The 7 Most Fuel Efficient Used Cars Under $10,000

You’re sick of your SUV and thinking of getting a car that’s new to you, but which ones get the best gas mileage for the price? Consumer Reports has the answer — a list of the 7 most fuel efficient used cars for under $10,000.

Why buy used? Well, as CR says “depreciation accounts for 46 percent of the owner costs over a five-year period.” Why not let someone else take the hit?

By focusing on a nearly-new model, say 2-3 years old, you can find a vehicle that offers comparable fuel economy, performance, safety, and reliability as a new car, often with some transferable warranty coverage remaining.

Amen! Anyway, here’s the list. Some of the cars are older than 2-3 years, but hey. They’re all under $10k.

Here’s the list:

  1. 2000 Honda Insight (manual) 51 mpg

  2. 2001-02 Toyota Prius 41 mpg

  3. 2000-05 Toyota Echo 38 mpg
  4. 1998-2002 Chevrolet Prizm 32 mpg
  5. 1998 Mazda Protegé LX 32 mpg
  6. 1998-2000 Toyota Corolla LE 32 mpg
  7. 1998-2001 Acura Integra LS (manual) 32 mpg

Consumer Reports also has a list of the top cars from $10,000-$20,000, which you can view here.


Best used cars for fuel economy
[Consumer Reports]
(Photo: smcgee )

Comments

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  1. JohnDeere says:

    im getting close to 50mpg on a 1996 plymouth neon, just by changing my driving habits. less brakes more coasting in neutral ect….

  2. purplesun says:

    Yay! Mine’s on the list! Although, my ’99 Toyota Corolla only gets about 27 mpg. I wonder where they got those numbers.

  3. Jakuub says:

    @purplesun: All about how you drive it; my ’01 Integra LS gets anywhere from 23 – 41 mpg, entirely based on what I’m doing with it.

  4. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Hooray for the Corolla. I had two, and they both got in the mid 30s on mileage, and I was very sad when they were both ruined in accidents that were not my fault. I’d have bought another, except I needed a station wagon.

    That said, the Matrix and Vibe are really Corollas with different body styles. True story. I couldn’t find them in my price range when I was looking (because I was paying cash), but if you like Corollas, consider those cars as options if you need space to haul stuff.

  5. bonzombiekitty says:

    My problem with corollas is that I can’t fit in them comfortably, and there’s no way that someone will be able to fit in the seat behind me.

  6. chrisgeleven says:

    As much as I love my Subaru Forester (it is a tank in snow, which you may have heard we get a lot of in NH), I really wish I had gotten a Corolla instead. I had the pleasure of driving a Corolla rental car when my Forester was being fixed up after being broken into and absolutely love it.

  7. wiggatron says:

    Or you could buy a brand new Chevy Aveo (complete with that nice, brand new car warranty) for less than 10K and still get about 30-35 mpg.

  8. B1663R says:

    pffttt, overall fuel economy is a myth for hybrids. i know a few people who owned (yes owned and sold) because they didn’t live up to the hype. they said they were good for city driving but as soon as you got them on the highway, they suck back the gas.

    IMHO, get a yaris/echo for the best fuel economy and reliability.

  9. ekthesy says:

    The Protege LX is an excellent car when you factor in the 1.8L engine and the fact that you reliably get over 30 mpg for the run through the fuel tank. I have an ’02 Protege LX. Great car and ubiquitous on the used-car market.

  10. harumph says:

    Ha! My 91 CRX gets 40-42 on the highway and it’s a crappy automatic. Take that Prius!

  11. The_Gas_Man says:

    @B1663R:
    Well, they should have known that going into the purchase. The mileage is stated clearly on the vehicles — and mileage estimates are nearly always overstated — eg, traveling exactly 55mph for the entire tank with the wind at your back will indeed yield 40mpg. Not going to happen in the real world.

  12. Grive says:

    @wiggatron: But you’d be driving a Chevrolet Aveo.

    There’s a reason why it sells new for that amount.

  13. JRock says:

    But… my 02 Saturn SC2 (5-speed) gets about 35MPG average, and it’s only worth about 5k these days. AND I shift the gears like an asshat.

  14. JeffDrake says:

    My 2002 Saturn SL2 gets 37 mpg on the interstate, and I NEVER see it on these lists. I paid $7K for it in 2005 . . . .

  15. dako81 says:

    A little bit older, but I picked up a 1997 Accord 2dr, 5spd, 2.2l with 110k miles. I can’t seem to make it get below 33mpg overall average if I try with about 85-90% highway (75-85mph) and about 10-15% stop and go city mixed in, and have already put 10k miles on it the past few months and have had no issues. But, when I got it I looked in the owners manual and did all of the service suggested + or – 30k miles of what it had on it, so I knew I had a point to start at in terms of what’s been taken care of. Only put $5-600 in it including front brakes at a local trusted import only mechanic, and I have a car that looks nice, runs and drives like new for a grand total of about $4,000. No car payments, and cheap insurance to boot!

    Problem is when someone buys a used car, they don’t put the money in it when they get it to make it in tip top shape. They expect that they won’t have to worry about anything like a new car (which people neglect taking care of anyway) and then something breaks and they give the whole used car thing a bad name…I guess you just have to be smart about it.

  16. JeffDrake says:

    Hah, beat to the punch by JRock. Gotta love my Saturn.

    And I too shift gears like an asshat

  17. TouchMyMonkey says:

    @bonzombiekitty: We had an ’02 Corolla for awhile, and I feel your pain. Elbow room was lacking more than anything. It could have been a couple inches wider for my fat ass. Other than that, it had all kinds of pickup because it didn’t weigh anything and we got around 35 with automatic transmission.

    I hear the newer ones address the elbow room issue.

  18. sleze69 says:

    Where are the VW TDI Golfs and Jettas? They get 50 MPG easily and can get 60 MPG with minial driving habit changes.

    I can’t imagine the resale value of a 98 Golf/Jetta TDI is so amazing that it would still be above $10k.

    Consumer Reports just doesn’t like Diesel cars.

  19. ryan89 says:

    Those Prius’ are about due for a new battery too.

  20. econobiker says:

    1995 Dodge Neon 5 speed 4dr- 37-39 mpg highway/city combined running 89 octane, 230,000 miles estimated worth $1000- $2000. Now running with an engine miss (3cylinders?) at 242,000 and still getting 29-30mpg. So pox on that list… Off to the repair shop in the next couple of days- so what if the repairs cost $500-$600 that is far cheaper than buying a new car…

    Biggest problems with US car drivers is lack of maintenance (like checking tire pressures) and the need for automatic transmissions…

  21. MsClear says:

    I drive a 98 Corolla, which gets fabulous mileage. A little better than that listed, I think about 35 mpg on the highway. I go two weeks on my 12 gallon tank.

    I don’t find the Corolla too small. I fit in quite comfortably. My hubby is 6’2″ and he’s ok too, with the seat back.

  22. dako81 says:

    Oh yea, and unlike these new cars, I’ve got a big tank. That means range unlike these 9 or 10 gallon tanks on these new cars. Supposedly the spec I’ve seen online is 17 gallons, but I went until I felt the gauge was getting low enough for my nerves, no light came on or anything, and it was 525 miles and I put in just over 15 galons for about 34mpg.

  23. @sleze69: Truth

    They also don’t mention that it is unbelieveably hard to find a used Honda Insight. There aren’t that many of them to begin with, and people are snatching them up.

    I say used mazda 626 (manual). I got 35-40 in mine, and you can get one of them for under 3 grand.

  24. Bahnburner says:

    Hypbrids make the top of the list…again! For those of us in the real world who have to drive farther than two miles for a gallon of milk, they suck.

  25. ScottCh says:

    B1663R: My 2002 Prius gets better gas mileage on the highway than it does in town. 48-49 MPG typical. Just set the cruise control and roll past the gas stations.

    Ryan89: Guess how many Priuses have needed replacement batteries so far? Hardly any. If individual cells wear out they can be replaced, but after 6 years mine’s still at 100%.

    Toyota is also preparing to sell reconditioned battery packs when we do need them, for much less than wholesale.

  26. battra92 says:

    @econobiker: “Biggest problems with US car drivers is lack of maintenance (like checking tire pressures) and the need for automatic transmissions…”

    I would love to learn to drive a manual but all the driving schools around here were basically just teaching automatics. My folks only drive automatics too so …

    Methinks I should buy a beater with a stick and learn on that.

    Anyway … I’m getting 34ish with my 07 Elantra and fueleconomy.gov rates it at something like 28. I do keep a fairly detailed log using filling up to when the pump shuts off and almost always at the same station (most times the same pump too) All I know is, if I was getting the 40s that some people are pulling (with lawnmowers like the Echo or Metro) I’d probably only save about $20 a month which I’ll pay for the privilege of having a slightly more roomy car.

    In retrospect I should have bought a used Corolla or Elantra and it would have made much more financial sense.

  27. battra92 says:

    @dako81: What cars have 9 gallon tanks? Mine is a 15. Perhaps they are doing it for weight reasons?

  28. The_Legend says:

    Do you think you can purchase a used Prius or Insight for under 10 grand now? When 90’s model Geo Metro’s are gong for $7k plus? Let me buy up all the under 10k Prius and Insight you have. Time for me to make a profit off the suckers out there. Just checked FleaBay and the two Insights have a buy it now sucker price of almost 12 grand and 14 grand. And good luck finding a Prius that isn’t tit$ up for under 15k

  29. Erwos says:

    I would love to get a Honda Insight with manual transmission, but a quick search didn’t indicate any for sale around here. *shrugs* Even eBay Motors didn’t yield very much.

  30. HogwartsAlum says:

    I have a 1993 Buick Regal (:P) and it’s a gas-sucker. But then, I’m bad; I don’t drive it like the little old people who tool around in Buicks in this town.

    I drive like Batman. I totally need a Lamborghini.

  31. JustThatGuy3 says:

    That 98-02 Prizm is a hidden gem. Mechanically, it’s _identical_ to the Corolla, same assembly line, everything, but since it has a Chevy logo on the front, rather than a Toyota, it sells for much less. Not the prettiest car, but if you want cheap “turn the key and go” transport, it’s a heckuva deal.

  32. JulesNoctambule says:

    My ’92 Volvo 940 sedan gets insane mileage for a car her size. We can get all the way across the state with gas to spare and in town, we only fill up every two and a half weeks — and that’s even with my paranoia-based ‘always fill at a 1/4 tank’ rule. Between performance, mileage and safety, you won’t catch me owning anything but a pre-Ford, true Volvo ever again.

  33. admiral_stabbin says:

    @sleze69: The VW Golf/Jetta TDIs are actually not that efficient (in the world of modern diesels). Look to the MY2009 Jetta ([www.vw.com]) with the new motor for a more competitive diesel experience from VW.

  34. sir_eccles says:

    What gets me are the latest adverts on TV for new cars which boast fuel efficiency of 35 mpg.

    Really? You’re proud of that? Here are cars several years old that do about the same mileage and you don’t seem to have raised the bar at all.

    All it needs is for one company to strip out all the dead weight, dvd players, heated seats etc, throw in a better smaller engine because frankly you’ve just removed half the car and you’ll be selling 45 55 mpg cars like hot cakes.

  35. raleel says:

    i have a ’92 civic vx hatchback. awesome little thing gets 48mpg for my commute with 2 passengers. Yes, it’s not fast. Yes, it’s acceleration is slow, but it is plenty. Keep the tires inflated properly, do the maintenance, and it’s the best 3k I ever spent (in 2002, I got it with 65k miles, now has 118k)

    Sad thing is that the Fit is 200 pounds heavier and has 20 more HP and gets much worse gas mileage. I’d trade it in for a new car, but I’d have to tune down the engine in some fashion that I just don’t know how to do :)

  36. Nofsdad says:

    MY 98 Ford Escort ZX2 has consistently gotten 39+ mpg on the highway since all it’s career of hauling me around. Of course I only drive a few thousand miles a year and though it’s 11 years old, it still has less than 100k on it so it hasn’t had all the wear and tear one in it’s age bracket would normally have but it does beat all but two on the list.

  37. Boberto says:

    My Saab 9-3 2.0T gets 35mpg with a 6M transmission. 210hp and stellar performance, reliability, comfort.

    For my commute (135 miles roundtrip), I drive a 1981 MB 300SD turbodiesel converted to run waste veggie oil. Saves about $500/month.

  38. My little Scion xD regularly gets 33-40 mpg. Of course it is new and not used, but I really can’t recommend it enough.

  39. Jeangenie says:

    Small engine plus manual transmission is the key for an economical but satisfying ownership experience.

    I bought a 2004 Nissan Sentra 1.8L manual new for just under $10K, the car served me well in a rear-end full-speed accident with a school bus (talk about a mismatch in size). It wasn’t totalled, just crumpled and rebuilt well (insurance payout of $6K for repair and dimunition of value). 80K miles since then, only one repair of $1100.

    This car will not die, it serves me well on the highway and in stop-and-go. The only thing I would change is automatic windows–but that is a small thing.

    The 11 gal tank costs under $40 to fill now that gas is under 4 bucks/gal. I love this thing.

  40. Jeangenie says:

    Just to clarify–the school bus hit me (driver not paying attention).

  41. William Mize says:

    Add me to the club of faithful and satisfied Saturn owners. I’m on my second one (2003 L200) and when I drive it into the ground, I’ll go get another late model used one.

    Reasonable price + GREAT Customer Service + Free Donuts and Coffee = Winnah Winnah Chicken Dinnah.

  42. lpranal says:

    @JeffDrake: Same, I’ve gotten over 40 in my 2002 SL2 before. I think it’s a conspiracy… considering the car also has better acceleration than every other car on the list (with the possible exception of the integra… which you have to redline to get said acceleration), I just laugh at these lists.

  43. TPS Reporter says:

    We have a 08 Corolla and we get great gas mileage. We went from a minivan to this.

  44. abeagler says:

    I’ve had a 2001 Prius for the last two years. Over our last 700 miles we’re averaging 46 mpg, most of that with the AC running (meaning it doesn’t shut off at red lights). That’s split about evenly between city and highway driving.

    In the middle of winter I’ve seen my fuel economy drop into the 30s; in late spring (little AC) I’ve had full tanks where I’ve exceeded 50 mpg.

    The fuel economy is not a myth, but you do have to learn how to drive it optimally. I don’t work at it like some people do, and my wife doesn’t do so at all, but between us we better than 41mpg estimate.

  45. battra92 says:

    @sir_eccles: Gm is putting out the Chevy Cruze in 2010 which is supposedly designed to get 45 highway.

  46. My wife and I purchased a 2003 Toyota Echo back in 2006 from her Grandmothers estate for $3000.

    Best $3000 I’ve ever spent!

  47. nicemarmot617 says:

    Yayyyyy!!! My college car was a ’98 Mazda Protege LX stick shift. It got 40mpg on the highway. It was awesome. I sold it to a college freshman after I graduated and moved to NYC (cars are impossible here). I bet that kid is enjoying his fuel economy now!!

  48. ogunther says:

    ” By focusing on a nearly-new model, say 2-3 years old, you can find a vehicle that offers comparable fuel economy, performance, safety, and reliability as a new car, often with some transferable warranty coverage remaining.

    Amen! Anyway, here’s the list. Some of the cars are older than 2-3 years, but hey. They’re all under $10k.”

    Umm…only one of the seven is even close to 2-3 years old and that one IS 3 to 4 years old. I know that’s not the main point of the article but I still expect better math from the Consumerist. Tsk, tsk! :P

  49. wiley14 says:

    @sir_eccles: Compared to the idiots that buy SUVs that get 8-10 MPG, yes – 35 MPG is excellent!

    I’m totally with ya on this one though.

  50. Parapraxis says:

    My car gets over 90 mpg at highway speeds.

    When you drive it off a cliff.

  51. sir_eccles says:

    @battra92: Oooh, way to push the envelope :-)

    We should have had these cars ten years ago and they should be boasting about mpgs in the 50s and 60s by now.

  52. Kirk Douglas says:

    My 1991 Isuzu Stylus gets 37 MPG (Imperial) on average, and it has a semi usable backseat and deep trunk.

  53. astraelraen says:

    Are these two really purchasable for 10k right now? If you can even find an Insight, they weren’t exactly that common in most of the US, even when originally produced.
    1. 2000 Honda Insight (manual) 51 mpg
    2. 2001-02 Toyota Prius 41 mpg

    These two are pieces of crap and truly “econo-cars.” The Prizm much moreso than the Echo.
    3. 2000-05 Toyota Echo 38 mpg
    4. 1998-2002 Chevrolet Prizm 32 mpg

    These two are actually pretty decent cars.
    5. 1998 Mazda Protegé LX 32 mpg
    6. 1998-2000 Toyota Corolla LE 32 mpg

    Any of this model year Integra I’ve seen has been beat up and abused. Even the lower powered LS/GS models.
    7. 1998-2001 Acura Integra LS (manual) 32 mpg

  54. niccernicus says:

    @battra92: My 2004 Kia Rio does. Never put more than 8.4 gallons in that thing.

  55. Donathius says:

    Wow – I’ve got a 1992 Honda Accord LX that I’ve taken extremely good care of. Just replaced the fuel injection and I”m getting 30 mpg freeway and 25 around town. It has a couple of very minor cosmetic defects but it runs almost like new. In fact it runs better than my wife’s much newer car (stupid Ford…).

  56. Burzmali says:

    Where’s the Chevy Aveo? I bought my 2006 Aveo NEW for less than $10K and it gets almost 40 per gallon on the highway.

  57. rushevents says:

    Why do they say 2-3 years old when nearly all of the cars listed are 5-8 years old.

    Sorry not buyin’ a 2000 anything.

  58. jimconsumer says:

    You can’t get an Insight for under $10k. Unless it’s a complete basket case. You’ll be lucky if you can find a nice one for less than $15k today.

    Second, that mpg number is horse shit. I’ve never, ever got less than 55mpg with my ’01 Insight – that’s a long freeway trip where mileage is as bad as can be. Around town I average 65-75mpg depending on the season. No, that’s not an exaggeration. I track mileage carefully and these are averages over a tankful.

  59. Coenbro says:

    I don’t understand all the Prius hate.
    I am glad someone’s 91 CRX gets good mileage. I love my Prius, both for the fact that I often get 50 miles per gallon and the fact that it is loaded with awesome features. GPS, handsfree, voice command, backup camera. I could care less what it cost me. I like the car.

  60. EarlNowak says:

    I love my civic.

  61. Keter says:

    @astraelraen: I have a ’93 Acura Integra (no letters after the name) with an automatic and get 30-36 MPG…at over 200K miles. It was in great shape when I bought it in 2000 for $5000, and I intend to keep it just about forever.

    On a somewhat unrelated note, my husband has been experimenting with hydrogen generation on his (notoriously underpowered) ’86 Isuzu Trooper, and so far has gotten about a 30% increase in gas mileage and a HUGE performance increase. The Acura will get hydrogen generators next. I don’t expect a great increase in gas mileage, but I do expect a large performance increase. People who tell you Hydrogen doesn’t work are forgetting that to increase efficiency, you have to fool the sensors into cutting back on the fuel delivered to the cylinders…the sensors don’t detect hydrogen as a fuel and end up making the car run too rich, resulting in LOST gas mileage.

  62. erratapage says:

    My 2001 Echo (manual) gets 41 MPG. My husband is religious with maintenance and we’ve had very few maintenance issues. We are very happy with our car.

  63. sburnap42 says:

    @B1663R: On our last trip from the Bay Area to Tahoe in our Prius, we got 38 mpg on the way there (uphill) and 55 mpg on the way back (downhill) all at an average speed between 60-70 mph. Is that “city driving”? Yes, you don’t get the 50/60 mpg that Toyota used to advertise, but we routinely get between 40 and 50 mpg, depending on how we drive, and without any particular mileage optimizing tricks.

  64. Communist Pope says:

    I’m another Saturn-lover. Got my 5-speed 2002 SC-1 in 2004 for $7500, and it gets just a hair under 30mpg in city traffic and close to 40mpg on the highway. Weirdly, it seems to get its best mileage when heavily loaded and driving through mountains.

  65. Good luck finding a 2001-02 Prius under $10,000

  66. mariospants says:

    Sorry, a 1998 Acura Integra??? Is there such a thing as an un-abused version of this car available anywhere in the world??? I call foul.

  67. Jthmeffy says:

    That’s kinda funny.. If I drive right, I can squeeze out 30mpg out of my 1995 Z28 Camaro (V8)..

  68. TechnoDestructo says:

    @B1663R:

    Hybrid fuel economy changes in response to driving style FAR more than does fuel economy on non-hybrids (which can already see substantial savings or losses). Some drivers do NOT report what your friends do. I’m not talking just about hypermiling, but more subtle variations in how people apply the brake in the gas.

    It’s the way your friends drive.

    Also, the Insight is a highly fuel-efficient car even after the batteries die and the hybrid features diminish in their effectiveness. (I hear it can run without batteries, on the engine alone…and that the Prius cannot, at least not without modification.)

    Oh, and hybrids are SUPPOSED to get better city fuel economy than highway.

  69. sean77 says:

    My 97 Nissan Sentra is rated 39 highway. I bought it used for less than $10k OTD (11k miles).

  70. ibanix says:

    WHERE ARE THE JETTA/GOLF TDIs?

    My ’03 gets 45-50mpg.

  71. krom says:

    #4 is my car. Bought new in ’00. And yeah, it still gets that mileage. Suckaz.

  72. drjayphd says:

    @sir_eccles: I’ve seen worse. Car companies that advertise their vehicles as “fuel-efficient” when they get less than 20 MPG by any measure? I say indiscriminate grievous bodily harm is in order.

  73. drjayphd says:

    @ibanix, @sleze69: Not on sale in the US. You mean the diesels, right?

    Also let me chime in with praise for the Saturn SL1. 1998, got it for about $8000 back in 2002, regularly hit around 30 MPG. Sure, it completely fell apart several months ago, but that was after 120,000 miles.

  74. thenameisbam says:

    my 97 civic ex gets an average of 30-35mpg on a tank, and thats mostly city but some freeway. i got it for 6,500.
    good car, and i’m tall and fit so i recommend it.

  75. Shadowman615 says:

    2001 Hyundai Accent hatchback 5-speed manual has been getting me 30-33mpg since I bought it.

    Hopefully the gas mileage will help me get a bit more for it — I’m planning on getting rid of it early next year. I guess it will help only if I sell it myself though..

  76. BlazerUnit says:

    @B1663R: Your friends either had unrealistic expectations, or they weren’t very schooled on the real advantage (that you mentioned) of hybrid technology: More efficient stop-and-go-driving.

    Any modern car with 4-6 cylinders should be able to do 25+ mpg on the highway easily, just by the simple fact that you aren’t constantly stopping for red lights, stop signs, and heavy traffic. Hybrids effectively make wasteful idling (ZERO mpg) a thing of the past when you are stopped or slowed by those obstacles–which is why your city MPG is often higher than highway MPG.

    I’ve found that the same people who dis hybrids because of ‘the math’ in gas savings are often the same people who obsess over resale value, ignoring the fact that cars are guaranteed depreciating assets.

  77. yagisencho says:

    My wife and I both drove ECHOs until she traded her 2001 model in for a 2008 Scion xB. Her (automatic transmission) ECHO averaged 34mpg. The xB is at 25mpg.

    I plan to keep driving my 2002 ECHO until a decent plug-in hybrid is available.

  78. tracygee says:

    Woo Hoo for my ’98 Mazda Protege! This is my second Protege, and I tell you, the car is impossible to kill. I had my first (a 1990) for 8 years and this one for 10 and I have yet to have any type of problem with either car. I just do regular maintenance.

    I easily get 32 mpg…and on longer highway trips I do much better. I plan to drive this thing until it falls apart. It’s starting to look ugly, but I love it anyway.

  79. smint says:

    Mazda Miata 31 mpg at 70 with the top down lol wut

  80. NightWatch says:

    I got an ’02 Echo and I like that I only have to fill up every 1 1/2 weeks. I mostly just drive to and from work. Downside is that the car doesn’t accelerate too quickly. Makes it difficult when trying to merge onto the interstate with the traffic going 65 and I’m trying to match their speed so I don’t get run off the road. Also when I have to take it in, the guys at the shop always call it a Yaris.

  81. smint says:

    @drjayphd:

    Only 120,000 miles? That’s complete crap these days. Even an abused Toyota or Honda can go past 200,000.

  82. bigmacjw says:

    @econobiker

    I can also confirm this. My 1997 Neon 5-Speed always got above 30 around town and up to 40 on the highway. But I hear the Automatics didn’t do as well, more standard 25-30 mpg.

  83. Meathamper says:

    I drive a pathetic Cadillac SRX and I want to get out, but I’m broke. Maybe next time I should try hire purchase or something. Oh, and the SRX has the worst gas mileage I’ve seen.

  84. drjayphd says:

    @smint: Well, I abused the crap out of mine, too. Almost 100K in six years, driving all over the state the last four. Besides, it didn’t exactly fall apart, just needed more in repairs than the Blue Book value.

  85. Anticitizen says:

    My 98 Prizm gets horrible gas mileage, but that’s also because I sometimes have to play the nickel-and-dime game (only filling it up to 1/2).

    Fill it all the way up, it lasts forever.

    Also worth noting is the LSi models (the ones equipped with overdrive) get better mileage than the non-LSi models.

  86. econobiker says:

    @raleel: Yes, the Honda Fit is a bit of a disappointment for the size that it is versus fuel economy. I saw one and thought about it as a potential new car until I saw that epa est mileage was 28-34 for the 5 speed. I could rebuild two 5speed neons for the price of the a new Fit.

    bigmacjw: I had also heard that the automatic Neons were more piggish than the 5 speeds. Nothing is free…

  87. Indecent says:

    Nobody, for whatever reason, ever includes the Hyundai Elantra.

    You can buy it new for 12-14k, and a 2006 used one is about 9,500.

    They get between 32 and 40 mpg – I think 34 is their “official” mpg, though mine regularly gets 39 in-town, and better on the highway.

  88. matta_p says:

    I have a 2005 Corrolla (the wife gets to drive that one) AND a 2000 Saturn SL1. Yay! Nice to see a lot of love here for both brands.

    I’ve never fetishized cars – I just don’t get the appeal of driving some monstrous machine to go run errands and get to work. I have always shopped for reliable, affordable, and non-flashy cars.

  89. morsteen says:

    the older acura integras actually get almost the same mpg as the newer ones. My ’89 integra ls gets 30-35 mpg