honda civic or toyota corolla. great in snow. theres a corolla in my family we got for $500, and we've had it for like 15 years - my sister still drives it.
all the other choices will cost you money in repairs and shit. wife and I had a great '87 tercel that I used as a roofing vehicle till i killed it.
+1... My first car was an '82 Celica for $1300... Still wish I never sold it! Had a '92 Camry base model that did 455,000 km then I sold it for almost $1000.
My GF just bought her first vehicle. I fronted her the money. I told her to get a corolla/camry/celica or similar. She wanted a Subaru or a 4Runner. Ended up paying $5k for a really nice 4Runner in good shape, but with high mileage.
The truck has been great, but she had her first off road adventure (not on purpose) and now it needs $1000 worth of body work. Where does that money come from? She still hasn't paid off the truck to begin with...
For a first car START SMALL!!! In upstate NY you should be able to buy a 90's Camry with low mileage for a reasonable amount.
2000 Toyota Corolla LX-silver-auto powerdoors,windows,tilt&cruise-125K | Remsen | eBay Classifieds (Kijiji) | 21707113