This, my friends, is a picture of a 1992 Mitsubishi Expo LRV. That
In many ways the Expo was the perfect college vehicle. It was small and easy to park. Its rear seat could be folded forward or completely removed to haul stuff. It was new enough to be reliable in the frigid Wisconsin winters, but was wasn't so new that I worried about it when it was parked a mile away in the remote parking lot.
Being a "car guy" through and through, sometimes I felt like I'd been saddled with the Mitsubishi "Pregnant Roller Skate" instead of something perhaps cooler. I remember thinking I should sell it and get something else. I was typically reminded that this wasn't, in fact, my vehicle, and that it still belonged to my mom. But, I almost ended up with a 1987 VW Sirocco 16V instead, which would've been awesome, at least that's what I remembered thinking at the time. My mother was going to trade in the 1994 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS and the 1992 Expo LRV on a new 1997 Montero Sport, since the Eclipse wasn't terribly practical and was not good in the snows of Minnesota's winter. The VW was cheap, and I loved it, but in the end, it didn't work out thanks to a broken heater and sky-high insurance rates for an 18 year-old. She did trade in the Eclipse on the Montero Sport, and I still kept the Expo LRV. So close.
Eventually, I ended up truly embracing the Expo LRV for what it was. I started a Geocities site (remember those?) called The Expo LRV Pages and even ended up with a message board and a decent following. After connecting with others from around the world, I ended up putting a custom cat-back exhaust on it; a modified airbox with a K&N intake; some custom hubcaps (yes, hubcaps—hey, I was in college!); and a big, loud stereo which was stolen not once, but twice.
Eventually the Expo started to nickel and dime me, and I ended up trading it in on a 1999 Nissan Sentra SE Limited with the renowned SR20DE engine. But I remember the first time I tried to put my bike in the car, I gauged the upholstery. Man was I pissed! I remember thinking that the Sentra, as fun and sporty as it was, was not nearly as practical as the old Expo LRV.
Six years and several other vehicles later, I ended up with a 2005 Scion xB and realized how darn practical that Mitsubishi Expo LRV was, since the xB had many similar qualities and even similar dimensions. Of course, now I want another Expo LRV, which I'd love to drop a 4G63T engine from an Eclipse or EVO into. Someday!
That little Mitsubishi wasn't too expensive, it was good on gas, and it was possibly the most practical vehicle I've ever owned. It'd still be a great car for a college student, so long as you can get parts for them. Then again, these days, it's probably be better to find a used xB or xA; a Yaris, Honda Fit, or Nissan Cube or Versa. But back in the early 1990s, the Expo LRV and its Eagle Summit Wagon/Plymouth Colt Vista were hard to beat as a college car.