I've been given the assignment of finding a 1st car for my 18 year old step daughter who's about to start college (local). She tells me she has $3k to spend, but I don't want to go that high because I want her to save some as a cushion for those unexpected repairs. So I'm looking in the $2000-$2500 range. I'd like to get an idea on what some of you would suggest to go for in that range. I'm more concerned with something that has an engine with a solid reputation for being good, if not bullet proof. I know for the money I've got to play with, I'm probably looking at something in the mid-upper 100K's for miles. I know mid-late 90's Cavaliers would be in the price range, but I've heard those engines have had some issues with head gaskets and other internal things. Is the GM 3.1 from the mid-90's considered respectable? I had thought about Berettas or Luminas with that. OK, fire away!