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Old 02-21-2008, 12:03 AM   #1
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Real world hwy #'s of Minivans and midsize wagons?

Hi

So I might be starting a new job as a courier. The route will cover 275+ km per day, 5days a week and involves at least 65% hwy with long grades and a speed limit of 110km/hr. The slowest I would like to drive it is 100 (but only if the FE boost is substantial over 110)

I own a 97 Safari AWD Family vehicle that can be used for the days that I'll need it...but apparently a small-midsize wagon Car will do the job 97% of the time. So I need to buy a wagon or smaller minivan.
Saturns pull the high mpg figures...but I fear they'd be way underpowered once loaded up. Or maybe I could suffer it for the first half of the day?...as I actually come back over a 100km stretch of hwy unloaded. Would that mpg savings pay off in this case?
How about a commonly available car like a Taurus/Sable wagon?...or is there a particular Minivan that gets decent hwy mileage?
(under $5000 hopefully)

Thx guys
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:51 AM   #2
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The saturn wagon is not a bad choice. A little effort shifting from 5th to 4th on the grades will be worth the much better mileage vs thirstier vehicle. If you're driving for FE, even when loaded any vehicle has enough power. Really it depends on how much room you need. Another choice may be Ford Focus wagon if you can find a screamin' deal in BC.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:35 PM   #3
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Heck - see if you can find a low-mile Escort Wagon - but be SURE to get a five-speed, as it offers much better perf and is more responsive to driving technique, mpg-wise.

i found one a year ago w/100K miles for 950USD - and it gets near 40mpg, with a LOT of room in the back. Good value. I can't think of a better space/mpg relationship... is there one?
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:40 PM   #4
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Early 90s Dodge Caravan 2.5l 4 banger with a 5 speed stick. Might be hard to find but its got plenty of room, ok power when loaded and good highway mileage for a minivan low 30s
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:55 AM   #5
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WHEN I RESET MY COMPUTER ON THE HWY MY 1999 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN SPORT READS 25 TO 26.5 MPG AVG AT 65 MPH. But one time I don't know why it only got 20.5 mpg.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:28 AM   #6
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Here's a couple options you may have*:

1998 Volkswagon Passat Wagon TDI (32/45 diesel) . . .though I've heard 60 mpg.
1994 Plymouth Colt Vista: 21/26 w/1.8L and 5-speed
1994 Ford Taurus Wagon: 18/27
1994 Ford Escort Wagon: 26/34
1994 Toyota Corolla Wagon: 23/31
1994 Honda Accord Wagon: 22/28
1994 Saturn SW: 24/34
1994 Chevy Caprice Wagon: 15/23 ok, maybe not


*All 2008 EPA numbers

If you want do do some of your own further research, go here for mpg ratings: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm

And here for interior volume and other specifications: http://www.edmunds.com/apps/usedmatrix/UsedMatrix
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:52 AM   #7
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Take a look at my fuel log, alot of miles 5,000+ a month and freight involved. Just to give you something to think about. Straight highway the best i got was 27+, but with winter weather and mixed driving has knocked it down a bit

John
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:54 AM   #8
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Thx for the replies

I just picked up a '98 Saturn SW1 since my last post! It is for general use, but I may get a chance to try it for this courier job in a few weeks. One aspect that I hadn't thought of but noticed immediately upon driving this thing...is the HP to Weight ratio. Sure it's only got 100hp/114tq...but it only weighs 2300lbs!
If it turns out to be too small, the Wife can keep driving it and I'll pickup a smaller Minivan.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:32 PM   #9
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I have a great vehicle for you. I have a Mitsubishi pick-up, diesel, that has been converted to run on WVO. It only has 100k miles on it. 5 spd, 4x4. tonneau cover. Awesome stereo. Perfect for a courier. I need a bigger truck because my youngest son is going to school in September and I need to be able to drive two kids at a time.

Peter

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Old 02-29-2008, 06:59 AM   #10
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I have 06 awd Freestyle summertime mpg 23city and 30mpg highway.
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