I drive 30 miles to work one way Mon-Fri. My 93 Camry was costing me too much in gas. So I did some research and slowed down, coasted, etc. My MPG went from 24 to 32mpg. Cant complain about that.
The Camry has a 15 gallon tank so thats around $55 a fill up ( as of early June in Northern Virginia ).
I wanted better so I found a 98 Civic LX. I picked up up yesterday from CarMax. Great car. Looks good, drives well except for the gas pedal sticks ( nothing I cant fix or have them fix ).
I got the trip odometer to 60 miles or so at work this morning and had just about 3/4 a tank. Not a good start.
Im driving it to Mrytle Beach, SC this weekend ( 7 hours or so ).
Tires are 50psi and I will be doing 63 mph with cruise the whole way.
I have 5 days to turn it back in with no penalty. So thats Sunday.
If the mpg doesnt improve on the trip down and back I will go back to the Camry.
The fuel gauge is extremely inaccurate and not a good indication of the kind of mileage you will get.
When you buy such an old car you have to catch up to the maintenance schedule which undoubtedly has been neglected. Do a FULL tuneup. Distributor cap, rotor, spark plugs (get NGK or Denso), fuel filter, check base ignition timing, clean out throttle body, IACV, intake manifold, use seafoam in the oil, through a vacuum hose, and in the gas tank, check/replace lazy O2 sensor, check alignment, change oil and filter, transmission oil, change/clean PCV. Check spark plug wires. Replace charcoal canister. Replace in tank fuel strainer. On all my Hondas I like to get the injectors balanced and blueprinted.
You do all this and you should easily achieve 35+ mpg, pick up some pep, and enjoy a reliable, trouble free car for years to come.