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Old 02-03-2014, 03:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Please Recommend Good MPG Flat Towable 4 Seater

I need recommendations for my next vehicle. It has to have some qualities about it:
  • Good Economy - of course
  • Flat towable behind an RV (Probably eliminates automatics and CVT. I already have the tow bar, but will buy a adapter plate. I don't want to deal with a dolly.)
  • Seats 4 - (2 adults and two growing kids age 7 and 9)
  • ~$5000 price range (used)

The car will be used daily as a commuter car for myself (11 miles one way mostly surface or slow Southern California freeways). But it also has to fill the role of towed vehicle behind our RV. I currently have a Jeep Liberty 4x4 that I will sell and replace with this car. My current thinking is a 2003-2005 Honda Civic Hybrid with the 5 speed manual transmission.

What car would you recommend?

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Old 02-03-2014, 03:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a 2005 Civic sedan with a 5 speed manual. It isn't a hybrid, but without hypermiling I get mid 30's for gas mileage. After a lot of neutral coasting and engine off cruising last tank, I hit 47 mpg. I paid $6,000 for it with 92,000 miles. They can be had for cheaper. We (wife and 8 and 4 year old kids) go everywhere local in that car.

I'd try to find one with maintenance records. The timing belt is something to watch out for.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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2009 & 2010 Cobalts can be flat towed if you want an automatic. A little quick research makes it look like earlier ones are as well.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roosterk0031 View Post
2009 & 2010 Cobalts can be flat towed if you want an automatic. A little quick research makes it look like earlier ones are as well.
How much is a used 2009?
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Find a real nice Toyota Echo with a manual trans. I hauled 4 6 foot 200+ pound adults and 4 sets of golf clubs in mine, and it does not have a timing belt.

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Old 02-03-2014, 10:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarguy01 View Post
How much is a used 2009?
6950 with 26,000 miles

2010 chevy cobalt XFE

I'd think about getting this one for my daughter if she wouldn't have stalled mine some many times as a stoplight that a LEO had to move it off the road for her to get it together to finish driving home.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How far will you drive it on trips? Perhaps leasing an EV would work? You'd get the car pool stickers, and you could mount the charger on the rv powered via site hook ups. Just throwing it out there since the running costs will be much lower.

The HCH1 sounds good as long as you can find one with stickers. My parents have replaced their pack twice though (HCH1 cvt).
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Shooting for 600 miles of range at 65-70 mph out of a vx.

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Old 02-04-2014, 12:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roosterk0031 View Post
6950 with 26,000 miles

2010 chevy cobalt XFE

I'd think about getting this one for my daughter if she wouldn't have stalled mine some many times as a stoplight that a LEO had to move it off the road for her to get it together to finish driving home.
That stinks. Is she getting any better?

The reason I asked about a price was because OP had mentioned a price of $5,000. I didn't think an 2010 would be $6,950. That's pretty good for a newer car.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
Find a real nice Toyota Echo with a manual trans.
This is a good option. The Toyota Echo seems to be going for much less than my $5k budget. On CraigsList they seem to be around 2-4K.

The Yaris that replaced it in 2007 seems to be a bit above at $6-7k.

And they are both flat towable with manual trans.

Thanks ill put it in my list to look for.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xntrx View Post
How far will you drive it on trips? Perhaps leasing an EV would work?
I'd love an EV but I don't think it will work out. The RV Camping role won't work with an EV since we don't always have an electrical hookup when we camp. Also our day trips sometimes are greater than the 70-80 mile range. Also I want to buy and not lease. I don't like payments.

Also I don't think a non-home built EV would have a manual trans that is needed for the flat towing.

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