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Old 03-13-2012, 12:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Nissan Sentra - '01 Nissan Sentra GXE
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best models for fuel efficiency? (best platforms for ecomodding?)

So, apparently the Geo Metro and the civic hatchback are good options for ecomodding. What are some other models that are ideal candidates for this?

I'd like to do an EV conversion as well, but I think I'd like to focus on optimizing the aerodynamics and overall efficiency of the car before i make the jump to electric (if I even do at all).

I ask because I'm having a hard time finding a geo metro or civic hatchback for sale locally and I want to be aware of all my options.

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Old 03-13-2012, 02:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ladogaboy - '11 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO GSR
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The Gen I Insight is pretty good, too... if you can find one.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You should be able to look at the general shape of the car and get an idea if it gets better MPG. Any small car with a good engine should be able to get high MPG with aero mods.

I know several people here go for the lean burn engines, so might be a good thing to try to get.

Finally, try to find a manual, by design they are around 10% more efficent than typical autos.

Never buy a car that you will hate, if you dis like the car, when it breaks you won't want to fix it and will probably be looking for another. Target one you can keep for a long time that has a good rep for being reliable (Honda, Toyota, etc)

Researching common car problems can give ideas about the car as well like Corollas using quite a bit of oil between oil changes (93-97 issue).
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nissan Sentra - '01 Nissan Sentra GXE
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Newer models?

Many of the models I've seen people get great mileage with are late 80's, early 90's. Do I need to restrict myself to those? I currently have a 2001 Sentra GXE (manual transmission), which apparently has a curb weight of 2,513 lb.

Is this something I could work with, or do I need to get something older and lighter?

I don't want to drop $5k on modding or conversions.

I used to have a '01 accent, and I regularly got upwards of 40mpg with it with no mods and only a little hypermiling, so anything under 40mpg is not "high gas mileage" in my mind.

Last edited by bheadrick; 03-13-2012 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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ps2fixer Quote
Never buy a car that you will hate, if you dis like the car, when it breaks you won't want to fix it and will probably be looking for another. Target one you can keep for a long time that has a good rep for being reliable (Honda, Toyota, etc)

Researching common car problems can give ideas about the car as well "


I agree totally with ps2fixer. I vote for an older manual trans. car with no rust EVER. Some of these newer automatics are going to cost a clean fortune to fix.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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look for mid-late 90's Toyota, Honda manual gear box. They are cheap, easy to find, and cheap to maintain.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathtrain View Post
look for mid-late 90's Toyota, Honda manual gear box. They are cheap, easy to find, and cheap to maintain.
Except the easy to find part, at least in my area, the manuals (2 that I found vs 40+ autos) were $500+ higher priced compared to the autos and were often in worse shape or have 300k+ miles. Michigan salt eats cars alive, if they sit they rust out FASTER, so not many good shape cars with low miles .


For Toyotas, aim for 93-2001 corollas, or the larger 92-99 camry (newer is better mpg via EPA ratings). There is a member on this site with a manual 1.6L corolla that gets over 60mpg with mods, with my auto corolla with a 1.8L and less mods I'm getting around 45mpg for my current tank. By the way..... the corollas are rated under 30mpg average!

early 80s VW rabbits did very well on gas/diesel
any honda civic should pull good mpg
personally I would stay clear of dodge or Chrysler, my own personal preference (my dad is a auto tech, just to show my view point a little). Having said that I heard Neons are fairly reliable but no personal experience.

Here is a list I was studying before I got my corolla... I was going for a 1981-1982 VW Caddy (rabbit pickup) diesel.

Super Cheap High MPG Cars: 1978-1981 | MPGomatic
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Car pictured (left) Subaru Justy, Toyota Starlet, '78-80 Ford Fiesta, Ford/Merc Exp/Lync my diesel Monza (for sale section) I might even deliver. Ford Escorts,
Old Horizon/ Omni, '80's Dodge Charger/Rampage PU

Just about any of these with a manual shift could return at least 40mpg, and some up near 50mpg BEFORE mods!!!
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have heard for a full on electric, that the Fiero's accept the weight of all the batteries
very well, and at least the bodies won't rust.

The stock 2.5 w a 4-5spd. should return up to 32-34mpg highway.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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light weight and small frontal area (narrow and short car).

justy would be good.

i'm going to try a suburban. need it to hall my lady and 5 teenagers.

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