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Old 06-10-2018, 09:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
Cyborg ECU
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Coastal Southern California
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Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 61.77 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar Custom built eBike
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Efficient used cars (under $7,000 but over $1500)

Looking for a car that is inexpensive and fuel efficient but pretty clean and no beater? I have been. Here is a little of what I have learned and a call for community postings of other examples.

At five/ten years old (or more) some cars are still well-preserved, retaining a lot of usefulness, and with most of their depreciation behind them. They are great values and none would call 'em a POS. But you have to pay more than for a beat down Saturn like the one I looked at & almost bought a few weeks ago.

Post up examples of cars. Here are some "guidelines:"

1) Under $7,000
2) under 150,000 miles
3) No salvage title (unless its too good to miss)


Here is an example from Craig's List that could be a very good deal if there are no hidden major problems: 2011 Accord EX sedan, inline 4, with 148,000 miles @ $6900. It is an automatic that gets 33 MPG on the freeway, according to the US govt:

Quote:
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/la...611140877.html

2011 honda accord ex 4dr 4cyl ,,,,1 owner ,,,,,no accident ,,,,,,

pink slip,,,,clean title,,,carfax ready,,,,

142k mile ,,,,,original mile,,,

engine and transmission very very good,,,,no leaking,,,

8-2018 license plate,,,

air condition,,,tires good,,,,clean leather seat,,,,moon roof,,,alloy wheel,,,
Today, on CarGurus, I spotted a 2011 Mazda2 with 80,000 miles, 35 MPG freeway, clean exterior but some questions about the "accident reported" needing to be asked before forking over $4,600.

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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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Old 06-10-2018, 09:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
V8 guy
 
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Sub - '84 Chevy Diesel Suburban C10
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An older leaf if you can live with limited range and have the means to run 240v power out to your parking area.
Most of the older leafs I saw had between 30k and 50k miles and nearly all were under 7000 with clean titles.
My 2011 leaf with 48k miles is probably the newest and lowest mile car I will ever own.
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1989 firebird mostly stock. Aside from the 6-speed manual trans, corvette gen 5 front brakes, 1LE drive shaft, 4th Gen disc brake fbody rear end.
2011 leaf SL, white 240v evse mod, trailer hitch, new batt as of 2014.
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Old 06-10-2018, 09:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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$7000! For a car!


Subscribed, to see how the other half lives.


---



You can find manual Mirages with relatively low miles all day long at that price. Get one of Daox's custom rear stabilizer bars to get rid of the body roll and tighten up the handling of the 2014/15's (the years you'll be looking at for that price).


50+ MPG is easy with basic ecodriving techniques. In the 40's if you drive like everybody else. 60+ if you're dedicated.


You can probably find some with factory warranty left for $7k.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Beater Echo - '00 Toyota Echo
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Right in my wheelhouse! I'll have to take a look later. There were stick Ford Fusions, a stick Mazda6 wagon, and other interesting cars right in the thick of this budget range back when I was buying last year. I had a $5000 budget and spent half that, though I bought at a bit over the mileage limit (168k). Dallas was my hunting ground and it is absolutely fat with stuff in that range, and not just beater stuff, but some ones kinda intriguing or fun stuff too.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Gaptooth - '00 Honda Insight
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90 day: 63.01 mpg (US)

Such Fit - '07 Honda Fit Sport
90 day: 41.27 mpg (US)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
$7000! For a car!


Subscribed, to see how the other half lives.
In Vermont, most cars under $3k won't pass inspection (rust). People typically come over from NY to buy them, because NY's inspections are less rigorous. Between 4 and 7k, you're looking at a couple of years, tops.

If you want a car good for more than 2-3 winters in that price range, you have to drive south 12 hours to get the car.

~

I recently went through this same search for my partner, and we ended up going with a manual Fit. Looks like you can get one with closer to 100k miles for $6-7000, whereas as you approach $3000, mileage approaches 200k. We opted for a higher mile car, picked up from North Carolina and not even the beginnings of surface rust on anything. Rust will probably still take it off the road before the drivetrain fails.

40mpg is what a careless driver gets in a Fit. 50mpg is achievable in a stock car with some technique.

I basically ruled out sedans. We use our cars for things like moving bicycles (plural), furniture, construction materials, etc. and even if a Civic HX can get a bit better gas mileage, having to rent a truck every time I want to move a dresser or bookshelf negates that. Try fitting two fully assembled bicycles inside a sedan.

Some other contenders were a Toyota Yaris and Mazda 3. The Fit drove better than the Yaris by a mile, and the Mazda doesn't have quite the same reliability, but both were possibilities. We also looked at a few Volts and while they're reliable, they actually do worse than the Fit on gas alone, repairs can be terribly expensive if something does go wrong, and usable interior space is a lot lower. Driving around one electricity is attractive but her commute is long enough that she'd be burning gas on the way home every day anyway, and electricity is on the high side here.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
Cyborg ECU
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Coastal Southern California
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Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 61.77 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar Custom built eBike
90 day: 3671.43 mpg (US)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcp123 View Post
Right in my wheelhouse! I'll have to take a look later. There were stick Ford Fusions, a stick Mazda6 wagon, and other interesting cars right in the thick of this budget range back when I was buying last year. I had a $5000 budget and spent half that, though I bought at a bit over the mileage limit (168k). Dallas was my hunting ground and it is absolutely fat with stuff in that range, and not just beater stuff, but some ones kinda intriguing or fun stuff too.
We can keep the "guidelines" flexible so that a great candidate with a bit over 150,000 miles or a remarkable deal with a salvage title for minor reasons still qualifies.

Here is an unremarkable car that is, I think, probably good deal at $2800 and the seller invites offers. Paint looks good, wheels are not all scraped up, and the interior and engine bay are clean. This car probably has at least 100,000 miles left and will do beautifully on fuel:
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sf...612922747.html

Quote:
2008 nissan versa
condition: excellent
cylinders: 4 cylinders
drive: fwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 111000
paint color: black
size: compact
title status: clean
transmission: manual
type: hatchback

NISSAN VERSA runs and looks good, transmission; engine in good conditions, manual transmission, 4 Cilinder ,new tires,SMOG CHECK on hand Come test drive and make me an offer. for more Info please call
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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Old 06-11-2018, 10:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Riot - '03 Kia Rio POS
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Bug - '01 VW Beetle GLSturbo
90 day: 26.43 mpg (US)

Sub2500 - '86 GMC Suburban C2500
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If god forbid, I ever move back to maine I would look for older vehicles from out this way. At least they are not rusted out.
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1984 chevy suburban, custom made 6.5L diesel turbocharged with a Garrett T76 and Holset HE351VE, 22:1 compression 13psi of intercooled boost.
1989 firebird mostly stock. Aside from the 6-speed manual trans, corvette gen 5 front brakes, 1LE drive shaft, 4th Gen disc brake fbody rear end.
2011 leaf SL, white 240v evse mod, trailer hitch, new batt as of 2014.
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
At five/ten years old (or more) some cars are still well-preserved, retaining a lot of usefulness...
5-10 years? Let's see... '02 Miata, that's 16 years. '00 Insight, that's 18. And '88 Toyota pickup, that's 30. The Insight was the only one less than 10 years old when I bought it (in '03), and the only one that (barely) exceeded your upper limit on price. So yes, you should be able to find plenty of decent drivable cars.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Chorizo - '00 Honda Civic HX, baby! :D
90 day: 36.05 mpg (US)

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Rich people problems!

I would be suspicious of the Accord. They do terrible things to commas, I would worry about what they did to the car.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
Cyborg ECU
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Coastal Southern California
Posts: 4,678

Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 61.77 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar Custom built eBike
90 day: 3671.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,624
Thanked 1,317 Times in 892 Posts
2005 Prius with 80k miles

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/ws...616039342.html


Quote:

$700 below Kelly's Bluebook.
Mileage: 80,408 (2005 Prius)
Original Owner
Body Style: Hatchback
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Gray
Fuel Economy: Gas - City 48/Hwy 45/Comb 47 MPG
Engine: Hybrid
Fuel Type: Hybrid Gas/Electric
Transmission: Automatic
Drive Type: 2 wheel drive - front
Doors: Four Door
No back up camera.
Utility battery has been changed twice.
Main battery is original.
Only synthetic oil has been used on this car.
All Maintenance records are good.
Premium stereo AM/FM, Multi CD, Cassette, upgraded speakers and amp.
4 CYL, 1.5 Liter, Traction control, ABS (4 wheel)
Power steering, Power windows, Tilt wheel, AC, Cruise control, duel air bags.
VIN # JTDKB20U853066030
Good condition with some scratches.
No Accidents
Everything works

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__________________


See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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