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What's the best car for a stand-up comedian who travels around the country?

My son travels all around the country with his job as a stand-up comedian. His faithful 2003 Volkswagen Golf has now done 210,000 miles, but is getting ready for retirement. What car of similar size would you recommend to replace it? Important factors being: safety, reliability, comfort and economy. The annual mileage and economy suggest diesel. But is there a risk of diesels being banned from entering some cities in the near future?

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While some cities across Europe are banning older diesels, I don't think that'll stretch to more modern, efficient diesels in the near future. Take a look at the Honda Civic. The i-DTEC diesel engine in the current model is efficient and very refined. It will be reliable, too.
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Bigger than previous Civic. Independent rear suspension means better ride and handling. New 1.0 VTEC turbo petrol is excellent while i-DTEC diesel is very refined.

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