Currently I drive a '98 Legacy GT, which I love. But it's been getting around 19mpg lately, which is mostly driven for my job, delivering pizza in Denver. Complete city environment, in Denver Proper.
Thinking about picking up a sub-$1000 car to take over the duty of delivery. I figured you guys would know what might be best suited for the job. Currently looking at some Civic hatchbacks from the later 80s. Needs to have enough room for the big deliveries, and make it easy to get in and out of. Since I work on my own cars, I can keep an older car running on the cheap, and sell it when I am done with it.
Any thoughts on other vehicles that might be suited for this? The small size will be a huge plus as well, since I take the car down a lot of side streets with parallel parking on both sides. I have thought about the Metro/Swift, but there aren't as many of those around. Which means junkyard parts are harder to find as well.
Nothing beats old Civic hatchies. Manual. Toss rear seat out, you'll end up in quite large cargo space. Maybe creat a custom plywood floor piece, to keep it flat, if you must.
Same goes for old Mazda 323 and Ford Escort station vagon, which is Mazda basically.
We once owned a 94 Corolla SV. That will work also.
I spent some time looking around Craigslist, just to see what's out there in that price range. The Hondas and Toyotas in that range seem really high mileage, and they appear to be in poor shape. The best deals I saw on cars I felt might be reliable were Cavalier and Escort wagons.
Look for what I have, 95 Mazda Lx 1.4 liter 5 speed. Toss out the rear seat or lower the seat rests, plenty of room, even if its an automatic you should get great mileage. You can pick one up that meets your price point. Small but roomy. I just got 78 mpg with mine, Victorville to Downey, 78 miles one gallon. It's down hill all the way from Victorville where I filled up, then filled up in Downey. EOC a lot.
Thinking about picking up a sub-$1000 car to take over the duty of delivery. I have thought about the Metro/Swift, but there aren't as many of those around. Which means junkyard parts are harder to find as well.
Get a Ford Festiva. Now, Festivas had fewer numbers than Metros, but are a better car. The Festiva has a KIA body, bought by Hyundai to raise their reliability........ & they did. Hyundai & KIA have good reliable cars, now. On top of that, the small engine in Festiva is a Mazda! One fellow took his Festiva to the junk yard...... after 600,000 miles. Many Festivas have 250,000 to 300,000+miles on them. I am averaging 46mpg with my lower geared 4 speed manual, using 100% gasoline(ethanol-free).
Small squarish Festiva, only 12 feet long, has a taller & roomier back seat than Metro, & packs lots more cargo.
If you can find a low mileage Festiva without abuse, get it, drive it, make lots of money with it. I've put 8+ foot long packages in it & closed the hatchback. For more cargo, the back seat comes out easily by removing only 4 bolts.