This is my first post, but I thought you might be interested in my two cars, Red GrandAm and Black 'Stang, and my 172 mile daily commute.
Two months ago, on March 3rd, I began commuting from Chatsworth, in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, to Riverside. This coincided with the drop in value of my house (bad time to try and sell) and the rise in gas prices. My '99 Grand Am and '88 Mustang Convertible are paid for and are worth more to me than to anyone else, and realizing the biggest cost of a car is depreciation, I decided to keep them for now and use them for the commute.
Being "careful" (or cheap, according to some), I want to spend as little as possible on gas so I can use my wages for other, more important, things. So, I started off doing a "super tune-up" on my Mustang (a 5.0 V8 5-speed). If you look at my gas logs, my mileage has hovered around 29 and 30 mpg. The Grand Am is now reaching 35-37 mpg. Granted, most of this is freeway, but I am still destroying the EPA numbers without any modifications to my cars.
The Answer? Driving slow! I am a reformed speed demon (hence the V8 Mustang), so making this adjustment has been just that--an adjustment. Driving 58-60 mph is hard. It takes a lot of effort and concentration. But it pays off. Easier on the car (I want to make it last), easier on the emotions since I am not racing to get to work and arriving frazzled, easier on the DMV points and insurance since I won't be getting any tickets any time soon, and lastly easier on the credit card paying for my gas.
This proves that you don't have to drive a micro-mini (too small), or a hybrid or diesel (both overpriced right now) to get good mileage. When it is time to replace one or both of them I might consider one of those vehicles, but until I have to buy I will maximize what I already have.