I bought my Chevy S10 for $1000 dollars at 200k miles (only because the owner thought it had a cracked head, but it was perfectly fine and just a spark plug wire came loose) and I have to say, it's been a great first vehicle. I used it to learn how to drive manual and it's still going strong. The little 2.2l 4 cylinder can move this truck pretty quick on the city streets, but I wouldn't recommend it for constant use on interstate highways. The gas mileage is great, insurance is cheap (for me at least) and it has maintained great reliability. The only part I have a problem with is the ignition module on top of the steering column under the dash, as it will go out about once or twice a year, but as soon as I did it once, it's a quick swap and the part only costs about $8. My truck has been beaten up a bit from previous owners and had me grind the gears while learning how to drive it, but it's still as strong as my dad's was when he had his. My S10 was lowered and I believe it increased the cornering pretty well, and it feels very strong compared to some other trucks. If I was to get my child a first vehicle, a manual 2.2l S10 would be first choice for its reliability, tolerance to abuse, and the great gas mileage.