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Old 09-02-2013, 06:35 AM   #1
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Can you top a Saturn?

I have owned a 2002 Saturn SL2 (manual) for 235,000 miles now. It is still getting great gas mileage, 36-37 mpg average without AC use on 80% highway travel (I massaged 42 mpg recently on an all highway trip). I'm at the point now of either rebuilding or replacing.

If I do replace, I'd want a car with the same or better safety since I'm going to be carting kids around in it. But I don't want to have to deal with a tree-trunk thick A pillar or a car that's going to try to out-think me. So it appears I'm looking at a range of 2000-2008 model year cars. I am shying away from a diesel because I tend to drive 75-80 mph whenever possible (my understanding is that diesels lose mpg faster than gas cars at such high speeds).

My question is, can I top what I've got? I have the ability to rebuild or modify a car to get the MPG needed.

Thanks for the input!
-HornedFrog
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:52 AM   #2
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Every where I have seen it discussed, diesels are the highway kings. The EPA numbers also tend to under rate them. But you are limited to VWs, maybe Mercedes for those years.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:51 AM   #3
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:23 PM   #4
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I love my '07 Accord. I get 33 mpg (500-550 mile tanks!) out of a V6 Accord; I would be curious to know what I could get out of a 4-banger.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fetch View Post
I love my '07 Accord. I get 33 mpg (500-550 mile tanks!) out of a V6 Accord; I would be curious to know what I could get out of a 4-banger.
I had a 2008 Accord (4 cyl) that got 30 mpg at its best. Thankfully I was able to unload it.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:45 AM   #6
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Of course you can top that. Immediate thought is to find a low mileage SL1 rather than your SL2 w/ the DOHC, it will manage 2-3mpg better and be the identical vehicle in every way except for just a few.

Secondly, I don't think at that mileage you'd benefit much from a rebuild. Not unless you took on the challenge/expense of new suspension, bushings, brakes, trans, engine, etc. At that price point, you'd have $6-8k invested. Just not worth it. You can likely find any nice Saturn S-Series with less than 100k miles on it (or just over) in the $3-4k range.

Aside from that, if you're not looking at cost of ownership throughout the vehicles life, you can buy many newer models and top 36-37mpg average. Yaris comes to mind first. Cruze's can be found pretty cheap, Fiesta's aren't terrible.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:07 PM   #7
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My yaris used to get 40-41 mpg before I went the performance route. Still gets around 38-39.

I am on a yaris forum and there have been several people post wrecks that they have been in and walked away. It is a very safe car for its size.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:23 PM   #8
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A Saturn has worked well for you this long so why not get another? You can harvest parts off your current car to feed the new one too.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:34 PM   #9
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I can agree with the above post... Why not find another Saturn? But if you are going to spend a lot on a new car($6-8k) you might be better off to rebuild your Saturn... You could do some research and gain both power and fuel mileage and still have a car you are somewhat familiar with... Plus i think you can eliminate the oil leak(typical saturn issue) during the engine rebuild... Search SaturnFans.com | The Saturn Authority for Saturn Enthusiasts. for info...
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