What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

Discussion in 'Articles' started by xcel, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Snowy_Jeep

    Snowy_Jeep Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    Thanks for the insights. We're looking for something, anything to help. Our rides need replacing! So hearing that if we shop patiently we can make it happen is a big help!
     
  2. brucepick

    brucepick Well-Known Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    I'd like to take a minute to highlight the Civic HX series, produced from '96 to '05. It's EPA numbers were typically 10-20% higher than other similar Civics of the same years. As all HX's on the US market should have OBD-II, they are Scangauge capable. :D

    The article mentions the Honda Civic 4 cyl, 1.7 L, Man(5), LEAN-BURN 36/44 but I saw it on the list above only for '03 and '04. I believe this is the HX which had a long ten year production run.

    The original EPA rating of 36/44 was recently revised to an estimated 30/39 to reflect the newer test procedure. Those numbers are for 5-spd standard transmission; various changes including the upsizing the engine from 1.6 liters to 1.7 caused slight shifts in the EPA mpg numbers.

    Thanks again to Wayne for producing this very comprehensive guide!
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  3. julianelischer

    julianelischer New Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    I have a '91 Honda CRX that I dearly love. I have a 54 mile commute
    (I try work from home when I can but it's not always possible) and even with 230,000 miles on it it's giving me 41Mpg when driven like a maniac.
    I'd like to drive a bit more sensibly but traffic patterns at the times I need to drive
    and the fact that I really don't like losing an entire 80 minutes of my day driving
    means that I usually end up driving faster when I can, or in stop-n-go.
    Still the CRX gives me lots of get-up-n-go and reat mileage. I'm really imporessed by it.

    I'd love to get a nice new shiney hybrid, but you know, at 42 MPG teh CRX does ok, and
    there is an ecological cost to making a new car. ESPECIALLY a hybrid.

    Does anyone know how much fuel I'd have to save to make the purchase of a new hybrid a neutral event from the perspective of total energy usage?
     
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    Hi Julian:

    ___If your CRX is working fine, keep it. What you are giving up is the SMOG forming emissions, the creature comforts and safety features of a new hybrid/new car vs. your older CRX. If it is the CRX HF, you more then likely will only gain a few mpg’s given your 41 mpg now and what most pull in a Prius at 46 – 48 mpg while driving them in a fashion I will call “reckless”. Remember you are not averaging 80 even though you may see 80 as a top speed to work and back. 80 is up to you but I bet your CRX is probably worth 60 + mpg if you were to set her up a bit better, slow to between the limits and work on the basic techniques?

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  5. warthog1984

    warthog1984 Well-Known Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    Could somebody update the list? It's been a couple years and the used car market seems to have changed significantly.

    Side Note: Stopped by 2 dealers yesterday. Absolutely packed with SUV/truck drivers looking at sedans. The only salesman I could find had to use the only open room with a CPU- the breakroom.
     
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    Hi Warthog:

    ___Since I have over 65 hours on CleanMPG this week and a never ending list of stories, articles, posts and threads to keep up with, I would be greatly appreciative if you would take care of the update for me? It should not take over 3 or 4 hours to cross reference the vehicles with today’s KBB data using the original criteria.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  7. yellowtail3

    yellowtail3 Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    Here's your on-the-cheap list:

    1. 91-94 Sentra. Get the 1.6 engine with a four- or five-speed
    2. mid-early 90s Corolla or Prizm - be sure to get the five-speed
    3. 91-99 Ford Escort. 91-96 best MPG, 97 and on a little more refined. Get a five-speed wagon - MPG as good or better than anything listed above, with FAR MORE SPACE.

    I've got two of them.
     
  8. BillLin

    BillLin MASS: 2018 Bolt EV and 2017 Prime

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    re: updating the list

    I can help with some of the "legwork..." Same years with increased miles, or same/similar models from 2006 back? (which would probably require more knowledge of the various models, e.g. lean burn) If all conditions remained the same, I don't know how useful the kbb values would be with unrealistically low miles. I didn't see where the default miles for given years came from, but I haven't looked that closely at the kbb site yet. Even the default miles for the older models seemed impossibly low, with only 3000 miles difference from year to year toward the end of the list.

    Thanks for guidance/suggestions.

    Cheers,
    Bill (not likely to get to this tonight)
     
  9. yellowtail3

    yellowtail3 Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    Here's a thought: look at a few Craigslist and Ebay ads. 'watch' the ebay auctions, see what cars of a model & year actually sell for.

    here you go http://tinyurl.com/2kp2wm
     
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    Hi Bill:

    ___I will work with you in the morning on this if you are able?

    ___Yellowtail, not a chance. For one, an exact vehicle matching the criteria will never sell for the same price on E-Bay and second, to catch every vehicle on the list with a similar miles and condition would not be practical vs. KBB with the criteria spelled out.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  11. warthog1984

    warthog1984 Well-Known Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    I could get the data. Don't know how to upload the formatting
     
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: What if you can’t afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    Hi All:

    ___Spent the morning updating the article and it is complete. If you find any errors, pass them along and I will fix them ASAP ;)

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  13. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Re: What if you can’t afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    I'm not so sure about these prices - I'd reasonably add 20% to these numbers. My experience is entirely anecdotal, but through scanning Craigslist, Ebay, kbb.com, and other places, the prices seem to be considerably higher than mentioned here. I think that with the gas prices, there's been a run on small, fuel-efficient cars, and that's driving up the demand - and thus the price of the cars. I mean, how many of the small cars owner's don't say "great on gas" or "gas saver" when they're trying to sell it?
     
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: What if you can’t afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    Hi Auston:

    ___These prices came directly from KBB if that helps? Whether one can pick up a used vehicle at the prices listed is a good question. I know a quick analysis of 03 – 05 HCH-I’s w/ clear titles on Ebay (actual purchases), they are going for under what is reported by KBB for a given odometer reading.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  15. 93Hatch

    93Hatch Well-Known Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile? This may help.

    Maybe its easier to find one with an auto trans. My Civic Hatch has an auto and it looks stock as can be. But then again you won't get as good opf mpg with it.
     
  16. 1988festiva

    1988festiva festy

    Re: What if you can’t afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    Have to put a word in for the Festiva and Aspire. Incredibly under-rated cars if there ever were any. my '88 averages high '30's-low 40's mpg, and gets at least 45 highway, even though it's only rated at 40. (best ever mpg=57.7). Keep in mind, this is with an older one with a carburetor and a 4-speed.. later cars with FI and overdrive do better.
    Certainly not the fanciest thing out there, but 0-60 in about 10 sec. is all you need, and used ones are, what, a few hundred $$$?
     
  17. Pgh_G6

    Pgh_G6 New Member

    I came to cleanmpg just today. I am still paying off my 2006 Pontiac G6 (21City, 32HWY) I actually get about 19-20City, 30 Hwy.
    I have to work with the car I have(Pontiac G6.)
    I have started to reduce my driving and am looking for methods to extend my mileage.
    I am lucky that I work at home and need to travel for shopping, visits, entertainment, doctors appointments, etc.
    Hopefully, I will be able to get a fuel efficient car in the future, but right now I am just looking for ways to extend the mileage on my Pontiac.
    After reading the article about how to begin hypermiling, I will record changes in my MPG by doing the following:

    1. Starting out slower
    2. Planning ahead for my braking
    3. Checking air pressure and putting in air between the recommended GM Mileage on the door and the air pressure limit on the tires.
    I MIGHT EVEN TRY LIMITING MY IDLING AT LONG STOPS.

    However, Once I tried to turn off my car -while idling in traffic on a steep hill - and then trying drifting downward.
    I was frightened when I lost control
    of steering(it seemed) and I think the brakes were inefficient and that really scared me. I have not turned off the car on a hill again!

    Any more tips?
     
  18. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Welcome PGH!! You are in good company here and we are glad to have you. :)

    Did you return your key to the ON position after you turn the car off? If not your steering lock may have engaged. If you put the key back to on position all of your electronics will work and though you won't have power steering you'll still be able to steer with some effort. The power brakes depend upon vacuum built up by the running engine and you'll have 3-4 good brake applications before that runs out. Brakes will still work but you'll have to press harder. None of this should be too much of an issue if you are only sitting with the engine off at stops.

    Check your user's manual to find out if your car is "flat towable" (able to be pulled on all 4 wheels) -- if it isn't please don't try letting your car roll without the engine running as it might damage the transmission.

    To add to your list, look up the definitions of DWL and DWB in the Glossary -- use these with Light Timing and you'll be well on your way to making significant improvements in your mileage. :)

    Also be sure to read the article Beating the EPA - The Why’s and how to Hypermile. to get a really good overview of techniques and their application.
     
  19. CitrusInsighter

    CitrusInsighter Well-Known Member

    Hi PGH,

    Your G6 is a very "workable" vehicle in terms of fuel economy. My dad had one for about 4 months last summer while his Insight was in for repairs. During that time, he averaged about 45 mpg on his commute to and from work (about 16 miles 1-way rural hwy). This was with MAX Sidewall in the tires, and whatever oil Enterprise put in the engine. Through a few thousand miles of FAS' and Pulse and Glide, the engine, transmission, and starter showed no undue wear. The only thing was the oil life indicator quickly went to 0% because of all of the engine starts. This should be ignored since you're not straining your engine as much as the computer thinks you are by assuming that you're making 100's of 1-3 mile cold trips. Don't wait to get the tires ALL THE WAY up to MAX sidewall, whatever that may be on your car. The car we had was a V6 Automatic. That transmission was so smooth, and with a brief rev-match, re-engaged perfectly after a FAS. The one time I got to drive it, I had a segment over 60 mpg with a little effort and a ScanGauge which is absolutely necessary in that car to get the kind of mileage that we know its capable of. The G6 is also a great highway car with decent aero drag and gearing that keeps the revs down at freeway speeds (50-60 mph). Just make sure you're mastered the basics, and the car will reward you with "compact-like" mileage in a sporty mid-size.
     
  20. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    I've noticed that as summer arrives in hot cities you will see lots of older -8 years or so FE cars-Focus,Civic,Corolla,Prizm-with broken ACs for very good prices.The sellers don't want to spend the $1000 to repair the AC so they have to drop the price-a lot.


    If you are handy and can do the some AC work yourself, or can live without the AC, or can use another method to stay cool-ice vest etc,12 volt fan-you can get a great deal.You can cobble together some sort of vest that will hold ice very cheaply.
    Charlie
     

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