So, before too much longer I will have the funds to purchase my first car. To clarify, my mother passed away in 2005 and the probate is (finally) just about to close. Once we sell her house the money will be divided evenly between my sister and I. If the house sells for the full amount it was appraised for, I stand to receive approximately $27,000. I've never owned a car and I'm 21 years old. I figure that this is a good investment and this will probably be the only time for a long time that I'll have to money to do this.
I've done some research and I'm torn between a 2007 Honda Civic and a 2007 Scion xB. I'm open to other recommendations, but I want a car that will last and will require very little maintenance as I am completely retarded when it comes to cars and too broke to really afford a lot of mechanic work. I realize that I will not be able to make any real decisions until I actually test drive the vehicles, but I want a good idea of what I'm looking for before I go to a dealership.
On the subject of test drives: When one is test driving, what should they look for? What're some good questions to throw at the salesperson? What information should I keep and with hold from a salesperson? Are there any tips or tricks to getting a better deal from a dealership? Is it better to buy a car directly off a car lot or order the car custom from the manufacturer?
As you can see, I've got a lot of questions about this and any help/advice you can offer would be awesome. I'll be around every few hours to address requests for information that I may have neglected to give when writing this post.