The mighty Subaru has died. (moment of silence, please)
It overheated and Jrex had to get it towed to the mechanic. The bad news came back today: either the head gasket blew (again. $3500 the last time to fix it...) or the engine block is cracked. We'd decided that anything over $1000 on our beloved '99 Outback would signal the end.
Thus (swelling orchestral music), The End.
Sooo.... we need a second car AND we're moving this summer. Don't yet know if we need a cozy car for a land of rain and mountains or a breezy vehicle with tons of A/C for a HOT desert environment. AWD? Not so much need for it in Dallas? Portland: it would help. Kid factor? Hopefully, but definitely no need for a mini-van at this stage. Our biggest need in either case would be great gas mileage. We'd prefer something that can handle mild off-roading to get to a trailhead. Room to tote furniture or plywood (any homeowner knows the need for hauling capabilities...). Stick shift is fine.
As you may recall, we bought a used '95 Civic from a friend a couple months ago, but haven't decided yet if we bring her for the move or let her retire in sunny California. Ideally this second car would be the one we can drive cross country and use in our new lives.
What do you recommend? We'd prefer to buy used and not spend more than $15,000 (preferably less). I've looked at craigslist. Any other sites people have used and loved?