Cars that get good MPG and still zing

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Joe Szott, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    I've been looking at new cars, but with gas prices looking to keep moving up I need to keep the MPG decent (I commute about 50 miles a day total through suburban/rural area.) I want to find fairly efficient cars that are well built but still have some zing. If something was just outstanding, I could go 25 MPG (prefer 30+). I also don't really want to go hybrid, it is more expensive than comparable models and the technology isn't where I want it to be yet (plus not much *zing*.)

    Here's what I've looked at so far:

    * 2006 Honda Civics (Coupe and Si)
    * Audi A4
    * BMW 330xi
    * Nissan Maxima

    Any other ideas? I'd like to stick to cars with some pep and $30k is the limit of finances. Between those listed, any reccomendations and why? I have no interest in trucks, SUVs, or motorcycles.

    From those, the Civic Coupe looks like the best commuter car. 35 MPG, nice ride, low price ($20k). But the others look to up the fun factor quite a bit with some more zing. Looking for any opinions from the resident gear heads.
     
  2. Hunter P

    Hunter P Screenwriter

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    Your budget is $30K and you like the Civic but need more zip. Sounds to me like you should look into the Honda Accord. You can get an EX V6 coupe for under $30K no problemo.
     
  3. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I think he says his financing budget is $30k as I doubt you can get a 330Xi for under $30k, though if you include up front payments and/or tradeins, it would work.

    I guess 2 seater convertibles wont work for you? The mazdaspeed Miata, Toyota MR2 are all easily under $30k, get good gas mileage and are zippy. More zippy than the cars listed above due to their low CoG and low weight.

    Jay
     
  4. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    Honda S2000, find an 05 leftover.
    Honda Accord EX-V6 coupe (as mentioned), I was quite suprised at how quick they are (0-60 in high 5sec/low 6 second range).

    The BMW is nice, but I doubt you'll see 25mpg very much out of it, I had a 325 and I would average around 22-23mpg in mixed driving, the few times I did 100% highway driving it would jump up to around 26-27mpg. I bet the Audi will be the same.

    You could add the VW GTI or similiar powertrain Jetta to the list.

    Acura RSX
    Mazda 3/5/6 models

    You didn't mention how much of your commute is highway vs city street, if you do a lot of highway driving you could add;
    Nissan 350Z
    Pontiac GTO
    Mustang GT
    All will give good highway cruising mileage, but that will drop quite a bit off the highway.

    Andrew
     
  5. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i have an 89 BMW 535i, and i get about 21-23 mixed, 26+ on the highway.

    CJ
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    My 2002 Nissan Altima V6 gets 26-30mph (depending on the season and type of driving) and has 240hp. It's got a lot of zip, and is less expensive than the new Maxima.
     
  7. DaveHo

    DaveHo Supporting Actor

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    Not sure about gas mileage, but the Subaru WRX certainly fits your price & zing requirements.

    -Dave
     
  8. Mark Dill

    Mark Dill Stunt Coordinator

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    The Accord Hybrid is right around $30k. Faster than the V6 and better mileage than the 4 banger. Just a thought, for something a little different.
     
  9. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I have the BMW 330xi (2002) and I do a lot of highway mileage. I average 23-24mpg.If you want a BMW, perhaps look at the 325xi if $30G is your limit.
     
  10. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    The Subaru WRX gets ~25 MPG. The WRX STi (300HP, 300ft/lb torque) is ~21 MPG.
     
  11. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Good ideas.

    I would say the drive is 40/60 suburban/rural. The rural stuff is all highway.

    The BMW and Audi were outside choices, a bit expensive for what some of the Japanese companies seem to provide for less $. Unfortunately, 2 seaters are out. I have kids and even though I don't drive them around a lot, it is a factor.

    My best friend has a Subaru WRX and makes this same drive to work. It would seem strange to see him on the road in the exact same vehicle. It's a cool car, but with so many options I'll steer clear of it.

    So to modify the question a bit, if I was to look at some used cars within the last 2-3 years, which ones would best fit the requirements above?
     
  12. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    I not going to argue with you, but...
    can anyone quote me the 0-60 figures on a Toyota Prius and the other cars Joe wants to look at?
     
  13. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    0-60 in 10-11 seconds.
    0-90 in 32 seconds.
    1/4mi - [email protected]

    I couldn't find the more important numbers like 50-70 acceleration times.

    An Accord EX V6 does;
    0-60 in 5.9 sec
    0-100 in 15.2 sec
    1/4mi - [email protected]

    I mentioned 50-70mph acceleration above because that's always a good indicator of how 'peppy' the car feels, it's also a good indicator for those who cruise on the highway what they can expect at higher speeds, will they have to plan a merge into the higher speed lane a week in advance - phone in reservations and say a silent prayer in order to make it work, or can they just 'punch it' and go.
     
  14. Brandon_T

    Brandon_T Screenwriter

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    I absolutely love my Audi A4. It has been a real treat to drive in the snow, I have the quattro. I get about 22mpg in the city and 27-28 hwy. Its comfortable for me and the family, but if I had older kids it would be a bit cramped in the rear, you would find the same thing with the BMW. I had a 325 and it was the same way.
     
  15. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Yeah, the back seat tends to be a bit crampy. If you can afford it, the 530 is the way to go if you have kids. The 325's and 330's are probably best suited for peope with no kids or small kids. I was actually able to fit a car seat, a ten year old and a teen in the back of my 330. A bit cramped, but hey, they were kids [​IMG]
     
  16. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Yup.
     
  17. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Accord Hybrid or a Nissan get my vote
     
  18. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    I am very BMW biased. So yeah, I say any BMW whould make you happy. They have really nice engines with great engineering that goes into them along with the computer control. Pretty decent MPG considering the power.
     
  19. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    Hyundai Elantra or Sonata!

    DAMN zippi....priced right as well!!!

    I work for a Hyundai dealer in Service. Need a deal?!?!?! [​IMG]
     
  20. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    If you can drive a stick, I'd strongly recommend a Mazda 3S, very flexible engine and the smoothest clutch action combined with an extremely slick shift linkage. Excellent cornering, nice interior for it's class.

    It's as close to a BMW as you're gonna get for a price in the mid to high teens.

    Alternatively a 2 year old Lexus IS-300 will fullfill your BMW craving for a lot less money with a lot better reliability.
     

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