Im getting close to retiring my work car/swiss army 2001 forester. Nearing 400K miles and no end in sight for the old girl..she is great for in town errands and local errands but she is too tired for long hauls. Found this site http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/ and its right up my alley for what i want to do with my next frugal car. My criteria: 30mpg or better, able to last to 300K miles without worry, comfortable enough to put those kind of miles and time in a seat. and little or no maintenance. ruling out timing belts as well. My choices so far: Honda Fit, Toyota Matrix A real world comparison between the fit and matrix was done at this site http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/corolla-matrix/59817-toyota-matrix-vs-honda-fit-3/ A small courier company had Honda Fits and Toyota Matrixs in his fleet.. in summary the matrix won out in the long run. Honda Fit- reviews point as being a desireable car to own, they have a following..so a good used version for cheap will be hard to find. Also seems that you need to get the 'sport' version to be happy. Only issues seem to be that a/c is weak, will have to do coil packs at some point and probably 02 sensors..everything else seems to point to a well designed economy fun car.. drawbacks are road noise and lack of power on hills. Toyota Matrix- A corolla hatchback in a nutshell. Same if not a little smaller cargo area than a honda fit. I am only interested in the 1.8 1ZZ-FE engine... the 2.4 from the camry seems to have headbolt issues, and the new 2009 and up 1.8 seems to have oil consumption issues. So I am stuck with a 2008 and older XR model to meet my criteria for sporty and the good engine. Both cars seem to function as sporty compacts, that can be used as a pickup truck if needed. Both cars and be used for camping *laying seats down and sleeping inside' Both seem ultra reliable as well..my forester was all of the above at the sacrifice of about 10mpg, timing belt repairs, and design flaws (head gaskets, wheel bearings). Im open to more suggestions or real world stories of why or why not on my choices. Ive read that toyota engines are 'hard on oil' and best to do 3-5k oil changes, also reading the fit is good to go 10-15k on synthetics.. Not considering- hybrids, diesels or sedans.