Help me find an inexpensive, VERY fuel efficient vehicle - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Help me find an inexpensive, VERY fuel efficient vehicle

After riding the Metra downtown everyday for the last several years, I am now gonna be going back into the pool of IT networking consultants. This means driving all over Chicagoland everyday to a lot of different clients.

I need an inexpensive, VERY fuel efficient vehicle to be my daily commuter.

Here's what I would prefer:
1. Fuel efficient
2. Small, but maybe with a hatchback or something to carry stuff around (perhaps a small truck)?

Any ideas?

Did I mention fuel efficient???

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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:16 AM
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1999-2000 Honda Civics to be had ALL day for $<5,000
http://www.cars.com/go/search/search...5&aff=national

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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:16 AM
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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:17 AM
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How much is inexpenive?
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:19 AM
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Rick loves his Scion xB, there is a thread about how he has been carrying all kinds of construction material for some home repairs in the xB. The fuel economy isn't too bad either, ~30MPG. I personally don't like the xB (fugly) but if you need something that gets decent fuel economy and you can also haul stuff that might not be a bad choice. I don't know of any small trucks that get good fuel economy. I consider "good" fuel economy to be anything above 30MPG. I would also consider the Yaris or Fit. They aren't as big as the xB but they both get excellent fuel economy, 30+. The Fit is a hatch back and the Yaris is a sedan. My personal choice would be either the Yaris or Fit. You should be able to buy either for under $15,000. The xB is starts out at $15,000 so it costs a bit more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
In motorcycle terms, that's like taking your Ducati to a dealer for service, and they hand you back a 1979 backfiring Honda 400 Hawk.. because after all, a bike is a bike.
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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:21 AM
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I saw one of these in a Naperville driveway yesterday...



http://www.smartusa.com/index.aspx

edit: I think it gets 40 city/45 highway MPG

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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:24 AM
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My hyundai would have been perfect for you. $800, 37 mpg.
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyder84 View Post
I saw one of these in a Naperville driveway yesterday...

http://www.smartusa.com/index.aspx
The Smart car has already been discussed. The fuel economy is ~33MPG as stated on the website. The car is also TINY and you won't be able to haul anything. The problem with the smart car is its fuel economy. If the car got 60MPG, it would be a great commuter option. Its pretty cheap, ~$13K but it has quite a few drawbacks. The drawbacks wouldn't be a problem if it has superb fuel economy, but I don't feel its worth buying that car when you can get a Fit, Yaris, or other cars that are much bigger and get the same fuel economy. With that being said, I've read on the other thread that people are getting ~45MPG (even though the websites say 33). But even that is low in my opinion for a tiny car with a 3 cylinder 75HP engine.

autos.yahoo.com says 33/41

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Originally Posted by Arch View Post
In motorcycle terms, that's like taking your Ducati to a dealer for service, and they hand you back a 1979 backfiring Honda 400 Hawk.. because after all, a bike is a bike.
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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruz View Post
How much is inexpenive?
I don't want to make payments, so "inexpensive" means used vehicle in the $4K to $8K range. Preferably, one that holds its value so that I can resale it and recover some of my expense.

Bottom line, it is just a commuter.

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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentofDarkness View Post
The Smart car has already been discussed. The fuel economy is ~33MPG as stated on the website. The car is also TINY and you won't be able to haul anything. The problem with the smart car is its fuel economy. If the car got 60MPG, it would be a great commuter option. Its pretty cheap, ~$13K but it has quite a few drawbacks. The drawbacks wouldn't be a problem if it has superb fuel economy, but I don't feel its worth buying that car when you can get a Fit, Yaris, or other cars that are much bigger and get the same fuel economy. With that being said, I've read on the other thread that people are getting ~45MPG (even though the websites say 33). But even that is low in my opinion for a tiny car with a 3 cylinder 75HP engine.

autos.yahoo.com says 33/41

your logic is undeniable... but it would be funny to see Ron driving that thing

Thread jack complete.

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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyder84 View Post
your logic is undeniable... but it would be funny to see Ron driving that thing

Thread jack complete.
Your a funny man, nice try.

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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:37 AM
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89-91 Honda CRX HF...49 city/52 hwy...it's got like 63 HP or something

http://www.autotrader.com/research/c...&ad_max_price=

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post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:38 AM
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and to add something useful to this thread, any 4-banger in pretty good condition will do, Ron. Most get close to 30MPG which will be a world of difference in comparision to your big honkin' monster truck

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post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinto Bean View Post
89-91 Honda CRX HF...49 city/52 hwy...it's got like 63 HP or something

http://www.autotrader.com/research/c...&ad_max_price=
Do you really want to drive a car that old? Part of the reason it gets such good fuel economy is the lack of A/C and Power Steering as well has lower emissions requirements. The sub-100HP engine doesn't hurt either. Some of the older 92+ get really great fuel economy if you get the ones without A/C and power steering.

Quote:
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In motorcycle terms, that's like taking your Ducati to a dealer for service, and they hand you back a 1979 backfiring Honda 400 Hawk.. because after all, a bike is a bike.
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post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronhix View Post
... so "inexpensive" means used vehicle in the $4K to $8K range. ....
civic

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post #16 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:42 AM
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http://www.autoblog.com/2008/05/16/g...gh-gas-prices/

That said, I do wonder if those people are ‘doing the math’ on this. I spent only $1500 on gas last year with an average of 22.5mpg. So with my usage, even something unrealistic like 44mpg would only show a net savings of $750 on the year. That hardly warrants paying thousands extra for an old (cheap) car that will probably require expensive maintenance.

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post #17 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:43 AM
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Pontiac Vibe FWD. Great gas mileage, and is a small wagon basically. Toyota mechanicals so it's very reliable. 2003's can be had for close to your range. Edmunds says they should be a bit over $8K for a basic model.

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Last edited by pitbull76; 05-23-2008 at 10:48 AM.
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post #18 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:45 AM
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it's really a wrong time to buy quality fuel efficient car for 4-8K .

Anyway. The most fuel efficent car you can find for that much money is Civic HX . Those are very rare. HX fuel economy is 37 and up.
Otheriwse , Civic DX, LX and lastly more classy but less fuel efficient EX . I drive manual 1997 160K miles EX and love it for its quality audio system. mpg - 28 city , around 35 highway.

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post #19 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
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it's really a wrong time to buy quality fuel efficient car for 4-8K .
+ 1

I was looking into this exact same thing!! I went and saw the Toyota Prius and it was absolutely perfect except for the fact that they want $30 k for these dam things!!!!! Yeah right. There is no such thing as a highly fuel efficient car for cheap right now and it's

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post #20 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meech View Post
+ 1

I was looking into this exact same thing!! I went and saw the Toyota Prius and it was absolutely perfect except for the fact that they want $30 k for these dam things!!!!! Yeah right. There is no such thing as a highly fuel efficient car for cheap right now and it's
Save $15K and buy a Yaris/Fit. I really don't think you will save $15,000 in fuel expenses over the life of the Prius. Hybrids are overrated. They get good fuel economy, but that is off set by the price. $15,000 buys you enough gas to go 110,000 miles with a car that gets 33MPG, assuming $4.50/gal gas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
In motorcycle terms, that's like taking your Ducati to a dealer for service, and they hand you back a 1979 backfiring Honda 400 Hawk.. because after all, a bike is a bike.
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post #21 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:56 AM
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Honda goldwing. Great gas millage and plenty of storage space.

I'm not short. I'm aerodynamically efficient.

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post #22 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:57 AM
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Another plus for the Hondas is resale. They hold value well and sell quickly once you want out.

Throw Honda reliability into the equation and it gets even better.
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post #23 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadrach View Post

That said, I do wonder if those people are ‘doing the math’ on this. I spent only $1500 on gas last year with an average of 22.5mpg. So with my usage, even something unrealistic like 44mpg would only show a net savings of $750 on the year. That hardly warrants paying thousands extra for an old (cheap) car that will probably require expensive maintenance.
well i think most people spend more than 1500 on gas in a year... hell i'm 20 and i average around 2500 a year. and if you do the math... it may not justify buying a new DD.... but it sure as hell justifies buying a cheap bike!
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post #24 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 11:04 AM
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How about a used Saturn wagon?
Not too exciting, but good basic transportation.

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post #25 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 11:37 AM
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The problem with the street bike was I used to just drive around for hours with no immediate destination in sight, just for enjoyment. So that was eating up gas for no reason, something else to think about when getting a bike for 'gas savings', having to fight the urge to just ride.

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post #26 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 11:39 AM

 
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Honda Civic series. Otherwise maybe look at a Volkswagon TDI. The little turbo diesel can still get out of someones way and gets like 40+ mpg I believe.

My dad's working at Carmax in Schaumburg if you want to go see what they've got over there.

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post #27 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by gkotlin View Post
Honda Civic series. Otherwise maybe look at a Volkswagon TDI. The little turbo diesel can still get out of someones way and gets like 40+ mpg I believe.

My dad's working at Carmax in Schaumburg if you want to go see what they've got over there.
Problem with Diesel it is costs $1.00/gal more than regular fuel. I am a big fan of Diesel engines but I'm not sure if the fuel efficiency of diesel will be offset by the cost of the fuel. If you run it on vegetable oil, thats a different story.

Quote:
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In motorcycle terms, that's like taking your Ducati to a dealer for service, and they hand you back a 1979 backfiring Honda 400 Hawk.. because after all, a bike is a bike.
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post #28 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 11:57 AM
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Without reading this whole thread... Civic FTW. I am on the look out for a real good deal on one myself as I just paid $80 at the pump yesterday and I used to pay about $50 last year. I've owned 2 Civic's in the past and they were both good to me. I'm looking for a dependable beater and if I see any you might be interested in I'll post it up or PM you.
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post #29 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentofDarkness View Post
Save $15K and buy a Yaris/Fit. I really don't think you will save $15,000 in fuel expenses over the life of the Prius. Hybrids are overrated. They get good fuel economy, but that is off set by the price. $15,000 buys you enough gas to go 110,000 miles with a car that gets 33MPG, assuming $4.50/gal gas.
neither of them get anything near the gas mileage that the prius does. I'm not in any rush since my "commute" is pretty awesome :lauging: I'm just ginna wait for a new car that gets 50 mpg or the prius to come down to $10 k

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post #30 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 12:02 PM
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