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Old 03-26-2009, 06:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 53

Daq Civic - '92 Honda Civic DX sedan
90 day: 42.54 mpg (US)

The Hardbody - '91 Nissan D21 (pickup)

The Hardbody - '91 Nissan D21 (pickup)
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I would suggest you try to find an early Focus station wagon. I believe Focuses have relatively great headroom, and the wagons should have about as much cargo room as anything else but a pickup. They're also quite safe and fairly reliable, and not unpleasant to drive. Revised EPA is low 20s city and about 30 hwy.

A slightly smaller option would be a Saturn wagon, and these get better hwy mileage than the Focus.

Anything else w/ good headroom and cargo capacity will be rated 20 or under in the city and mid-20s hwy, which is not any better than the best small pickups. Also, truck engines make all their power down low, which makes the important hypermiling practice of shifting at the lowest possible RPMs easier. That said, in general the horrible aerodynamics of trucks gives less chance for optimizing (improving beyond EPA rating) hwy MPGs than with cars.

Fortunately for those of us will small budgets, cars from the 90s have as good or better fuel economy than newer cars in most classes. Good luck!
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