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Old 07-23-2020, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Chevy prizm/ Corolla for mpg monster?

Hey everyone, Iím looking for another car and have been looking at Chevy Prizms and corollas as an option. Seems the 2001 model year and up the mpg went up a bit. Are the older ones just as capable to get the same mpg, say an early to mid 90ís? Iíll be going with a manual. Also I was originally looking at geo metros but soon as one pops up for sale in decent shape itís sold within the day itís listed. The same goes for Toyota echos around here. Seems like Iím always an hour late enquiring about them. I donít think I could get geo metro mpg numbers out of a older corolla but can I get close to the echosís?

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Old 07-23-2020, 02:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Given the same mods being done, in most cases the Metro will beat the Echo, and the Echo will beat the Corolla/Prism. However with hypermiling and a few mods you could probably expect 40s in a Corolla/Prism, if it was a manual, 50s if you went a bit more extreme. An auto would probably get a bit lower.

How soon do you need to get a car? It took me 4 months of searching to find an Insight that was in decent shape, not too expensive, and not a day's drive away.

For mpg monster, manual Civic hybrids and Insights are also good candidates since the battery can be disabled in a pinch. Honda Fits are also good options, but around here at least they seem to be priced slightly higher.
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Iím not in an absolute bind for another car but Iíd like to find one within the next month. We have a 2008 Prius that I average anywhere between 48-59 mpg and a 2000 Avalon that I can squeeze 30-31 mpg if I hypermile. Hybrids and geo metros are pricey around here (Oregon). Just looked up Honda insights and Honda fits and they are definitely expensive around here. Found a few Honda Civic hybrids for 2k with bad head gaskets. If I could get 40+ mpg out a corolla Iíd probably be pretty happy but if I could get almost 50 out of an echo Iíd be even happier.
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The '93-'97 Corolla/Prizm with either the 1.6L (4A-FE) or 1.8L (7A-FE) engine would be my first choice. The older '88-'92 didn't drive as nice in my opinion, but are just as reliable. The '98 and later with the 1ZZ-FE engine had some oil burning issues, but are still good cars. I have experience with all of the above and I really liked (and miss) the '97 Corolla the most. 40-50 MPG shouldn't be a problem with a manual Corolla, I occasionally got that in an automatic.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think if I were in the market for a 4 door sedan, a 1st generation Civic Hybrid with a manual transmission would be my top choice. The batteries in most of these have long since failed meaning they cannot be inspected or pass emissions, and the 12v system won't charge. The owners are unaware that the battery can be bypassed and the car can be driven entirely without a hybrid battery. I can find them all day long for $500 or less around here. Depending on Oregon's state inspection, the CEL produced can still be a dealbreaker however, but these cars are capable of 60mpg+ anywhere you can get away with having a CEL on.

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https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...4354930845198/

^ Not sure if this link works for you, but $3900 (or best offer - give 'em 3200) is actually not a bad deal at all for a clean Insight with 130k miles. With the tires aired up and the underbody panels in place, they're good for ~100mpg at 50mph, and are typically reliable past 300k miles. They're quirky cars with a few weird issues, but the mechanicals of them are bulletproof.

What kind of price range are you looking in?
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Old 07-25-2020, 02:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The 93-97’s are pretty plentiful around here. Seems like people don’t junk the older imports here in Oregon. The seem to be had pretty easily for $1,000-$1,200 here.
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Old 07-25-2020, 03:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
I think if I were in the market for a 4 door sedan, a 1st generation Civic Hybrid with a manual transmission would be my top choice. The batteries in most of these have long since failed meaning they cannot be inspected or pass emissions, and the 12v system won't charge. The owners are unaware that the battery can be bypassed and the car can be driven entirely without a hybrid battery. I can find them all day long for $500 or less around here. Depending on Oregon's state inspection, the CEL produced can still be a dealbreaker however, but these cars are capable of 60mpg+ anywhere you can get away with having a CEL on.

~

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...4354930845198/

^ Not sure if this link works for you, but $3900 (or best offer - give 'em 3200) is actually not a bad deal at all for a clean Insight with 130k miles. With the tires aired up and the underbody panels in place, they're good for ~100mpg at 50mph, and are typically reliable past 300k miles. They're quirky cars with a few weird issues, but the mechanicals of them are bulletproof.

What kind of price range are you looking in?
Where Iím at in Oregon we donít have inspections or smog so a civic hybrid with a CEL wouldnít be an issue. I found one for $350 on CL last night but no response back. I actually just saw that insight the other day online. I have $2,200 saved so far and should have 3k by the end of next month. What are your thoughts on a Saturn SC1 or SL1? The single overhead cam had taller gearing in the transmission and was rated 29 city and 40 hwy. they are dirt cheap too, Iím finding them for around $1,000-$1,200 in good shape in my area. Saw one guy on here that was getting 45-46 mpg out of his with some basic hypermiling.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There's a member in here who loves his SL1. I'll try and find his thread.

My overall impression was that it was a typical GM product. It just kept running. The engine burned a ton of oil, lots of little things in the car were loose or coming apart, sensors died more frequently than they should, but man was it cheap and good on gas for what it was, and nothing major ever gave out.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
There's a member in here who loves his SL1. I'll try and find his thread.

My overall impression was that it was a typical GM product. It just kept running. The engine burned a ton of oil, lots of little things in the car were loose or coming apart, sensors died more frequently than they should, but man was it cheap and good on gas for what it was, and nothing major ever gave out.
Was reading on the Saturn forum this morning and apparently before the late 90ís they were good cars, then GM does what GM does and has to ruin everything. Common problems seem to be oil consumption, temp sensor and alternator replacement every few yrs. Members are saying itís nothing to get 40+ mpg out of the SOHC 5 speed. A few have claimed 50+.

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