I'm looking for a extremely efficient dd for my 78 mile work commute. I've been lurking a while now on the boards an would like recommendations on models built in the 1990's that get high scores for consistently operating above 50 mpgs without much modification. Civic VX's are hard to find in my area as this has topped my list for months now. Suggestions are helpful on stock models.
Most mid 90s Civics can get into the 40s with no problems. My del Sol is 41 mpg in mixed driving with some performance mods. It would probably be closer to 45 without them.
BEEF has/had a Cavalier that was into the high 30s, if I remember correctly. Those can be had for a song and a dance. The old Mazda Protege wasn't half bad with a stick. And, of course, Saturns if you can keep oil in them.
Not sure exactly where you are located but if you can get your hands on a early to mid 90s Saturn SL1 (single overhead cam) with a manual trans you can get around 36-40 mpg depending on wether you are on a highway or doing city driving. Combined with a easy driving I have heard of over 40 mpg. With a dual overhead cam (SL2) you can expect around 30 give or take. The other plus side is these cars are cheap, cheap, cheap!
I currently own my third SL series wich is a 97 SL2 w/ 169k getting 27-32 in combined driving. I picked it up for 1,100 us dollars in great shape! Its not above 50 but I do recommend this rout. They are good, simple little cars!
Yeah I saw a beat up Insight the other day sitting in my old neighborhood. In fact it was in my old home's front yard. Thought about asking the guy what he'd take for it!!!! They do not drop in value for sure. Their 60+ mpg is too rare.