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-   -   Efficient, cheap beaters! Used car ads: 35 mpg highway or more for $1500 or less (

MetroMPG 11-14-2014 10:41 AM

Efficient, cheap beaters! Used car ads: 35 mpg highway or more for $1500 or less
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We often get people signing up on the forum saying they're looking for a cheap, economical beater. The purpose of this thread is to go beyond the hypothetical, and post actual ads of cheap, efficient cars. Something you'd actually consider getting.

Cars like Old Mech's $300 1992 Nissan Sentra (~38 mpg in actual use), or Daox's $1200 1999 Chevy Metro .

When I started looking for a winter beater to give the Firefly a break from the annual salt bath in eastern Ontario, I found a fair number of diamonds in the rough out there. And even though I already picked up a 2007 Civic, I still find myself looking at the ads once in a while, just to see what's available.

Do you ever browse your local ads? Post the candidates here.

Posting guidelines:

1) $1500 or under asking price
2) something you'd seriously consider looking at/buying
3) 35 mpg US EPA highway rating or better (yes, our Euro friends can laugh at this)
4) list the car's EPA ratings ---> search EPA ratings here
5) post a link to the ad
6) copy the pertinent details from the ad into your post (for posterity, because the actual ad itself is going to expire/disappear)

BONUS POINTS for posting a photo.

UPDATE: View a SUMMARY of the results so far. See post #220 for a round-up. Below are pics from some of the actual ads.


MetroMPG 11-14-2014 10:41 AM

$900 -- 1998 Suzuki Swift - 1.3L, 5-speed with 60,000 km (~40k mi.)
1 Attachment(s)

EPA: 31 city / 38 hwy / 34 combined

The ad's in French, but the main points are:


- complete repair history, all bills saved
- repainted; suspension mounts have been reinforced
- well maintained, tune-up every 3k kms
- practical little car that uses very little gas and is in good shape, ready to drive

Actually, I've been watching this car - it was originally listed for around $2k a month or so ago. But even with those super low miles, I wouldn't pay $2k for one of these that has already had underbody rust issues. But at a $900 asking price, it's tempting.

Daox 11-14-2014 11:09 AM

1 Attachment(s)

1992 toyota tercel

$1500 - 1992 Toyota Tercel
- 4spd manual
- 164k miles
- timing belt and clutch replaced this summer


white color, black interior leather style. 4 speed manual. timing belt and clutch was replaced in july. got new axles, control arms, ball joints on both sides in front 2 in august. everything works. body has a little rust but overall ok. mechanically very sound. extremely good on gas! i've only had to fill this 8 gallon tank up 4 times since july! i'm looking to buy a bigger car and don't have room for two otherwise i'd keep this for years it's very reliable, efficient, and low cost to own. i also put in all new pioneer speakers and sony removable face stereo with cd and aux input.

MetroMPG 11-14-2014 11:21 AM

Ooo! 1500 -- just squeaked in under the wire. 4-speed manual!

MetroMPG 11-14-2014 11:26 AM

2000 Toyota Echo 5-speed for $1000
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I will see your $1500 Tercel and raise you a 2000 Echo for $1000

EPA: 29 city / 37 hwy / 32 combined - Compare Side-by-Side


- just under 200,000 km (120k miles) the car has lots of life left in it. It has never let us down in the 3 years we have owned it.
- extra set of rims too that will come with it if you want them.
- It will need some work to pass safety.
- It passed an e test when we bought it. It did really well at the time.
- We are selling it as is.
- The reason we are selling it is because we are moving out west at the end of the month.
2000 Toyota Echo Sedan | cars & trucks | Ottawa | Kijiji

Baltothewolf 11-14-2014 11:32 AM



109 MILES PER GALLON !!!! 117,246 MILES ON THE CAR......

Needs an engine but tbh, you can find used engines on IC or out on the web for right around 150-300$.

EPA: 49 city / 61 hwy / 53 combined

Fat Charlie 11-14-2014 12:31 PM

1994 honda civic hatchbach 5 speed - $1150

190000 miles


I'm am selling a 1994 Honda Civic 5 speed. I was going to use it for a gas saver but unexpected bill or forcing sale. I don't have the title for the car but being a 94 it's not need in New Hampshire. If interested call Kyle at...

Forgot the EPA ratings! They don't say if it has the 1.5 or 1.6, but one of the pics shows a decal reading LX or EX. The EPA page doesn't mention trim levels or body styles.
1.5 liter
29/36 (32)
33/41 (36)
35/41 (38)
1.6 liter
25/32 (28)

MetroMPG 11-14-2014 01:29 PM

And in NH, that would be relatively rust-free, no?

Then again, look at the stonking big snow tire on the front wheel...

Xist 11-14-2014 01:36 PM

The title is not needed?

jamesqf 11-14-2014 01:45 PM

Humm... You know, skimming through the last couple of days of the local Craigslist, there is NOTHING I would consider even close to an economy car for under $1500. Lots of '80s & '90s Ford, Chevy, & Dodge pickups, some large cars from the same era...

But then there's this:

1936 Diamond T Model 80 Express truck. Good chassis, roof, hood and decent rear fenders, front fenders are rough, door bottoms are rusty. No motor, transmission, dash or steering wheel. Lots of parts missing, lots of rust. No data plate. Sold with bill of sale, no title. Visit the following youtube address for a detailed video of this truck $1500.00.
And an '84 Cadillac Eldorado, '79 T-bird, '53 Buick, '79 AMC Pacer...

PS: I didn't really mean for the video link to get posted as a link.

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