ENFP Male: E-74% N-95% F-58% P-84% 3w2
"I feel there are two people inside me - me and my intuition. If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely." -Kim Basinger
yeah, a pickup!
there are plenty of little pickups that are honestly not that much bigger than a car. Ford Rangers are not real big, and they are pretty good from what i hear.
i am driving a 20 year old Dodge Ram pickup that has been through hell, and still drives beautiful. pickups usually age better than cars, so an older pickup is often times very reliable.
but if there's not much chance you're going to haul stuff around, a pickup is probably overkill.
Toyota Matrixes feel very roomy inside, have a decent amount of storage space, are good on gas, and are on the lower end for price. I love my Tercel and they go forever! However, for room, the newer Corollas are excellent inside, but are a mid-sized car. They are much more reasonably priced than Camrys.
Nissans and Mazdas are worth checking into if you can't afford a Toyota or Honda. Volvos by Volkwagen are great cars, but they are pretty expensive and parts can cost quite a lot as well.
I have a 2003 Toyota Corolla and I've been mostly happy with it, except for when I drove from Portland to Austin and back. I was really sore by the end of each day, and I was taking it easy; it's a straight-up commuter, no more. If you're a road-tripper, make sure to get a cruiser of some kind.
If I had it to do over again, I'd probably get a Toyota Matrix instead. My dad has one and it's much the same, but more comfortable and much easier to stuff full of cargo.
If I were to get a "spare" car, it would be a Mazda Miata convertible. It just seems like a lot of fun at a reasonable price. I'm shorter than average, but I knew a guy who was at least your height (6'4" IIRC) with a Miata and he said that its size didn't matter with the top off, since then it's just you and the great outdoors.
If I were a boater or might want to haul a trailer or something, then I would make sure to get something heavier, probably a truck or SUV. That's where I'd take a closer look at the earlier recommendations of a Ford Ranger or Subaru Forester.