: What's new, good on gas, but fun to drive?



Jesda
03-26-11, 03:39 AM
"Smiles Per Gallon"

Extra points for being practical, comfortable, spacious, and/or cheap to buy.

http://jesda.com/2011/03/25/comparing-cars-with-smiles-per-gallon/


So far I've come up with:

Infiniti G37 Sedan, $33k, 27mpg
Saab 9-3 2.0T Sedan, $29k, 31mpg
Subaru Impreza Wagon 2.5, $18k, 27mpg
Mini Cooper Base, $19400, 37mpg
Chrysler 300 V6, $27k, 27mpg
Volvo S60 T5, $31k, 30mpg
Miata Touring, $25k, 28mpg
Mustang V6, $27k, 31mpg


There's obviously used cars but then you aren't comparing apples to apples in terms of safety and condition.

Aron9000
03-26-11, 03:56 AM
You need to add the Mazda 3 and 2 on to that list. Both of those cars a hoot to drive with razor sharp handling. Plus they both have big freaking smiley face front bumpers.

drewsdeville
03-26-11, 10:19 AM
You need to add the Mazda 3...

:yup:

ThumperPup
03-26-11, 11:06 AM
I cracked down and also test drove a Smart car a few days ago when my friend whent to look for one
at first i was like id never buy one never drive one to darn small could never be comfterible in it but wow
that thing was sweet did not have to back up one to do a full circle lol

a 2011 SMART car base model special edition they have starts at 11,$$$ and change
that car and stop on a dime and even turn on a dime lol

42MPG

Now if you want to go to the higher end smart car the convertible you can pick up for 18k i think

OffThaHorseCEO
03-26-11, 11:16 AM
http://road-bike.net/Gambar/GMC-TOPkickDualSuspensionB.jpg

smooth_ride
03-26-11, 11:39 AM
I wonder how the new Chevrolet Cruze Eco handles as it will get 42 mpg.

thebigjimsho
03-26-11, 01:46 PM
Ford Fusion Hybrid.

thebigjimsho
03-26-11, 01:50 PM
I cracked down and also test drove a Smart car a few days ago when my friend whent to look for one
at first i was like id never buy one never drive one to darn small could never be comfterible in it but wow
that thing was sweet did not have to back up one to do a full circle lol

a 2011 SMART car base model special edition they have starts at 11,$$$ and change
that car and stop on a dime and even turn on a dime lol

42MPG

Now if you want to go to the higher end smart car the convertible you can pick up for 18k i thinkFor how small it is, 42mpg is unremarkable. You get almost no storage space and you need to feed it at least 89 octane. Hell to the no...

dkozloski
03-26-11, 01:56 PM
Ariel Atom.

Jesda
03-26-11, 03:49 PM
The Cruze Eco is 200lbs lighter than the standard Cruze, which probably helps

thebigjimsho
03-26-11, 04:04 PM
For how small it is, 42mpg is unremarkable. You get almost no storage space and you need to feed it at least 89 octane. Hell to the no...
Nevermind you can't stack 2 in a standard space, nor park it sideways in a parallel space. That being the case, a Cooper spanks it in utility with similar savings in mpg when you figure in it can run on cheaper 87 octane...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-26-11, 11:16 PM
The Smart is an utterly useless car. It's tiny, it's awful in a crash, it's mileage isn't that good, it's uncomfortable, it's SLOW, it will be expensive to own once the warranty runs out and it's ugly.

As far as new, good on gas and fun to drive...

Everything already mentioned, plus....

BMW 128i- $31,000- 28mpg
Chevrolet Camaro LS- $22,000- 28 mpg
Honda Civic Si- $22,000- 29mpg
Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8- $26,750- 26 mpg
Mazdaspeed 3- $23,700- 25mpg
Mini Cooper S- $23,700- 35mpg
Nissan 370Z- $30,610-26 mpg

Ranger
03-26-11, 11:24 PM
I wouldn't be caught dead in a Smart Car and I would be too embarrassed to be caught alive in one.

Aron9000
03-26-11, 11:26 PM
Hasn't been mentioned:

Chevy Corvette- $50,000, 430hp v8, 190mph top speed, 16/26mpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-26-11, 11:59 PM
Good one Aron. I was gonna post that too, but I forgot.

orconn
03-27-11, 12:24 AM
What about the Volkswagen Jetta diesel? Cheap to buy new, great mileage, increased warranty period!

Playdrv4me
03-27-11, 04:48 AM
Mercedes Benz E350 Bluetec Diesel
22/33mpg but the truly impressive fact is that it's only about 1k more than the gas fired E350 at 51775.00.

BMW 335d Diesel
23/36mpg and also only about 1k more than the 335i. The Diesel is no slouch either

Jesda
03-27-11, 05:58 AM
What about the Volkswagen Jetta diesel? Cheap to buy new, great mileage, increased warranty period!

Its a good economy bargain for sure. Its a shame Volkswagen cheaped out on the interior and suspension for this new generation.

Near the end of its life cycle, the Saturn Ion showed a slight increase in sales because it was the most fuel-efficient car for the price (30mpg, $14k?) at a time when gas was approaching $3. GM was about to discontinue the car but gave it an extra year of life for this reason.

thebigjimsho
03-27-11, 12:47 PM
Sippy sip sip!

ThumperPup
03-27-11, 02:59 PM
For how small it is, 42mpg is unremarkable. You get almost no storage space and you need to feed it at least 89 octane. Hell to the no...

ok so maybe not practical at this time but if i where to ever get a smart car
i know it would demolish almost any car out there claiming to be in the 4second 0-60 rang cause i would put a
Hayabusa engine in my Smart car if i had one
that would be the only reason to lol

orconn
03-27-11, 04:20 PM
Mercedes Benz E350 Bluetec Diesel
22/33mpg but the truly impressive fact is that it's only about 1k more than the gas fired E350 at 51775.00.

BMW 335d Diesel
23/36mpg and also only about 1k more than the 335i. The Diesel is no slouch either

If you are talking spending over $40,000. Either of these examples would make good sense. But I thought the criteria was something more affordable?

Jesda
03-27-11, 07:02 PM
The BMW and MB lose a few "smile points" for being pricey, and then you have to wonder why someone with a $50k new car cares so much about the price of fuel. Still, they'd make amazing used bargains.

Playdrv4me
03-27-11, 07:15 PM
If you are talking spending over $40,000. Either of these examples would make good sense. But I thought the criteria was something more affordable?

There's a Corvette in here...

Stingroo
03-27-11, 07:22 PM
Corvette gets like a million smiles per gallon though.

JimmyH
03-27-11, 09:23 PM
I will plug the Camaro LS, and confirm that 28 mpg is realistic. I was doing it regularly.

I will contest the Impreza, Infiniti G, and 300. I know people who have them, do almost all highway driving, and don't get close to the EPA highway numbers. I know two guys who have the 300 actually (salesmen) and they are lucky to see 22-23 on the highway. My boss has the G and gets about 17 on the highway (he does have a heavy foot, but even so, that's bad) and a relative (also a salesman) has the Impreza. She gets about 20.

Playdrv4me
03-27-11, 10:10 PM
My boss has the G and gets about 17 on the highway (he does have a heavy foot, but even so, that's bad)

Christ, I can do better than that in the Escalade without trying. Actually all the trucks above... Does he have it mashed down with a sledgehammer?

Stingroo
03-27-11, 11:15 PM
Yeah, I have a misfire on the wagon and I still do better than 17 highway. LOL Fail.

Jesda
03-28-11, 12:04 AM
and 300.

Someone bought a 2011 300 already? What do they think of it overall?

Aron9000
03-28-11, 02:31 AM
Its a good economy bargain for sure. Its a shame Volkswagen cheaped out on the interior and suspension for this new generation.

Near the end of its life cycle, the Saturn Ion showed a slight increase in sales because it was the most fuel-efficient car for the price (30mpg, $14k?) at a time when gas was approaching $3. GM was about to discontinue the car but gave it an extra year of life for this reason.

I just drove a new VW Jetta TDI wagon at work, 6 speed manual, white on white vinyl/leatherette. That was a really nice car IMO, the interior felt VERY well screwed together, probably the nicest interior for any car costing less than 25k. Owner said it gets between 37-42mpg and that it had more room than her old Volvo wagon. If I were shopping for a practical family car for 25k, that would be it.

Jesda
03-28-11, 02:57 AM
Are we talking of the same 2011 Jetta with the much lower sticker price and torsion beam rear? Because that car is a dramatic step down from 2010.

http://indianautosblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/2011_VW_Jetta.jpg

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/08/review-2011-volkswagen-jetta/

Aron9000
03-28-11, 03:06 AM
Quoted directly from your link:

"Instead of offering a new wagon, Volkswagen will continue to offer the previous Sportwagon alongside the new 2011 Jetta. With its new Golf-alike fascia, the Sportwagon now more closely resembles a European-style “Golf Variant” look, and offers everything that VW’s accountants stripped out of the new Jetta. Which is handy, considering that the vast majority of Sportwagons are ordered with TDI engines. In other words, all of Volkswagen’s premium-enthusiast Euro-appeal has been stripped from the Jetta, and been concentrated into the higher-quality, better-driving, more-expensive Sportwagon that true Euro-enthusiasts would have ordered anyway."

Playdrv4me
03-28-11, 03:08 AM
Are we talking of the same 2011 Jetta with the much lower sticker price and torsion beam rear? Because that car is a dramatic step down from 2010.

http://indianautosblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/2011_VW_Jetta.jpg

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/08/review-2011-volkswagen-jetta/

Wait, that's not the new Jetta.

New Jetta U.S.:
http://www.lincah.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/2011-Volkswagen-Jetta-Europe-Version-Front-Angle-View-588x391.jpg

Jesda
03-28-11, 03:27 AM
dunno

Jesda
03-28-11, 03:27 AM
http://www.autoguide.com/gallery/gallery.php/d/222264-4/2011-Volkswagen-Jetta-117.jpg

thebigjimsho
03-28-11, 11:44 AM
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! My eyes hurt. sniff.

JimmyH
03-28-11, 06:37 PM
Someone bought a 2011 300 already? What do they think of it overall?

no. the guys I know have an 08, I think. the other one maybe 07, maybe even 06. but I don't think the car has been changed mechanically since its inception. and the only difference with new one is cosmetic.

Jesda
03-28-11, 07:39 PM
The new 300 has a completely different engine.

Spyder
03-28-11, 10:50 PM
Let me say, I'm years behind on what's out there for vehicles nowadays, but just the other day I saw a commercial about a honda car with 275hp and optional AWD? Or something along those lines...

Gonna have to go look it up now. Could be fun, if the price is right.

JimmyH
03-29-11, 12:04 AM
The new 300 has a completely different engine.

well, that's true. but it's still the same old tired, weak-kneed, obsolete mercedes frame underneath. maybe I am the only one who thinks it, but they took a step back when they went from the 300m to this car.

JimmyH
03-29-11, 12:05 AM
Let me say, I'm years behind on what's out there for vehicles nowadays, but just the other day I saw a commercial about a honda car with 275hp and optional AWD? Or something along those lines...

Gonna have to go look it up now. Could be fun, if the price is right.

sounds like the Pilot. it's a little more fun to drive than a cardboard box.

Spyder
03-29-11, 12:12 AM
Nah, I thought it was a sedan of some sort, not the box-on-wheels.

JimmyH
03-29-11, 12:17 AM
the accord then. i was not aware they were offering awd on it now. the accord is not a bad car. i haven't driven a recent one. but the last one I did (circa 2004) had decent steering and fair responsiveness. the current one is alot bigger though.

Playdrv4me
03-29-11, 12:24 AM
It's the Cross-puke... Ugliest thing since the last ugliest thing on 4 wheels...

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2009/09/crosstourred.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-29-11, 01:22 AM
I thought of the Acura RL, but that's not a "Honda" directly.

Aron9000
03-29-11, 01:50 AM
The Acura TL can be had with AWD now. Its still god-awful ugly and kind of too big/heavy to be a proper sports sedan IMO.

Jesda
03-29-11, 06:38 AM
well, that's true. but it's still the same old tired, weak-kneed, obsolete mercedes frame underneath. maybe I am the only one who thinks it, but they took a step back when they went from the 300m to this car.

To Chrysler's credit, they were nearly finished with developing the LX platform before the merger. Daimler stepped in and dressed it with W210 suspension components, steering bits, and the W210's 5-speed auto. The physical platform and overall structural design are still distinctly Chrysler.

The W210's main issue wasn't the architecture or drivetrain (which were flawed in their own way), it was the awful cheapness with which the whole thing was built. I'd go as far as saying the Chrysler 300 and MB W210 aren't much different in terms of build quality.

300M was a lot of fun and felt light on its feet, but it lacked sophistication. 300 and 300C are unusually refined but took away the sizzle, except for SRT8. Reliability improved with the LX cars.

I hate when manufacturers take the sizzle away.

Aron9000
03-29-11, 09:13 AM
The 300M was a warmed over LHS/New Yorker Cab Forward design dating from 1993. That car was a warmed over turd from the start if you asked me. Chrysler hasn't produced a truly reliable, durable product since the slant six Dodge Dart days, or maybe an AMC designed 4.0 inline six Cherokee or Wrangler.

My parents thought so as well, they bought a then brand new 2000 Toyota Avalon, even though they thought the Chrysler was more stylish and a better performer. Dad has had fautless reliabily with his previous three Toyota trucks. No rust issues here in the salt-less south either. His 1985 truck ran just as well at 225k when he sold it, as it did when that odometer was at 25k.


Needless to say we still road trip in that 11 year old Toyota with 200k miles. My mom still drives it daily and loves it. Damn thing doesn't squeak or rattle either, still rides nice on its original struts. That car has totally changed my perceptions as far as reliability and durability goes.

In all that time they have owned it, the only major repairs have been an alternator, a mass airflow sensor, and a bad cat converter.

I am convinced and have told Dad that the mass airflow sensor failure is due to a dirty air filter. I told him to change that thing every other oil change, but he let it ride until the manual suggested changing it every 30k miles. I keep telling him to change the timing belt as well, that it is way overdue, but he is too cheap to spend the $600 on changing it.

Anyways, I am totally sold on Toyota build quality from about 1982 to 2001ish.

Sorry to thread hijack, but Toyota was pretty damn impressive in the late 80's/90's in terms of quality/durability.

JimmyH
03-29-11, 07:48 PM
i never even rode in a 300m, I just thought it was a nice looking car. and reports were torque steer was a non issue. not many front drivers can say that.

Jesda
03-29-11, 07:59 PM
Indeed, I think Chrysler used equal length half shafts. Reliability aside, it was and is a beautiful car.

JimmyH
03-29-11, 08:14 PM
i know it was one of the few front drivers with a longitudinal engine layout. which, with that cramped engine bay, probably made it a bitch to work on :lol:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-29-11, 11:23 PM
I always liked the 300M. It was a great '90s era American sporty-luxury sedan. They looked nice (I hated cab-forward styling for the most part), had the nicest interior for any Chrysler product from the '90s, a lot of interior room and was pretty fun to drive. I seem to remember hearing them being pretty fun to drive, while still being comfortable and good long distance cars. I cross shopped them with the Regal GS and Park Avenue Ultra, but liked those more instead. The Chrysler didn't have as strong as a reputation for reliability and durability either.

thebigjimsho
03-30-11, 12:12 AM
well, that's true. but it's still the same old tired, weak-kneed, obsolete mercedes frame underneath. maybe I am the only one who thinks it, but they took a step back when they went from the 300m to this car.
I disagree. Every 300/Charger/Magnum I've driven is a taut, competent handler...

Playdrv4me
03-30-11, 12:45 AM
Needless to say we still road trip in that 11 year old Toyota with 200k miles. My mom still drives it daily and loves it. Damn thing doesn't squeak or rattle either, still rides nice on its original struts. That car has totally changed my perceptions as far as reliability and durability goes.

Sorry to thread hijack, but Toyota was pretty damn impressive in the late 80's/90's in terms of quality/durability.

Astute and accurate observations... so long as one doesn't make the mistake thinking things continue that way today. Toyota's hay-day was from about 1985 to 2001. With the end of that rock solid era being just barely held together by the LS430. The last "real" Toyotas one could buy were the final Land Cruiser/LX470s that rolled off the line in 2006, but that model debuted in 1998.

JimmyH
03-30-11, 02:03 AM
now THIS was a Toyota. or not a Toyota depending on how you wanna look at it.

http://www.cooleywire.com/jimmyh/pics/cars/mycars/00MR2.jpg

Playdrv4me
03-30-11, 02:52 AM
Yea those were a hoot. Poor man's Elise.

Jesda
03-30-11, 03:07 AM
i know it was one of the few front drivers with a longitudinal engine layout. which, with that cramped engine bay, probably made it a bitch to work on :lol:

Surprisingly easy due to it being longitudinal. Like a RWD car, the transmission is behind the engine.

JimmyH
03-30-11, 01:57 PM
if you look at pictures of the engine bay, it looks like every cubic inch is filled in. i know those are only pictures though.

JimmyH
03-30-11, 01:58 PM
Yea those were a hoot. Poor man's Elise.

not in their first year. dealers were getting $10k over msrp.

concorso
03-30-11, 02:05 PM
The Acura TL can be had with AWD now. Its still god-awful ugly and kind of too big/heavy to be a proper sports sedan IMO.For the money, the TL is a great car. The grill can be changed, and once that happens, you realize its actually a decent looking car. Very good proportions for a fwd car. Its a great all-around all-weather affordable luxury sedan.

gdwriter
03-30-11, 05:07 PM
now THIS was a Toyota. or not a Toyota depending on how you wanna look at it.

http://www.cooleywire.com/jimmyh/pics/cars/mycars/00MR2.jpgToyota used to have cars that appealed to enthusiasts like the MR2, Supra and Celica. I don't know why they decided to go 100% bland. About the sportiest thing they have now is the Scion tC. That is if you consider having just two doors to be sporty.

Aron9000
03-30-11, 05:22 PM
Toyota used to have cars that appealed to enthusiasts like the MR2, Supra and Celica. I don't know why they decided to go 100% bland. About the sportiest thing they have now is the Scion tC. That is if you consider having just two doors to be sporty.

I'd also add the Lexus IS300 and SC300/400. The IS300 was sold as the Toyota Altezza everywhere else in the world, sharp looking car even if it did start the ricer fad of clear "Altezza" taillights.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-30-11, 10:12 PM
The Scion Tc is not a sporty car. I drove one once a few years back and thought it was designed for middle aged women who wanted to appear sporty and youthful. The driving dynamics weren't nearly as quick or as taut as the Civic EX Coupes' and it rode much smoother and was much quieter overall.

I also wonder why Toyota decided to pull any sort of a pulse from their lineup. They had made sporty/sports cars for quite a while, now nothing.

thebigjimsho
03-30-11, 10:40 PM
The Tc is just a sporty looking Xb...

Playdrv4me
03-31-11, 02:37 AM
not in their first year. dealers were getting $10k over msrp.

Still that's what, half of an Elise?

Aron9000
03-31-11, 03:37 AM
I also wonder why Toyota decided to pull any sort of a pulse from their lineup. They had made sporty/sports cars for quite a while, now nothing.

Because it costs more $$$$ to build sporty cars. Cars like the Celica and Supra are niche products that don't sell in mass numbers. Yeah you will still make a profit on sports cars, but you could use that same factory to build 100,000 Rav4's or whatever with a fatter profit margin. When you have such a "laudable" reputation as Toyota, you can build generic, bland meidocre cars, as long as they are faultessly reliable, people will buy more. At least that was the idea before it blew up in their faces.

Kind of funny how the company pissed in the wind on some of the great enthusiast cars that helped build their reputation as a world class car maker. Stuff like the MR2, Celica, Supra, Land Cruiser(what happened to the bare bones mountain goat machine, they're like $70,000 now days).

ben.gators
03-31-11, 05:23 AM
Toyota used to have cars that appealed to enthusiasts like the MR2, Supra and Celica. I don't know why they decided to go 100% bland. About the sportiest thing they have now is the Scion tC. That is if you consider having just two doors to be sporty.

A friend of mine has a Scion tC and the gas millage of that little clown car is the same as your SLS!
City: 19
Highway: 27
Combined: 22
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/21776.shtml

JimmyH
03-31-11, 02:35 PM
The Scion Tc is not a sporty car. I drove one once a few years back and thought it was designed for middle aged women who wanted to appear sporty and youthful. The driving dynamics weren't nearly as quick or as taut as the Civic EX Coupes' and it rode much smoother and was much quieter overall.

I also wonder why Toyota decided to pull any sort of a pulse from their lineup. They had made sporty/sports cars for quite a while, now nothing.

tc's problem is the same as alot of cars these days. too heavy. 3000 lbs for a sport compact is obese.

JimmyH
03-31-11, 02:38 PM
Still that's what, half of an Elise?

i bought mine almost a year after they started sale and i still had to pay msrp. it was a sweet car. i still check classifieds from tim to time looking for another. they are holding their value well.

gdwriter
03-31-11, 04:20 PM
A friend of mine has a Scion tC and the gas millage of that little clown car is the same as your SLS!
City: 19
Highway: 27
Combined: 22And my actual average since 9/09 when I started using the GasBag app is 22 MPG. And on a 114-mile round-trip to my girlfriend's house in Portland, which other than the couple of miles from the gas station to the freeway and from her house to the freeway was all freeway, I averaged 27.64 MPG. I love that I can drive a big, extremely comfortable luxury car that can haul ass and still deliver fuel economy as good or better as some crappy little economy car.

JimmyH
03-31-11, 05:05 PM
for the last 3 days, I am averaging 24 mpg in the SS. on Tuesday from the gas station to my office, 25 miles, I did 27.3 mpg.

thebigjimsho
03-31-11, 05:09 PM
for the last 3 days, I am averaging 24 mpg in the SS. on Tuesday from the gas station to my office, 25 miles, I did 27.3 mpg.
And you mock my mileage in the '04 V that had similar power to weight and an ultra-tall 6th gear?

JimmyH
03-31-11, 05:13 PM
I never mocked it. 6th in this car is about the same as the V1. I never got 27 in the V myself. I think my best was somewhere between 24 and 25. I was quite surprised at the 27 I just got. And to be fair, it was my morning commute, which is a negative grade. By the time I got home that night I was at 24.5.

either way, LSx ftmfw

orconn
03-31-11, 05:28 PM
What about a new Fiat 500 stick? Has anyome driven one yet? Should be fun to drive!

thebigjimsho
03-31-11, 05:35 PM
I want an Abarth 500.

JimmyH
03-31-11, 05:52 PM
I am (maybe) gonna need a winter beater this year. Something in the $1000-$1500 range. Suggestions?

thebigjimsho
04-01-11, 12:26 AM
Sho.

Playdrv4me
04-01-11, 12:38 AM
no doubt

Aron9000
04-01-11, 01:49 AM
I am (maybe) gonna need a winter beater this year. Something in the $1000-$1500 range. Suggestions?

Anything Buick/GM with the 3.8 V6. Also try an Izuzu Rodeo or Nissan Pathfinder if you want something with 4wd. Any sort of 4wd pickup is out of the question for that price point IMO.

JimmyH
04-01-11, 01:26 PM
I want something small. I have a big car, and a huge SUV. I want a subcompact that I can throw all over the road.

gary88
04-01-11, 02:33 PM
BMW e30 :shifty

OffThaHorseCEO
04-01-11, 02:36 PM
this does look pretty nice, even though its not new
http://reifenhalle-rheinbach.de/bilder/BMW_E30_Cabrio.JPG

orconn
04-01-11, 04:07 PM
I thought you wanted a relatively cheap Winter beater? If you want a small "tossable" Winter beater how about a Subaru Impreza? All wheel drive, certainly tossable .... and if it were any smaller it might get hidden in snow!

JimmyH
04-01-11, 05:02 PM
BMW e30 :shifty

haha. I need something that cost $1000. Not something that is going to $1000 to fix. Every other month.

JimmyH
04-01-11, 05:04 PM
I have thought about the older Impreza actually. NA, they are slow as molasses, and get mid-size fuel economy, but I would not be driving it that often, and they are supposed to be pretty reliable.