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Old 09-16-2022, 08:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What is the best MPG and longest lasting and cheapest to keep car??

What is the best MPG and longest lasting and cheapest to keep car??

So here is a deep question.

My old first choice was the Lowly Classic VW Bugs: Fair MPG, simple drive train, low cost parts, so simple many people can do repairs themselves.

Second choice was the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Valiant with the great Slant 6 with a three speed stick shift transmission.

Currently I have a 03 Ford Crown Vic and 03 Ford Explorer, because of the 4.6’s rep of 300K plus life, plus how fairly simple and reliable drive chain and how many were made and are cheap to keep thanks to so many in junk yards. The Explorer has not as good rep for its drive train..and a poor second for the above reasons, but as it has a poor rep it is/was cheap to get and fair to keep, but I love it.

But the MPGs for these cars are not good they both can barely do 20MPH at highway speeds and barely do 15+ city.

Next on my list was a Toyota's, BUT after seeing personally three Japanese Cars over the past decades having so many problems with their plastic parts failing it seems to be they make great engines and transmissions but at 15 to 20 years all the plastic and rubber parts are doomed. Good MPG but they can fail at any time…insane parts that I have never seen fail in a American made car.

I cannot for the life of me, cannot find or figure of any car other than these older cars.

It seems all newer cars are being made SO complex and so cheaply that you cannot figure of a good MPG, low reasonable price for it and easy and seasonable costs to repair.

So let’s talk about such cars.


Last edited by racprops; 09-16-2022 at 08:18 AM..
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Old 09-16-2022, 08:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I plan on adding a second overdrive to the Explorer as road testing has shown that if I can drive it at 50MPG she can get around 30MPG, so adding a 6th gear by a second overdrive I might get that MPG at 1500 RPMs...and at 75MPH....but that is a rare thing to do and not practical for almost everyone.

I believe this will only work on cars where the engine makes good low RPM torque. It only will work on a few cars and SUVs.

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Old 09-16-2022, 11:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
My old first choice was the Lowly Classic VW Bugs: Fair MPG, simple drive train, low cost parts, so simple many people can do repairs themselves.
I share your original choice. I left flathead Fords for VW for the economy. For decades.

But I drank the Ecomoddder Kool-aid and bought a mechanic's loaner XFi (before his passing). I can get VW parts deliverd for cash in the lane in front of my place. But now I don't even know a mechanic

The Original 36HP Beetle could get 40 MPG. My personal best in a 1971 1600 is 34MPG My thinking is that a FWD boxer four in a Prius body shell could equal [or exceed] the Prius's 45MPG.



But I get that with an un-Ecomodded Metro.

Quote:
...best MPG and longest lasting and cheapest ...
Pick any two.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The previous version of your Crown Vic is capable of close to 30 mpg stock. The 91-97 years were more aerodynamic and many had 2.73 rear gears. 28 mpg highway was typical of these when these were new. Of course these have the older non-PI head 4.6 motor that only had about 210 hp or so. Finding one of these older models and putting in your newer 2003 motor and a tune should get you in the upper 20s, maybe mid 30s mpg with some conservative driving, simple aeromods (grill and front undertray). The newest model crown vics have the worse aerodynamics (horrible rear window design), are heavier and have 3.55 rear ends typically.

These years crown vics share the same drivetrains as mustangs, and yes people do swap 5 speed manuals in them.

The city mileage of the older models is probably not much better than yours. Heavy car.
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Old 09-16-2022, 04:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Heavy car.
I agree about the slant six, but the only one I have had was in a vehicle that weighed 7500lb tare.



But it had a Carter sidedraft carb and a four-speed floor shift.

Our local Congresscritter drove a 1964 Dodge Dart for decades, likely still does.

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I believe this will only work on cars where the engine makes good low RPM torque.
Rotating mass. John Karcey's 50MPG Karmann Ghia had a 50lb pulley from a Jaguar. The basic recipe is square bore/stroke ratio, high reciprocating mass, electronic ignition and low friction lubricants.
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Old 09-16-2022, 07:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racprops View Post
My old first choice was the Lowly Classic VW Bugs: Fair MPG, simple drive train, low cost parts, so simple many people can do repairs themselves.
Its French contender, the CitroŽn 2CV, is also noticeable, even though some parts are getting more scarce than Beetle parts.
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Old 09-18-2022, 11:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I bought a weird little 2000 Honda Insight in 2019 for $300. I sold the hybrid battery for $700. My annual oil change is about $10. I had to replace the brakes and rusted brake lines. I replaced the radiator since the fins were badly corroded. And one wheel bearing. I don't remember any other repairs. 60-100 MPG, depending on how I drive it. Over 200k miles on it. Parts availability isn't great.

But to directly answer your title question; Toyota Corolla!
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Old 09-19-2022, 01:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had a Hyundai Elantra that got 40mpg highway and lasted 240,000 miles before it got repossessed lol. No issues ever. Only did oil changes. Never had to be taken to a shop. Never had check engine light. Just tired rotate and balance and oil changes.
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Old 09-19-2022, 08:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just about any toyota.

Actually, I kick myself for selling our 1st gen Chevrolet Volt, i spent pennies in maintenance and it was a genuinely wonderful vehicle.
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Old 09-19-2022, 11:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Most trouble-free car I've owned (XFi excluded) was a 1959 Rambler tow-door station wagin. Two years and the only repair was a broken clutch linkage bracket.

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