bite the bullet and take the higher rate for now. go join a credit union, make 10-12 payments on time, go to your credit union (which you should be a member of for 10-12 mos. at this point) and ask them to re-finance your loan. 90% of the time, if you have make all of your payments on time with the auto loan and your other debts, and you dont get raped on the car sale, they will do it.
Dont finance the car (the first time) for 72 mos. Go for the 60 mos term. Put a decent amount down. Remember, unless the loan is "Rule of 78", its a simple interest loan. Meaning you can pay it off at any time without a pre-payment penalty and you pay the interest and principal. Rule of 78 is when you pay interest first, then principal (a way for the bank to get their money faster).
The best way, and fastest way to rebuild your credit is to get a car loan. Also, consider traking in the car after 2 or 3 years of on time payments. Your next loan will be a lower rate. And, the 2 or 3 years of 16% isnt going to be a huge amount of money. Assuming your loan amount is around $15k - $17k.
Salesman for 8 years. Finance Manager for 2 years.