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Old 11-08-2016, 01:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 22,472

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 55.97 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)

Appliance car - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage ES (base)
90 day: 72.89 mpg (US)
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I'm buying* Canada's cheapest, roadworthy**, 50 mpg*** Mazda Miata MX-5

First, the asterisks:

1 *) I don't own it... yet. But I think I'm close!

[Update! I got it. Read on...]

I've been trying for several weeks to buy this 1990 Miata from a seller who is both hilariously and frustratingly laid back. Seems he doesn't like to rush things when it comes to communication. Think "island time" mentality. He works strange hours and will only talk by text messaging -- oh, and I happen to be the last person who doesn't own a cell phone, so friends and family have been acting as intermediaries.

Also, he doesn't need the money. Also, the car is out of sight, out of mind from his perspective (not parked at his house).

All these ingredients make this a recipe for slow going and for cultivating patience.

2 **) Ran when parked!

Roadworthy? Well, it's been sitting in a back yard for almost 2 years. 2014 was the last time it saw daily driver status.

3 ***) 50 MPG??

EPA says: 22 city / 28 highway / 24 combined

But AntiochOG did it!

The top 3 Miatas in EM's garage:

Fuelly shows a couple hundred owners of the early 1.6L cars are averaging 27 mpg US. Half a dozen owners of the 1.6L "NA" model report averages of 40-45 mpg.

So I'm guessing low-mid 40's is achievable, un-ecomodded, in my typical driving environment (my driving is mostly country roads, 80 km/h / 50 mph speed limit). And of course it won't remain un-ecomodded for long.

4) The car:
  • 1990 Mazda Miata MX-5
  • Engine/trans: 1.6 L (116 hp), 5-speed manual
  • Curb weight: 2100 lbs / 952 kg
  • Odometer: 216k kilometres (134k miles)
  • Cosmetically: rough
  • Mechanically: unknown, but owner at least says oil changed "religiously" and other than a burst rad hose once, has been "bulletproof"; it was not winter driven; brakes will be a bit rusty from sitting outside for a year.
5) The price:

He's asking a thousand bucks for it.

That's quite a bit less than even the cheapest basket case Miatas advertised in Canada, of which there are 400-500 for sale right now.

More to come!

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Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown

has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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