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Old 01-22-2008, 10:45 AM   #1
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High FE MiniVan? Is there such a thing?

It looks like I'm going to be changing work, if not just plain old out of work.

If that happens the best thing I have to tide me over is re-selling things on eBay... and a mini van would really help. The subu2 doesn't get great mileage (21.8 best so far) so I don't think it's gonna be that hard to beat.

Is there something else that seats 4+ and has a LOT of luggage room that would be better? We're about 2 month from the "cars for sale" season here in New England, so I'm trying to plan ahead. Anything I buy now I can really beat them down on and my Subu2 is at the peak of it's market value for the year.



"If you want to save gas I suggest you permanently remove the drivers seat and steering wheel. That seems to help." -Oscar Halverson

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Old 01-22-2008, 11:18 AM   #2
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you could try the mazda5, if your price range is lower, the older toyota sienna can get about low 20's combined. stay away from the 1st gen honda odyossey's with the 4 cylinder accord engines. theyre way too underpowered

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Old 01-22-2008, 11:40 AM   #3
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Someone on here reported doing 30MPG on the Mazda version of the 2008 Ford Escape. I've driven some Escapes, and I kind of like they way they feel. I'm not giving up our Focus anytime soon, but that might be something to look at.
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:00 PM   #4
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R U going to be doing more Highway miles than City miles?
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:04 AM   #5
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The 4cyl 2000 dodge caravan i drive for work gets 23 mpg with snow tires in cold weather. It could probably manage 26-27 in warmer weather with lrr tires. It has a sucky tranny that revs fairly high above 55mph.

I was looking at those dustbuster gm minivans the other day. I bet it does pretty well in a wind tunnel. you could probably pick one of those up cheaply! I like the GM 3.8. My 89 olds 88 had that engine, it was super powerful and i could get 29-33 on the highway with 4 passengers and luggage. You would want to avoid the luxury version of that minivan of course, cause all the electronics would be broken by now or would break soon.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:22 AM   #6
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Best from http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/byEPAclass.htm :

2008 - Mazda 5 4 cyl, 2.3 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular (28 hwy)
2006 - Honda Odyssey 6 cyl, 3.5 L, Automatic 5-spd, VCM, Regular (26 hwy)
2005 - Honda Odyssey 6 cyl, 3.5 L, Automatic 5-spd, Regular (26 hwy)
2004 - Toyota Sienna 2WD 6 cyl, 3.3 L, Automatic 5-spd, Regular (25 hwy)
2003 - Chrysler Voyager/Town and Country 2WD 4 cyl, 2.4 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular (25 hwy)
2003 - Dodge Caravan 2WD 4 cyl, 2.4 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular (25 hwy)

Newer definitely buys you better FE. You should be able to do high 20s - low 30s if you hypermile it, perhaps more with aero mods.

- Bruce
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:41 AM   #7
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Four+ pasengers and cargo room can return higher than the Sube's 22 mpg, but what are you willing to give up in return?
Does it have to be a minivan? Would a tall wagon be suitable instead?
Will you miss the AWD?
How far into the past and lack of passive restraint technology are you willing to go?
Would you accept the same space as the Sube, but at double the mpg?
Would you accept double the space at the same mpg?
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:54 AM   #8
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Yeah, I'm surprised you're getting lower than EPA with your subie for a mostly highway looking commute. It's all tuend up and LRR tires and such? Will you miss the AWD, did you buy it for that reason? FWD does pretty good, especially on a heavy van, but it's a fair question and probably the main thing sapping your milage.

How big of items do you have to haul? And do you need both the big hauling AND 4 people at the same time? Because a Ford Focus wagon or Toyota Matrix or that type of thing may suite your needs. Or you can look for an older, medium sized wagon. Like a Taraus wagon I think would get 25-30MPG or more, or an Escort 5 door thing.

I know some minivan type things approach 30MPG but most get 20ish so avoiding a minivan would be nicer. I've also seem 30MPG type figured from that Ford hybrid SUV and that Toyota hybrid SUV (that is if you have money and want to deal with hybrid). To me 30MPG in those applications is more impressive than 45MPG in a Prius.

EDIT: or get a Passat diesel, wow! you're getting some awesome MPG there!
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:40 AM   #9
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Saturn Vue w/ the 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed transmission... people have gotten over 30mpg with them and they're VERY reliable. Just avoid the CVT transmission (automatic that they mated to the 4-cylinder engines. Also, from 2003 on up, the V6 was I believe a 3.5L and I KNOW it was a Honda engine... high 20's with that and PLENTY of power for the interstate merges.

I've driven all 3 models, 4 cyl 5 speed, 3.0L auto, and 3.5L honda powered.... the 4 cylinder performs well for the size of the vehicle, the 3.0L is the gas hog, the 3.5L impressed and WOW'ed me with its sheer power.


I drove a Subaru Forrester.

If you can find a Forrester w/ the 5-speed.... GET THE FORRESTER. Although big, it will feel like you're driving an Impreza compared to the Vue feeling unsafely rolling around turns.

The Forrester will fit the bill for the luggage room... it's got PLENTY. Will seat 5 comfortably, and even in older used models you can find heated seats, OEM block warmers, and the SUNROOF is distinctly AMAZING.

I was shopping for an SUV, although I didn't need one, I wanted to get out of my Saturn Sedan and into something I could literally take anywhere (looking at luggage room, passanger comfort) the Forrester is what I WOULD'VE purchased had my mindset not changed.

just my 2 cents!
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:09 PM   #10
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At first I thought my used 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.3L Flex Fuel was crap - it gets crappy city mpg of 14 to 18 mpg. But on a highway road trip Chicago to Decatur at 65 mph it got 25.8 mpg. Don't know why on Sunday I got only 20.5 hwy [worst case], then today to work I got 26.6 hwy and 27 hwy going home. So these hwy mpg numbers are real good when they compare to the new Odyssey which claims 26 to 28 mpg hwy. But a new Odyssey with a tow package can tow 4500 lbs - something I need! I just can't afford paying $31,000 for one new though.

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