New hypermile options for first-time buyer

Discussion in 'General' started by warthog1984, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. warthog1984

    warthog1984 Well-Known Member

    I am looking to buy a new or late model car and was hoping for input. It has to be under $325/month for payments with decent credit, reliable, good mileage (regular or hypermiled), and impress the chicas.

    right now, the regular civics/corollas look like the best bet (unless the financing from the domestics is really good), but I was wondering if any reliable hybrids would fit the criteria?
  2. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Re: New hypermile options for frst-time buyer

    Would a 2-seater Insight after 2000 and 2001 fit your needs? If you find a 5-speed in good condition, that would be a great buy. Otherwise, the models you suggest are probably the best choice
  3. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    Re: New hypermile options for frst-time buyer

    To keep your payment that low on a 60 month term you'll need to stay below $16,000. For a new car this puts you nicely into the compact or subcompact groups. For fuel efficiency the subcompact will always do better due to lower vehicle weights and generally smaller engines.

    Since reliability is high on your list your only two options are Toyota and Honda. The Yaris or Fit, brand new, will give you a car payment lower than $300, and the ladies tend to think they are cute. :)

    I'm not sure what to do for a used vehicle as the Insight and Prius will be outside your spending plan. Possibly an old Civic coupe or hatch, or last year's Yaris.
  4. anon

    anon Well-Known Member

    Re: New hypermile options for frst-time buyer

    You can also get leftover 2007 Hyundai Sonatas (mid-size) for that price (after the huge rebates).
    Um, Hyundai beats them both, in new car rankings.

    Hyundia does not put up the best mpg numbers, but for the price/reliabilty, if you are hypermiling to save money (instead of doing to purely save fuel), you can do very well with a Hyundia Sonata, and even better if you want one of their smaller cars.

    Kia also makes viable optons in your price range.

    I don't know if it will help as a starting point, but our local mall recently published a list of "green" cars that qualify for their "green" preferred parking spots. USA Eligible Vehicles for Green Parking.pdf
  5. xcel

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

    Hi WH1984:

    ___I have to go with Bailout on this one. A new Focus, Yaris or Fit will fit your $ parameters and give you some absolutely outrageous FE if you are willing to push it. The Ranger is good for 50 just about anywhere as of late and the 2.3 in that heavy brick is far less FE capable then the 1.5’s and 2.0 in the lighter, more aerodynamic and much lighter Yaris/Fit and Focus respectively. Watch the resale on the Focus however. You can pick up a Focus brand new for under $9K in the Chicago area but they are absolutely stripped. I like my front, side and side curtains myself and I would highly suggest you pick up whatever vehicle with the same.

    ___Anon’s Hyundai suggestion is a good one as well. The larger Elantra comes std. with all the safety gear and excellent features for a knock out price!

    ___One thing I want to be absolutely clear on wrt any of these 3. DO NOT PURHCASE AN AUTO unless your life depends on it. You will lose upwards of 10 – 15 mpg’s with an Auto in any of these three given the limitations their Auto's sticks (no pun intended ;)) you with! Do not purchase an AUTO unless you do not care to receive even close to what these compact monsters are really capable of no matter if your daily grind consists of inner city, suburban, local highway or wide open Interstate. A stick can add far more capability even at steady state interstate because you have to get up to speed and down again at some point and an Auto no matter how efficient absolutely, positively sucks for that! I will say the Fit was geared absolutely ridiculous for higher speeds so I would not touch that one until Honda fixes that myself.

    ___A stick adds 0 – 60 performance, higher FE and lower cost. All 3 will be a godsend once you learn to work your new car for what it's worth.

    ___Do look up some of ATL’s purchase experiences with his compact replacement. He appears to be a very happy individual after doing what you are planning just a month or two ago!

    ___Remember, all of the above comes from a very stupid Auto driver if that adds any credibility.

    ___Good Luck

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
  6. desdemona

    desdemona Well-Known Member

    Wayne, there are other reasons to buy an auto transmission car! I don't think my life depends on it (or maybe it does). But I don't have the motor coordination for a stick, never will. I can't even ride a two wheel bike. I suppose a Prius (unless Toyota will come out with a Corolla hybrid ??may be in my future some day. I understand that the transmission is part of the hybrid system. :)


  7. MnFocus

    MnFocus hanging member :)

    In the Hyundai line the 3 door hatch Accent looks like a winner . Very well equipped and under $15k. ABS and front/side curtain airbags standard ! May be a worthy FE-mobile as I'm sure the rated 32/35 mpg could easily be surpassed by a FE minded driver
  8. xcel

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

    Hi Des:

    ___You are right. If you cannot drive a stick, you cannot. Believe me on the numbers however. I always drive the Ranger around town vs. the Accord given there is a 15 mpg advantage going to the P/U truck and have even driven it on the highway to almost the same results! The Ranger is not nearly as luxurious of course but a stick gives you so many more opportunities to stretch a gallon no matter the vehicle or commute it is almost laughable!

    ___Good Luck

  9. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    Lots of good cars out there in your price range. Research them, drive and buy. :)
  10. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I have to agree with Wayne on the Elantra (of course!!) -- mine has been really good to me. I would recommend it over the Accent for FE as well. The Elantra is just heavy enough to have a really nice glide distance and combined with a 5spd it really returns nice numbers! :thumbs_up: The Accent is only rated for one mpg better than the Elantra anyway and though I haven't driven it I can't imagine it coasts as well with its lighter weight.

    The Yaris sure looks good but I'd be strongly tempted to just go for the Corolla for the exact same reasons as the Elantra over the Accent.
  11. johnf514

    johnf514 Zoom? Try Glide!

    Gonna plug the Mazda3i 2.0L 5MT here, as 50 MPG is completely capable in this $16K car. A base model 3 would probably be sub-$325/mo over 48 months if you're a good negotiator. :)
  12. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    Are you sure about 50 MPG with that vehicle, johnf514? No Mazda 3 driver on this site has come close to that. Only one driver has broken 45 MPG with it, and that was measured on a short tank.

    That extra weight requires more fuel to get the vehicle moving to begin with. ;)
  13. johnf514

    johnf514 Zoom? Try Glide!

    psyshack is pretty serious about his 2.3L Mz3 and consistent gets 43-45 MPG. I'm a medium hypermiler and get about 43 MPG in the 2.0L. If Wayne is getting 50+ MPG in his Accord, there is no reason 50 MPG couldn't be ascertained with a 5MT and a lot of concentration and dedication.

    At 40-45 MPH, the Mz3 will show 55-50 MPG. Crossover is high 40's MPH/MPG. If I had a longer, straighter commute with less lights/traffic, I think I could pull high 40's without changing my technique too much and 50's with moderate changes.

    For a new hypermiler, 50 MPG is a daunting challenge. But I guarantee the Mz3 could see 50 MPG over a tank if in the right hands.
  14. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I hear you -- I'd definitely trade for a lighter car with higher numbers but I have to wonder when the lighter car is only rated 1mpg better than the heavier one. That would suggest that the heavier car has a more efficient engine -- in that case longer glide distances would allow more "rest" time and hence higher numbers, right?

    Please poke holes in this if you can -- if I have faulty reasoning I want to know!!
  15. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    I just dont know about MZ3 being a bread and butter hypermiler. The 2.0 base might be a weapon in a mpg war. I can share with you. The Mazda3 isn't going to just jump up and whip on EPA by its self. It needs guidance. :)
  16. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    John one has to take Wayne out of the picture here. While the Accord can be a mpg weapon in the right hands and conditions. Its a pig by nature. The only thing that saves the Accord is it ablity to coast. And my goodness will they coast! In no way shape or fourm will our Mz3's coast out like a

    Wayne could get 50 mpg out of a Tahoe if everything was right. Wayne works very very very very hard to get what he gets out of his Accord. Its **** hard to get 45 mpg out of a 5AT Accord. Its biblical!

    I wanted to get a 60 mpg tank out of my Civic. Never made it. :( The short tank in my Mazda was all I could do. It was a real pain.

    There are alot of cars out there at $16k mark or under that can produce stellar mpg in certin conditions. But only a few that help you get there.
  17. johnf514

    johnf514 Zoom? Try Glide!

    Alright - so Wayne is a bit of a hypermiling deity. Fair enough. ;)

    Without special guidance and the Hand of the Hypermiling Gods, I feel that high-40 MPG is capable on a backroad, low-trafficked commute. The Mz3 returns 50+ MPG when cruising at 40-42 MPH, why couldn't that equal 50+ MPG per tank?

    Yet, I digress. For the "average" hypermiler (of which I consider myself to be) the Mz3 will return low/mid 40s MPG. Still impressive! :)
  18. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    Don't forget the '05-current Focus has the same Duratec 2.0l as the Mazda3...I don't know what the Mazda weighs, but a Focus ZX/3 that's easy on the options come in around 2650lbs or so.

    The '00-'04's have the older 2.0l SOHC which is easily capable of over 40mpg, and is probably capable of 50 with some work.
  19. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    I would be a bit concerned about the ZX/3 model of the Focus. It may very well suffer from the performance penalty that a stock Saturn SL2 does: lower gear ratios(higher numerical numbers) than the non-sporty model. MnFocus is a very good example of what a Focus is worth for FE.
  20. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    just yesterday we posted an ad for a 2000 insight here in minnesota with way low miles - 1600 - and they are asking 16,000 for it. if you are still looking, it might be worth checking out.

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