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Old 02-26-2007, 06:18 PM   #11
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Welcome andrmtro -

Look over the Garage and see the top performers to see what you can work with.

Since I have a Saturn, I will *of course* suggest a Saturn S?1 that gets 29 City / 40 Highway MPG. The S?1 version is the one with the SOHC engine that is a manual stickshift. And they're probably cheap (right?!?!?!). Since they're plastic on the outside, they might not have as many rust problems in Minnesota.

But like everyone else says, get the one YOU want.

CarloSW2
I love these cars! a good friend of mine has one of these cars, we packed 4 of us (2 of us were quite tall) and a big old cooler in it. I've always seen these with real low price tags, they also have very small frontal areas, well heck they're just real tiny cars. Not to mention the family has good blood (ev1's were sold through saturn after all)

Dodge Colts / Mitsubishi somethings are also real good gas mileage vehicles. EPA says 30-35, but I've seen them getting solid 35-40

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Old 02-26-2007, 06:48 PM   #12
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86-90ish Escorts and Lynxs with the 4-speed are EPA rated about 30/39 and the one '86 Lynx I had got more like the 36/42 a Festiva is rated for.

Also the basic 5-speed Saturn S-series models are typically 28-29/39-40 for the single cam versions, and they're plastic so less worries of rust!

As for Colts and Mirages and Summits, all you have to do is look for the 1.5L engine and the mileage is way up there. Slow but steady...

I would also consider a little bit of weight since you're in heavy snow country there. A 5-speed Grand Am, Cavalier, Calais, Acheiva, Sunbird/Sunfire, or Skylark might be a good alternative. The Quad 4's do a little better than the 2.2/2.5 in mileage but the pushrod engines are definitely more reliable and are pretty close.

You could even work with an older 4-speed A or X body (Citation/Celebrity and clones) and still get 25-35 out of it and those cars are $200-500 cars!
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:51 PM   #13
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red91sit -

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I love these cars! a good friend of mine has one of these cars, we packed 4 of us (2 of us were quite tall) and a big old cooler in it. I've always seen these with real low price tags, they also have very small frontal areas, well heck they're just real tiny cars. Not to mention the family has good blood (ev1's were sold through saturn after all)

Dodge Colts / Mitsubishi somethings are also real good gas mileage vehicles. EPA says 30-35, but I've seen them getting solid 35-40

Ohhh, I remember that version of the Colt. Very clean lines and a nice nose.

The other thing I forgot to mention is that in the SOHC version of the Saturns, the manual transmissions are designated "MP2". The gear ratios on these transmissions are more geared for MPG than performance. I have an "MP3" transmission, which is not as good for MPG.

Go to saturnfans.com and troll around in the S-Series section for more info. Lots of Saturn love and hate going on in there .

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Old 02-27-2007, 06:31 PM   #14
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I used to have a 90 Plymouth Colt (Mitsubishi Mirage), the base model with 1.5 and 4 speed manual. In every day driving I got 40 mpg and topped 48 mpg on trips. It was a great little car, similar in design but larger than my Swift. Only thing I didn't like was the electric automatic shoulder belt that tried to strangle me several times.

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Old 02-28-2007, 02:07 PM   #15
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I used to have a 90 Plymouth Colt (Mitsubishi Mirage), the base model with 1.5 and 4 speed manual. In every day driving I got 40 mpg and topped 48 mpg on trips. It was a great little car, similar in design but larger than my Swift. Only thing I didn't like was the electric automatic shoulder belt that tried to strangle me several times.

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I had a car with the seatbelts on the doors, so in a crash, the extra heavy doors would fling open in a crash, and releasing your seatbelt all at the same time!
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:16 PM   #16
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Thank you guys so much for your recommendations, suggestions, and friendly welcomes. I'm still strongly thinking about getting one. On Saturday I'm going to look at a 1996 1.3L, 4-cylinder, manual Geo Metro.

Now, according to the EPA's page for that specific Metro, it gets 39/43 MPG yet there is a consumer estimate that says 53.3 MPG (quite a big difference)- can anyone verify how much the '96 1.3L 4-cyl manual Metro actually gets?


I also have some other questions that I would REALLY appreciate if I could have help with:
1.) How safe are Geo Metros?
2.) How readily available are original and after-market parts and engines?
3.) Can any average mechanic tune up/work on a Metro?
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:19 PM   #17
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It would depend on the driver how much it gets, it is the larger engined model, but the stick is where it's at.

1.) Safer than an SUV
2.) Junkyards galore, and cheap!
3.) Not sure about this, but if darin can do it, any old monkey can.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:23 AM   #18
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1) I would have said: safer than a motorcycle
2) tons of aftermarket stuff. Have you seen teamswift.net?
3) Yes.

As for how much it actually gets, the real answer is: it depends on your environment & driving style.

I would guess that a 53 mpg average is unusual though.

If you want more examples of user data from the EPA's site, search any year Suzuki Swift 4-cylinder 5-speed (only the NON-gti models though). It's the same drivetrain, and more Swifts were likely sold than 4-cylinder Metros, so there may be more user data available.
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Old 03-02-2007, 06:11 PM   #19
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My car is a 93 Swift 1.3 SOHC, 4 cyl, 5 speed. I was looking for a 3 cylinder Metro but couldn't find one locally when I was ready to buy. In case you didn't know, the Metro is basically a Swift but with a few minor differences. Most parts are interchangable. Parts are easy to get and the car is easy to work on. Any mechanic should be able to work on it.

I really like the 4 cylinder power and higher gear ratio which lets you cruise on the highway at a very low RPM. It's also a fun car to drive. Mine will get slightly over 50 mpg on trips if I keep the speed between 60 and 65 mph. I've seen as low as 36 mpg on short trips around town during the winter.

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