LINCOLN, NE— Husband Bruce Menden purchased a Geo Metro Tuesday, selecting the car on the basis of its rock-bottom passenger-side impact rating in Consumer Reports. "This car's price isn't inflated by sturdy, impact-resistant steel, is it?" Menden asked the salesman. "Safety's important, but I don't want to blow a fortune on luxuries." Menden, who always drives during outings with wife Cheryl, also passed on the optional passenger-side airbag.