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Old 01-19-2017, 07:49 AM   #1
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Hello All, Thinking of buying a new car.

Hello Fuelly Community,

I am a car fan, I like working on my cars when I can. I also like getting really good fuel efficiency. Currently I drive a 2003 Kawasaki Ninja 250 and a 1995 volvo 945 turbo wagon with a busted odometer/speedometer (I am getting a replacement one anytime next week) so I will soon be able to see the roughly 20mpg that it gets. It is getting old and has problems I don't care to fix myself. So, I'm in the market for a new to me car. I have a list of things I want; high mpg (40+ preferably) lots of space for storage (I'm an artist who moves large sheets of metal around) I like wagons, but SUVs and Trucks aren't out of the question, but generally have worse fuel efficiency, and I like an engine bay I can understand. I've heard old Mercedes diesels can get 40+ mpg and come in wagons from the 90's but I'm having trouble finding too much information. What I really wish I could do with this site is order cars by most fuel efficient to least efficient. This shouldn't cause a race to the told effect like described in the FAQ because it shouldn't be individual's trying to race to the top, but specific cars. Thanks for reading, I look forward to hearing your recommendations.

Nat
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:28 AM   #2
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Hi and Welcome. To get that kind of mileage, there aren't really any diesel SUV's or trucks available on the US market, so I would recommend an old hybrid, or a diesel car. Perhaps there are a few more Jetta/Golf TDI's available now since dieselgate?

You can't arrange stats the way you want, but when searching, you can narrow the choice of engines down, and then get an average. There's probably no point looking at the best mileage car and expecting that anyway, as everyone's journey/driving style/climate is different and varied.
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Old 01-19-2017, 12:21 PM   #3
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Buying new or used? The 2017 Civic Hatch easily gets 40 MPG and is pretty roomy. That or a used Mk.7 Golf 1.8 TSI wagon (non-TDI) which gets mileage in the 30s. If older, Jetta Sportwagen with the older 2.5l I-5 (they changed the name to Golf recently).
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:15 PM   #4
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The Chevy Cruze hatchback diesel is supposed to be available soon and rumored to get well into the 40mpg range and maybe 50. Good luck in your search.
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:55 PM   #5
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I'd like to offer these points for your consideration as well:
  • If you desire better fuel economy for the sake of lowering operating costs, don't look at just "MPG". Also consider the fuel you have to use. For example, at one gas station I just looked up in Florida, regular gas (petrol) is selling at $2.329/gallon while premium is $2.879. That's almost 24% more expensive!
  • When making comparisons, "MPG" is not a very good one. Gallons/100 miles (or L/100km) is better, because it tells you how much fuel ($) you'll need to travel a certain distance. If you travel 1000 miles per average month, you can calculate how much fuel (average) you'll need to travel that distance, and then multiply it by the cost of the fuel. That gives you a "cost per mile," which is a lot more meaningful than "miles per gallon." That way you can make a better comparison between a car that requires premium vs one that gets a little worse fuel economy but only requires regular, yet will save you 15% on your monthly fuel costs!
  • Use Fuelly's "Research Vehicles" to find out what kind of fuel economy real owners are getting with the cars of your interest. I did this and concluded it's reasonable for me to get better real-world fuel economy than the EPA numbers (I drive a diesel). Due to my driving style, I'd doing substantially better than the EPA's numbers, and amongst the best listed (for my car) on fuelly.
  • Once you get your car, learn to drive it efficiently, and you'll not only save on fuel, but also on brake pads, disks, and some other "wear and tear" items.
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Old 01-20-2017, 06:02 AM   #6
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Exactly how big are these sheets of metal? A lot can be stuffed into a gen2 Prius(2004-2009), and model after that got a little bigger and more efficient. I wouldn't be worried about the engine. A dying battery can troubleshooted with just a multi-meter.

There is also a hybrid Highlander and Escape/Mariner from that era which were rated in the 30s for MPG.

I think nearly anything from the '90s will be "getting old and has problems I don't care to fix myself." Unless you were willing to go south or far west for the car, I'd be concerned about the levels of rust cars those age would have.

Staying with cars that age, there were Camry and Accord wagons available then.

A pre-2004 Jetta TDI wagon should be a good fit for your needs. They are before all the extra emission requirements, and more biodiesel friendly. Any other diesel car will be from the '90s or older.
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Old 01-20-2017, 06:04 AM   #7
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Exactly how big are these sheets of metal? A lot can be stuffed into a gen2 Prius(2004-2009), and model after that got a little bigger and more efficient. I wouldn't be worried about the engine. A dying battery can troubleshooted with just a multi-meter.

There is also a hybrid Highlander and Escape/Mariner from that era which were rated in the 30s for MPG.

I think nearly anything from the '90s will be "getting old and has problems I don't care to fix myself." Unless you were willing to go south or far west for the car, I'd be concerned about the levels of rust cars those age would have.

Staying with cars that age, there were Camry and Accord wagons available then.

A pre-2004 Jetta TDI wagon should be a good fit for your needs. They are before all the extra emission requirements, and more biodiesel friendly. Any other diesel car will be from the '90s or older.
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Old 01-20-2017, 07:26 AM   #8
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$2.069 here today.
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Old 01-26-2017, 07:04 PM   #9
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I would also like to add the 2017 Corolla iM hatch (Auris for the rest of the world) rated at 36 highway. It was sold as the Scion iM for 2016 before the Scion brand was axed and some Scions became Toyotas.
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