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rlee94 10-23-2018 10:45 AM

Best cheap used vehicle?
With winter coming upon us, I'm looking for a cheap, older vehicle that would be a great candidate for hypermiling.

I know of the Metro/Firefly, but what other older (late 80's - early 00's) cars (preferably hatchback or wagon) are good candidates?

I want something that can easily hit 40mpg without modification. What do you know of?

(EDIT: 'With winter coming, I'm looking for a vehicle so I can buy a cheap one to fix in time for spring')

19bonestock88 10-23-2018 04:55 PM

I’m gonna day it now, find a Saturn. A manual SW (1 or 2) should give you the mileage with just tire pressure and hypermiling... an LW200 with manual trans should get you close, but will require diligent hypermiling and skilled use of pulse and glide driving style, due to its 4.45 final drive transmission...

In any S series watch the oil consumption(they all will use some) and watch for the timing chain oiler/tensioner in the L series

And Saturns, being orphans of the mother brand (GM) don’t hold value worth crap so you could find a quite nice one for almost nothing

rlee94 10-23-2018 05:16 PM

I actually found a 93 Metro 3-cyl in a Manual. Going to pick it up this Sunday.

She don't look like much, but for $100 it's a hard deal to pass up.

19bonestock88 10-23-2018 05:43 PM

That’s not bad... it already has the more aero headlights and everything... XFi cam/transmission swap and you’re looking at 50+mpg with little effort...

JSH 10-24-2018 01:54 AM

You will have to define "cheap". 2nd generation Prii are pretty cheap ($2500 - $4000)

I sold my 2005 Prius 2 years ago for $3500 with 150K miles on it. Nothing wrong with it and newish tires. They are rock solid cars and return 45 mpg without trying.

Piotrsko 10-27-2018 12:27 PM

3 cyl manual, your mileage targets are too low.

Piotrsko 10-27-2018 12:29 PM

3 cyl manual, your mileage targets are too low. How's the underside?

rlee94 10-27-2018 11:05 PM


Not sure how bad the underside is, but I do know there's rust. I believe I'm about right in my estimations for mileage. Ideally I'd prefer to travel with the flow of traffic (65-70mph) and still hit my 40mpg target.

elhigh 10-30-2018 12:48 AM

Does it still ride on the original 12" wheels? If so you may have to swap in some 14s just to fit snows on. I looked at Tire Rack and found nothing in 12" snow tires.

Lemmy 11-06-2018 05:32 AM

Alas, I don't know what car values are like where you are. Faced with the same conundrum wanting max fuel consumption, not wanting diesel, paying the minimum in annual tax, andnthe lowest insurance I ended up with the Smart Fortwo for commuting.

We get the Metro as the Suzuki Swiftm which was an ironic name. That said, there was a turbo version that was a bit of a nutter in it's day. Good luck, looking forward to the build thread!

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