I'm thinking of getting an MPG dedicated type car because now here in So-Cal prices are starting to really hurt.
I do have some criteria, and i think this could make for an interesting discussion none-the-less.
So, first off, now i drive a truck and use the bed for moving stuff around, not all the time and it's not big boxes really, but i will need space, rear flip down seats or a well sized truck would be okay (i could just rip out the back seats i guess).
Next, i'm a wuss so i'd like an auto tranny.
And of course initial cost and repair cost need to be at the forefront here, i don't have a lot of cash up front right now and don't want a car where every little part is a couple hundred bucks and only the dealer can play with it, I like to work on vehicles sometimes, but can get frustrated with non-user friendly designs.
I look forward to everyones opinion. Thanks
edit to add: i'm getting around 22-23mpg on my truck right now so mid to upper 30's would be awsome.
I'm thinking Domestic, since most U.S. brands are automatics, and can be serviced cheaper than import brands (on average). Maybe a Ford Festiva, Dodge/Plymouth Neon, or Geo/Chevy Metro might be a good start. If imports are your cup of tea, then of course most small Hondas and Toyotas have the potential: Like a Tercel, or most Civics/CRXs/older Accords could be a possibility (if you can find an automatic). A Subuaru Justy comes to mind as well, if you need AWD.
man why not a 5spd? you can abuse bump starting! unless you have a lot of bumper to bumper traffic to deal with then I vote no.
Even if domestics are cheaper to service, that doesn't mean it will run as well as the import that is serviced the same but has a higher service cost. As well in general imports are more fun to drive than domestics usually
If your reading this, then good for you, your saving some gas because your here.
once you learn to drive, a 5 speed is extreamly easy.
the VW rabbit trucks are extreamly nice if you are a smaller person, 6 feet tall and it starts to feel cramped, they also have some annoying things that go wrong, cv joints every 50,000 miles, struts every 40,000 miles, outer door handles every few years, new shift linkage every 60,000 miles, but if you can find one that has had that stuff done, they are nice, and you can get them in a diesel (45mpg+) or gas (35mpg+).
personaly, if you can, I would look at a small station wagon, or a hatch back, I hauled my mattress in the back of my honda civic hatchback, seat all the way back, hatch closed, it was tight, but fit perfectly.
I would stay away from a dodge neon, as everyone I've knowen/heard of who has owned one either spent buckets of money on them, or scraped them because they couldn't afford to fix them.
there are a few exceptions but for the moast part Amarican compenys don't make small cars, if you want a smaller car, you are pretty much going to have buy an import, Mazda makes the Ford Ranger pickup, Nisson makes the Ford Escort, Toyota makes the Geo Prisim, susuki (issuzu?) makes the Geo Metro, and the list goes on and on, if you find a small car that is made by an amarican compeny, look at revews of it, it will most likely either get horble mileage, or have a long list of problems, or both of those things.