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Old 12-26-2010, 11:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Good RWD options?

Ok so I have achieved 50% over EPA with an old beater civic. I have been getting good results with an old VW diesel, but truth be told I am a bit bored with front wheel drive econo boxes.

I figure I can get 50% over with most any small manual car that I can Pulse and glide, EOC and put some sort of MPG monitoring device.

So help me pick a car that starts at 30mpg highway, has a manual, common rail or MPFI, an electronic speed sending unit (I have a mpguino already) and is rear wheel drive. $3500 budget.

Some nice features would be 4 seats, and a radio, neither is necessary.

Some likely candidates are; 4banger mustang, and mazda miata. Any other options?

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Old 12-27-2010, 12:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know prices in your country and the kind of car you're looking for but rwd, i'm thinking about mercedes 190(turbodiesel version), mazda mx5(2 seat only...), toyota mr2(two seat only...), toyota corolla gt(ae86 16v, 1.6 engine, very light car), bmw turbo diesel(e30, e36, e46 they are cheap in my country), ford sierra(it's old...).
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would say EV converted Porsche 944, or RX-7 with an Insight engine swap, but I'm guessing you're not looking for your own Project Car Hell.

I think the MX5 is the best bet. However, of the Fiero, Mustang, Celica, and Miata, none of them meet your stock FE criterion. The Fiero does well in highway FE (old rating:35), so maybe it would do well around town with P&G.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Those listed above would probably be a decent start, as would an older Toyota Cressida. Unfortunately, they were mostly autos, and the 5 speed was discontinued in 88. It's certainly possible to swap one in, however.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've always sorta wanted a tdi swap in a 924. There is a diesel corvette swap too that gets respectable mpg and handling. Corvette V8 diesel conversion - 40 mpg (US) avg.

here is a tdi swap gone nuts (400hp rwd tdi polo):
volkswagen Polo RWD TDi - Race cars for sale
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mx-5/Miata is your best bet.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's an interesting question but one with a few options. Sadly though, most of them are getting fairly old as rear drive small cars are few and far between today. The Miata is the obvious choice as it has a small frontal area, a relatively small engine and is pretty light. The best choices that come to mind are older Japanese Kei cars like the Honda Beat or Suzuki Cappuccino, but they are not yet legal to import to the US. For cars you can find in the US then, you have to go back to the 1970s with something like a Datsun PL 510 or a E10 Corolla. Both weigh less than a Miata, have engine bays that can take more modern swaps, and can seat 4 or 5 adults in relative discomfort.

There is a less obvious choice though: The base model 2011 V6 Mustang. It is EPA rated at 30 MPG highway and already has very good performance.
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(Note: the car sees 100% city driving and is EPA rated at 37 mpg city)
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The only car on the list that I've had any experience with is the Miata. Very fun little car, reliable, but they do have exhaust problems (as do most older Mazdas). Be aware that they tend to go through mufflers very quick and even the stuff before the cat. tends to rust out (despite the fact that it's supposed to be stainless to the cat.). Otherwise, surprisingly good in the snow for a RWD car and fun to drive.

My only fault on the highway would be wind noise at highway speeds, but not really any worse than most convertables and better than the S-2000 (which requires ear plugs at 75mph even with the top up).

The only other cars that make the list are pre-OBDII, like the B-210. There's still some out there and they were great little cars.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
Smeghead
 
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escort - '99 ford escort sport
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I wonder if because the miata is a "sports" car if the gearing is one of the limiting factors. mx5 with a taller rear end may have some merit. I am aware that most options I could think of fall a bit short 25-28mpg. which should put me in the low 40s premod, drat.
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Last edited by bestclimb; 12-27-2010 at 01:08 PM..
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The subaru 360 was RWD as was the Volkswagon bug

Not what you wanted to hear I've guessing but they were rated above 30mpg, see what you can do with an aero hell vehicle

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