My Top 5 Cars: Economy & Reliability - Fuelly Forums

Android Users - Coming Soon! - Migrating from aCar 4.8 to 5.0

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-07-2008, 01:32 PM   #1
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 211
Country: United States
My Top 5 Cars: Economy & Reliability

It's coming to that time in my life where I get to get another car, the Solstice is soon to go into storage and with many hours behind the computer looking up everything I can find, these are my top 5 car picks for Economy & Reliability.

1996-99 Saturn, This is my number one pick, it's low used car price, easy mpg modifiability, and reports of 200+ thousand miles of life, make this my number one pick.

1996-04 Metro, be it the hatch back or the 4 door, the 1 litre 3 or the 1300 four, low price, high mpg, and from what I can tell good reliability, the Metro's come in a strong second.

1997-99 Ford Escort, sedan or wagon, the major redisign of the series brought a better ride, the same economy, better performance, and reliability.

1996-99 Mitsubishi Mirage, now this is an odd-car-out, but reviews on it rave about it reliability and with the option of a 1.5 or 1.8, this seems to be the sleeper in the pack.

1990-97 Honda Civic, now why isn't this at the top with its reputation for reliability, mpg, and performance? The price. I comb the used car ads and see 90's and 92's for 4000, Iv seen complete thrashers for 2900 and people stick to their guns, you can't talk em down. Here in Maryland a VX or HX grabs top retail, I'v Blue Booked these cars with 130k at 1700 to 2700 and people won't let them go, Honda's are treated like gold out here. I love em, want to get one, but can't find one in my price range, literally getting a Honda would be solid luck.

Honorable Mention:

1990-96 VW Golf, Im a huge VW fan, but it must be the cylinder head design, the Golf 2 litre is rated at 28 mpg Hwy, while Ford's 2 litre Escort is rated at 36. I don't want to start out with a car that I have to struggle to get mpg out of.

1996-99 Nissan Sentra, same as the Golf, reliability, but overall lower mpg.

1989-00 Ford/Mazda 323, Festiva/Aspire, I had a Festiva family car that got passed through a couple of generations from 89 to 04, I loved this car, but the cam shaft had these spacers that would slide off center every couple of months and the car would run like a can of rocks, get terrible mileage, and was repaired every 40k and then break. I would be driving that car today, if it wern't for those cam spacers.

Cars I Plan to Avoid:

All Toyota's, this is a long story that I will make as short as possible, I had a 86 MR2 and a 96 Toyota Corolla separated by 2 years of ownership. Both cars at 140k suffered major electrical failures, over months all sensors, electrics, distributors, and ECU's were replaced to the tune of thoursands. Both of these cars wen't to dealers and independant garages that could not repair them, in 03 the MR2 was given away, in 05 the Corolla was given away. This is why I'm so obessed with relaiblity, I drive for a living.

Dodge Neon, at Carsurvey.org, it seems all neons have to have their head gasket replaced every 40k, if not number 3 cylinder cracks.

1996-99 Cavalier/Sunfire, up until recently, I was a hunge fan of this car, it seems these cars are plagued by electrical failures.

Hyndai Accent, Kia Sophia/Rio, of these two manufactures I have researched and found that these cars are plagued by mechanical problem, again the relaibility factor.

So there you have it, I have about 2000 to spend, saving money these days ain't easy, one of my top 5 would save me a bundle on fuel expenses. I plan on doing everything to the car I buy, that would include every under hood mod for mpg, LRR tires, and I'v seen great mpg boosts with belly pans. Now I ask you, what do you think?
__________________

GasSavers_Scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 03:07 PM   #2
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 97
Country: United States
Yeah, I got very lucky getting a 1999 Honda Civic HX for $3500 from a desperate seller! The catch was that my car was a salvage title - probably from hail damage [seller's claim] or from a theft. But it's got the D16Y5 engine and it runs solid! After I bought it in November I kept looking at all car ads to see how often an HX comes up and it's so rare! So I treat my car like gold! It's a FE classic and I get 42.5 mpg tanks with no hypermiling.
__________________

JESSE69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 12:43 AM   #3
QDM
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 128
Country: United States
You might include Suzuki Swift with the Metro since it's the same car. I have an older Swift now and really like it. I've also had an older 1990 Plymouth Colt (Mitsubishi Mirage) which I liked a lot except for the cheap seats that fell apart after about 50K miles. My Swift easily does 50 mpg hwy and the Mitsubishi (with a 4 speed manual) regularly topped 45 mpg hwy.

Q
QDM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 06:53 AM   #4
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 68
Country: United States
I love my '97 Escort. Cheap, reliable, easy to maintain. It'll be at 200k mi the next time I change the oil. It has it's flaws, but I plan to drive it 'till it dies. I just wish it was a wagon.
__________________
GasSavers_landon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2008, 06:27 PM   #5
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 23
Country: United States
Of the cars Scott listed, I'd rate the Escort wagons - with a 5spd! - to be the most utility & MPG for the $. Cheap to buy, easy to work on, reliable, roomy for class and comfortable - I'm sold on them.

I also like the Sentras, the ones they quite making in 94 - good cars.
__________________
95 Escort Wagon
94 Tracer Wagon
37.88 mpg mixed
yellowtail3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2008, 05:59 PM   #6
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 97
Country: United States
Yeah, the Escort wagon is nice. My messy neighbor used to have one but it was too dirty for me to buy it from her! She's a major slob!
JESSE69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2008, 05:45 PM   #7
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 211
Country: United States
Top 6?

Well after doing tons more research I have found that the previously mentioned Nissan Sentra was on the Honorable Mention list, I found just like Honda, they make a number of engine models. Single, DOHC, 1600, 1800, and the 2 litre. I wen't back and re-checked Sentra's and the 1600 model comes in right at 36 mpg, my target base mpg. Apparently I got 2 litre numbers, so the list is amended and it's now The Top 6. It may even go to the top 7 after talking with a 96 VW Golf owner who said his combined mpg in his 2 litre was 31. So we shall see.
GasSavers_Scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2008, 07:17 PM   #8
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 125
Country: United States
yeah for some reason old hondas are 'expensive', i got my crx for 3k 11 years ago though 3000 back then is probably 6000 now.
white90crxhf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2008, 04:43 PM   #9
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 23
Country: United States
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Well after doing tons more research I have found that the previously mentioned Nissan Sentra was on the Honorable Mention list, I found just like Honda, they make a number of engine models. Single, DOHC, 1600, 1800, and the 2 litre. I wen't back and re-checked Sentra's and the 1600 model comes in right at 36 mpg, my target base mpg. Apparently I got 2 litre numbers, so the list is amended and it's now The Top 6. It may even go to the top 7 after talking with a 96 VW Golf owner who said his combined mpg in his 2 litre was 31. So we shall see.

A plug for the Sentra
. I was in the market for one about five years ago; my wife's 85 Sentra was getting very old, and we needed four-door (new baby). So... I drove some mid-90s Sentras. The 16V 1.6 is very strong and smooth, but I ended up getting a 94 Tracer Wagon because it was a steal - 63K miles, 5spd, pwr windows/tach, for... $1600, I think it was.

Compared to the Prizms/Sentras I'd considered... the Escort/Tracers have coarser engines, and are less powerful (but sufficient). On the other hand, the 1.9 Escorts get excellent FE - identical to a 5spd 1.6 Sentra, over 40mpg is doable, mid-high 30s is easy - and the wagon is just huge for such a cheap to operate car. A very important point: get the 5spd, it is much more efficient and faster than the automatic Escorts. Ergonomically it's pretty good, easy to work on, parts are cheap. I later bought another 5spd wagon, a 95 Escort.



Bottom line - I bought the Escort because of the WAGON, and then came to like the model. If I were just getting a sedan, I'd have held out for a clean 91-94 Sentra for the better performance/more refined motor.

You can easily get Escorts for $1200-1600 with under 100K miles. Think of an Escort Wagon as a 35mpg SUV... I take mine hunting!
__________________
95 Escort Wagon
94 Tracer Wagon
37.88 mpg mixed
yellowtail3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2008, 11:42 AM   #10
Registered Member
 
Javarod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 42
Country: United States
Send a message via ICQ to Javarod Send a message via AIM to Javarod Send a message via Yahoo to Javarod
I can answer the Honda question, that's because the Civic is easily hot rodded. Apparently one of the small Acura models uses the same chassis, but a significantly more powerful engine, and is a straight drop in. Because of this, demand for used Civics has increased ridiculously, and when it finally drops, good luck finding a stock one.

Now, here's a question for y'all. I'm a courier out here in Phoenix, and not only do I need an economic vehicle, I need one that'll hold up to rough conditions. My Venture is doing good, but I need better than 22MPG, and I'm getting tired of scraping the chin spoiler going in and out of driveways, or the occasional dirt road runs, so can anyone recommend something where that won't be an issue, AWD/4WD is optional. I've owned a Sidekick four door in the past, but the head gasket let go barely over 100,000 miles, and a friend online said a security company he'd worked for had the same thing happen on two of theirs, so I'm a bit suspicious of those.
__________________

__________________
Javarod
Ltalk javarod Gtalk buckleshoe
Some may wonder why i is no longer capitalized in my posts. Why is i the only pronoun that is capitalized, am i really that much better than you? I don't think so, do you?
Javarod is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fuelly Android App - eehokie Fuelly Web Support and Community News 2 07-14-2010 09:59 PM
fuel-up entry suggestion fugalaya Fuelly Web Support and Community News 3 04-12-2009 09:29 AM
Combined totals of all my vehicles? nizationpcs Fuelly Web Support and Community News 0 03-30-2009 07:41 AM
Pulse and Glide? Pete7874 General Fuel Topics 24 02-26-2009 12:11 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.