There's alot of old 1.8t's out there that were maintained properly and have >200k on them. I'm at about 260 ft lbs of torque right now and it tosses your head back when you get on it. Not bad for a $4000 car with about $1000 worth of mods. Gotta love grease under the fingernails to daily drive an old eurotuner, though.
1975 VW Westfalia Weekender, 1972 VW Eurospec Westfalia Oslo, both have "street camped" at Wrightsville, and an 84 VW Rabbit convertible. (When I'm landlocked in the Piedmont I walk to work, thus the uber reliable trans:D) To get to our beach place at CB, my wife's Chevy Equinox. Loaded with boards and gear about 22 mpg. We leave our gear there for the most part, so unlaiden it gets 25 mpg...much like an African Swallow...
2003 vw jetta wagon 2.0. Seats lay flat for haulin gear and it's pretty descent on gas mileage.
Subie Or Die! best all around no question! climbing, surf, kayak bike, ski, tows my 16 ft skiff, cant beat it!
2004 Toyota Tacoma TRD extracab. Not 4WD but gets me and boards to all but those very remote beach parks even with some sand and unimproved lava roads.
Gas milage isn't great and is expensive (4.58 at the Costco) but on the other hand I usually don't have to drive too far...
Subaru 2011 Impreza hatchback, 5 speed
1999 buick century. I ripped the backseat out so I could put my board through the trunk and into the backseat. I was sick of dealing with the roof rack and find now that I do not have a backseat i do not need to drive more than one person around. Gas mileage is average at best but I think i increased it slightly by losing the weight of the seat!