you're limits 25k? i'd highly recommend a used mercedes. a c-class would be a great first car. not too fast, really reliable, comes in a coupe, and a much nicer interior than a civic. maintenance is a lot more expensive for mercedes, but they don't break down too often anyway. i also think that german cars drive much nicer than any japanese car that I've driven. I've got an 11 year old mercedes that hasn't even broken down once *knock on wood* and I prefer driving it over my parents new lexus and acura.