving it for a decade. At times I figure I would be better off to just buy a motorcycle and not worry about it.