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Old 09-17-2008, 08:50 PM   #111
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A Honda with a blown head gasket is a pretty cheap canditate. For a $1000 you can get a used engine installed or for a couple of $100 and replacement of the head gasket, more often than not the engines are Ok. I'd get a multi-level steel head gasket, instead of putting it a stock head gasket.
What's a "multi-level steel head gasket?
My neighbor gave me an '89 Civic DX with a blown head gasket. (at least).
I have heard from at least one other knowledgeable person that it's not smart to get anything but a genuine Honda gasket for it cause it may just blow again.??
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:13 AM   #112
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What's a "multi-level steel head gasket?
My neighbor gave me an '89 Civic DX with a blown head gasket. (at least).
I have heard from at least one other knowledgeable person that it's not smart to get anything but a genuine Honda gasket for it cause it may just blow again.??
I'm thinking they mean Multi-Layer head gasket, it's basically a few different layers of metal riveted together to create a stronger seal. I would definetly use one of these again, after properly cleaning the old gasket off the head and block, and making sure they are flat.
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:06 PM   #113
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My trusty old 1.8 gsr engine still clears 29-30 city at 320 whp with it's worn stock block. I doubt 30 is gonna cut it these days though
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:13 AM   #114
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I personally think the Hyundai Elantras 2007 and up are the best kept secret in the automotive world. I see a lot of Kia spectras which are very similar but the Elantra is lighter, roomier and gets better fuel economy. The Elantra also comes standard with 6 airbags and the 2008 version also gets stability control. Look at my Gas log and remember this is for an Automatic. I'm 6'1" and don't feel cramped in this car like I would in a Yaris or Kia Rio.
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:34 AM   #115
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The Elantra would be a satisfaction sleeper, not a hypermile sleeper -- the surprising thing about it is how satisfied you are, not how much better than EPA you're getting. Regardless, it's a worthy car to consider.

As for stability control...It won't be long until everything has it:
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Originally Posted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_stability_control
The United States was next, mandating ESC for all passenger vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4536 kg), phasing in the regulation starting with 55% of 2009 models (effective September 1, 2008), 75% of 2010 models, 95% of 2011 models, and 100% of 2012 models.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:07 PM   #116
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I personally think the Hyundai Elantras 2007 and up are the best kept secret in the automotive world. I see a lot of Kia spectras which are very similar but the Elantra is lighter, roomier and gets better fuel economy. The Elantra also comes standard with 6 airbags and the 2008 version also gets stability control. Look at my Gas log and remember this is for an Automatic. I'm 6'1" and don't feel cramped in this car like I would in a Yaris or Kia Rio.
I'm 6'1" and 210 lbs and I'm all torso... 30" inseam to be exact. Yeah, I look goofy. I've honestly driven both the Yaris hatchback and the Yaris sedan and didn't feel cramped at all. Then drove a Corolla CE and still didn't feel cramped. Just my 2 cents.

Also, w/ a Yaris you get the Toyota reputation, w/ the Kia... well... you get lots and lots of reliability problems. Case in point, my friend's Kia Sephia that has 90K on the odometer and has had front wheel bearings and brakes replaced 3 times... yikes!
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:10 PM   #117
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I think the Ford/Kia Festiva is a sleeper. Yah it's small but in my friends festiva it rarely got less than 40 mpg and was a BLAST to drive. The EFI version was the best 69hp and lots of torque.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:37 PM   #118
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I'm 6'1" and 210 lbs and I'm all torso... 30" inseam to be exact. Yeah, I look goofy. I've honestly driven both the Yaris hatchback and the Yaris sedan and didn't feel cramped at all. Then drove a Corolla CE and still didn't feel cramped. Just my 2 cents.

Also, w/ a Yaris you get the Toyota reputation, w/ the Kia... well... you get lots and lots of reliability problems. Case in point, my friend's Kia Sephia that has 90K on the odometer and has had front wheel bearings and brakes replaced 3 times... yikes!
I wouldn't recommend a 2006 or older Kia to anyone but the 2007 Spectra that I drove was impressive and I believe they've come along way since Hyundai acquired them.
As far as room goes, I should have mentioned I always have a baby seat in the back and this has become our family car, beating out our 4runner limited. I thought the car would just be for commuting but it suits the family just fine even on long trips.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:03 PM   #119
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I personally think the Hyundai Elantras 2007 and up are the best kept secret in the automotive world. I see a lot of Kia spectras which are very similar but the Elantra is lighter, roomier and gets better fuel economy. The Elantra also comes standard with 6 airbags and the 2008 version also gets stability control. Look at my Gas log and remember this is for an Automatic. I'm 6'1" and don't feel cramped in this car like I would in a Yaris or Kia Rio.
You would be even less cramped in an xB and get maybe better mileage!
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:40 AM   #120
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The Mitsubishi Eclipse 3rd Generation (2000-2005) 4-cylinder models (RS, GS trim levels) are a great deal. I've got a beautiful white RS in manual with stock spoiler and it gets EPA 31mpg highway while having good looks and low-end power when you need it. They're also pretty reliable (many go over 200,000 miles) and not too expensive to get used, due to some pretty hard depreciation. My 2000 RS manual with 103,000 miles cost me just $3500, which is how much I sold my 1996 Honda civic with 123,000 miles for.

In terms of modifications, the 2000-2002 models could probably use a grill block and become really aerodynamic, as there's only one big opening.

Hypermile in style!
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