I never check the new posts, but its your lucky day.
I've lived all over the state and currently live in Morro Bay next to San Luis Obispo(SLO).
You'll be smart to get out of LA as soon as possible. Once you get to about Malibu you should take your Camaro convertible(fiat is too small have you actually seen one?) to Hwy 1 and cruise up the coast. There are some great driving roads, Mulholland comes to mind that connect to Hwy 1.
Santa Barbara is nice and its fun to drive along State St, but its mostly for site seeing and people watching. The same can be said for SLO too. So come in and check them out see the beauty around them, but that's about it. Monterey and Carmel are pretty cool too but for the same reason. Keep in mind that I live in SLO and go to Monterey and SB a few times a year so I probably take it for granted.
I try to make it out to Yosemite once or twice a year it is amazing!, but we go backpacking. Not to say that you can't drive through it and take incredible pictures because their are plenty of people who just pull over and take pictures. My only concern is that the drive from the coast to Yosemite is ugly and sketchy in some parts. So that 5 hours is kind of wasted. Also the waterfalls which is what you'll mostly see from your car will be not be dry or smaller because its so late in the season and we haven't had much rain/snow this year. Now you maybe able to go from SLO or SB to Sequoia(tall redwoods) and then cruise up to Yosemite and then back to Monterey.
San Francisco is a great CITY. I doubt you'll be parallel parking as much as you'll be paying $20 to park at a lot. So the Mini and Fiat aren't worth the deficiencies for the parking positives.
San Jose is working city not much to see there as far as I'm concerned and the Winchester House is kind of a joke like those old Route 66 tourist traps. Not worth it.
I would pick 2 out of 3 of the Coast cities. They are very similar as far as I'm concerned. You didn't say if you were going to do any surfing, kayaking or hiking that will help you decide on which coastal cities too. Then hit up the National Parks in the Central Valley in between coastal spots.
I use Trip Advisor, I think they are usually pretty good on finding the local hangouts.