Tuesday, January 1, 2013

DoubleYour MPG part two

Now that you have the basics of hypermiling down it’s time to hunt for a Cheap-Ass car that will assist you in pushing the bounds of fuel efficiency to unimaginable levels. No hybrids will be on this list as the technology is just too damn expensive for the dirt poor dude to afford. Believe it or not you can find older model cars that have an EPA Hwy rating of 50 miles per gallon! A car with that kind of fuel economy isn’t going to be a rocket by any means but with the money you save at the pump, who cares! Let’s take a look at a few of these cars and see if they are for you.

Honda Civic CRX HF. This little two seater was manufactured between 1984 and 1991. It has a three cylinder engine that produces a whopping 62 horses. It will only go from 0 to 60 in 12 seconds but with an EPA rating of 51mpg highway and 42 city you can drive this thing for a long time before it starts to put a serious dent in your wallet.

Since it only has two seats it’s not likely to be your go-to family car to take little Timmy and little Suzy out to Chucky Cheese on the weekends. It can be a very economical, all-weather commuter car though. When looking for a Honda civic CRX make sure it is actually the HF model, which stands for “high fuel efficiency”. The regular CRX has a four cylinder engine and doesn’t get the mileage of the HF, though I would imagine you would still get a pretty decent MPG.

Honda VX hatchback. If you just really have to take little Timmy and little Suzy to Chucky Cheese to shut em the hell up then Look for a good VX hatchback from Honda. Not only does this thing get an estimated 50 MPG highway and 39 MPG city, you’ll be able to swing by the local Piggly Wiggly and load up all the food waste from their dumpster after you’ve blown the weeks food budget at Chucky Cheese. I believe this car was produced from 1992 to 1995 which means you may have an easier time finding one (as opposed to the CRX HF) in decent shape.

Geo Metro.  This car was produced from 1989 to 2001. When introduced it had an EPA estimated 43 MPG city and 52 highway! In 1995 they changed the body style and I think the fuel economy dropped a bit but it’s still close enough to call it a 50 MPG car. Since it was manufactured for twelve years there are still plenty of them on the road. They were considered “throw away” cars by many people so be careful when evaluating a used Metro as a lot of folks didn’t bother with proper maintenance. I have actually been thinking about finding and buying one of these little tin cans instead of a motorcycle. With a five speed Metro, practicing hypermile strategies; it should be possible to get close to 70 MPG!

Chevy sprint. This is the predecessor to the Metro. Like the Metro it was designed by Suzuki for GM. And like the Metro it came with a 1.0 liter, three cylinder engine and was able to achieve 44 MPG city and 53 MPG highway. Since it was only produced for two or three years in the 1980’s there aren’t many of them on the road. But if you’ve got a knack for fixing automobiles you may be able to find one for a few hundred bucks and use your skills to bring it back to life.

VW Rabbit. These ugly little metal beast used to be quite common on the roads of the United States. Way back in the 1980’s Volkswagen sold a butt load of these weird little eco boxes on the American shores and you can still see them putting down the street from time to time. Most of them are gone now but if you can find one with a diesel power plant under the hood you can achieve a fuel economy that exceeds 50 MPG. In fact any VW with a diesel engine is a good bet for high fuel efficiency.

Diesel fuel is higher in price than gasoline but it’s entirely possible to run one on waste vegetable oil from your local “Clown Burger” fast food emporium. The only problem with that idea is that now days everyone and his grandmother knows about homemade bio-diesel. As fuel prices shoot up due to peek oil, inflation, President Obutthole limiting exploration, etc., you won’t be able to count on free veggie oil for your diesel powered car. In fact if times get too hard you might see parasitic local governments declaring used fryer grease from restaurants “municipal property”, and anyone caught collecting it will be thrown into jail. Still it might be something worth looking into. Some other cars that might get you high mileage are

Daihatsu Charade. I’ve read comments on other blogs that people were getting 55 MPG with this car but I don’t know if they were getting that using extreme hypermiling strategies or what. I don’t remember the last time I even saw a Daihatsu either so good luck on that one.

Nisson 200 SX. Again, I don’t know what the EPA estimates are or how these people were driving them but I’ve read comments of people who claimed they were getting around 45 miles per gallon.

Ford Fiesta You can probably expect 40 plus miles to the gallon on the highway with one of these, in good condition, with normal driving. Good Hypermiling techniques should push that up into the 50 MPG plus area.

These are just a few of the most fuel efficient autos one can find to help mitigate the financial rape we are subjected to at the gas pump these days. This list is by no means complete, and there are a lot more cars that have been produced over the years that will get you a fuel economy in the mid to upper 40’s, on the Hwy, with standard driving techniques alone. Find yourself one of these autos and practice hypermiling. Not only will you double your current MPG, but you might just triple it!


  1. My Dad owned a '76 Rabbit - it hauled a$$, having great pickup. He commuted to work for quite a few years over 30 miles away and the Rabbit I think was his favorite car, even if it didn't have A/C.

    My first car was a VW Beetle, 1966 (last year of the 6 volt battery - headlights were light birthday candles, lol) Super easy to work on, pop the rear hatch and the engine was practically in your face when you sat on a stool to work on it. Great car. The VW Thing was a good one too, but it looked strange. To a desert rat, I'll bet it was great.

  2. During my Junior year of high school i had a 1963 Ford falcon with 170cid straight six and 1 barrel Holley carb, with a three speed on the column. This little baby got around 38-39mpg when it wasn't flooding and the carb was getting proper fuel/air mix. Hell, with today's technology these modern cars should be getting 150+mpg.. people complain about trucks being hard on fuel, but my 99 f-150 v6 5spd does pretty good, around 20-21 mpg. The quick acceleration is what eats up fuel. Most diesels seem to be good on fuel, and they seem to run forever.... most people say gasoline engine is easier to work on tho.. I love your blog Tex.... keep up the good work.


  3. Most likely similar to the 200SX but the 87-88 Nissan Sentra pulled in 45+ MPG in mixed usage and a less than forgiving right foot. Once again, look for the 5 speed manual, you'll never get that sort of MPG from an automatic. Maintenance wise, you merely change the oil, make sure there's coolant in it and drive it. I still see quite a few still on the road and they aren't butt-ugly. Keep up the good work on the blog!

  4. Add the Plymouth Horizon, Dodge Omni, Dodge O24 and Plymouth Turismo. All based on the Rabbit engine