• Aug 11th 2008 at 6:28PM
  • 11
If you're already stretched paper thin under the financial weight of a thirsty, expensive vehicle, getting out of it for something more fuel efficient might seem like an unattainable dream. Fear not, the smarties over at Consumer Reports have rightly pointed out that since depreciation accounts for nearly half of the cost of a car during its first five years of ownership, buying a used miser is the best way to save money and resources.

The usual suspects top CR's lists; both the under $10,000 and $10,000-$20,000 categories are dominated by Toyota and Honda products. Honda's Insight is deemed the zenith of $10,000 sippers, with the '01-'02 Prius right on its heels. For the higher-price category, the first two slots are occupied by the Prius, and Honda's Civic Hybrid takes the next two seedings. Rankings are based on CR's own fuel economy tests, done with a flow meter and repeatable drive cycle, and overall assessments of the vehicle's quality and reliability likely play big roles in how the list was compiled. It is also noted that older vehicles may be missing out in some more modern features like stability control and side-curtain airbags, but that may be more of an issue for the under $10,000 set, which stretches back to vehicles from the late 1990s. Hybrids might be tough to secure right now, especially for a reasonable price, but going used might allow you to ease your consumption while dodging a high-buck purchase to do so.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I got my H2 to 18 MPG the other day by simply not accelerating on hills, no cruise control, etc. I have not inflated the tires, I think I could get this pig over 20 MPG. I don't drive it much, just thought it would be fun to see what changing small driving habits could do.

      Today, I am accelerating at a light and 4 of us take off, my Civic, minivan, Jerokee, another minivan and they wail the gas pedal like gasoline was free, then they all drive at 44 mph in a 40 zone. If only people were willing to make minor changes in their literally unexcuseable driving habits, they might get decent mileage, probably why your buddy gets 50 MPG, let us know!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I own 5 cars, 2 jet skis, 2 motorcycles and a Segway. I do what I can for the environment, but vehicles are my passion. The again, this assumes one believes in global warming and cares about 100 bucks to fill their tank.

        Oh, I dont carpool, I work at home, my total daily commute = 0 miles. I wash and polish my cars a lot while people are driving to and from work ;)
        • 7 Years Ago
        "If only people were willing to make minor changes in their literally unexcuseable driving habits"

        you mean like not driving a HUMMER H2???....

        but i know what you mean. I drive my WRX like a grandma now and my 50/50 city commute has gone from 20mpg to consistently over 25, sometimes 26.5 over about 150miles. It is hard to drive that way, so i carpool now as well.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I never, ever said that I did it constantly, Im with you, people dont do it because its not our nature. Read my post again, I think you missed the point. I have 5 cars, gas mileage is not a big deal to me bro. Gas mileages vary, I wondered how much driving habits affected somethign like my Hummer 2.

        "just thought it would be fun to see what changing small driving habits could do."
        • 7 Years Ago
        Just be sure to stay on the slow lane if you're going to drive like that as a courtesy to other drivers.

        Not everyone feels they need to change their driving habits.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'll take an inexpensive, manual-tranny, ICE four-banger FTW. Hybrid have higher total owner cost despite being more frugal at the pump. Total monthly cost is what I'm concerned with. The Honda Fit still appears to be the best bargain on the market IMO.
        • 7 Years Ago
        True, a used Civic would probably be a better buy, though lately I've seen them hold a pretty steep price even with 20k on the odo. In fact, all of the compacts and subcompacts are selling well now.

        I don't think I can stomach a Cobalt-- I like inexpensive, but not cheap.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I would think the Civic would be cheaper per-mile to own if you buy it used. After depreciation, you'll pay about the same as for the Fit and the mpg is higher.

        A Cobalt XFE (once they appear on the used market) would likely be cheaper in total ownership cost than either. Great mpg and low resale (i.e. price if you're the buyer).
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