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unevolved SuperDork
8/12/17 11:44 a.m.

I've thought a lot about this same question, I'm driving near two hours a day in decently heavy traffic. But the job is good, and we own our house (that we love) so the commute isn't going to change any time soon.

I'm driving a slightly lifted V8 4Runner that gets an honest 16.5mpg in traffic, and is 100% paid off. It's reliable, comfortable, and fast enough to keep up with traffic and shoot a gap if need be. I'm not going to lie, I miss my E46 some days, but my wallet surely doesn't.

If I was going to get a new DD, I think my choice would be a first gen TSX with a manual, about as new as I can find. The K24 is an awesome engine, if I'm honest with myself I don't care about FWD in a commuter, and it's a "grown up" enough car for my profession.

But the reality of my situation is a paid off vehicle that gets 16mpg is financially sound enough that I can't justify another vehicle.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
8/12/17 11:56 a.m.

I was in a similar boat. While I do like the functionality of my minivan, driving it every day was starting to wear on me. So when friend moved from his '06 MCS JCW to an '06 MCS GP and put the JCW up for sale at a decent price, I jumped on it. Mileage in mixed use is in the upper 20's. It's a hoot to drive. And I've been playing with them for many years, so working on them isn't a big deal to me.

But I really didn't buy it to me a full-time DD. More of just a second back-up until the TDI is back on the road.

alleykat Reader
8/12/17 7:13 p.m.

I just bought this E90 330i last week for exactly $10k .It is a sport package 6 speed. No IDrive or active steering. It drives very nicely. We shall see about the maint. costs. The car has been very well maintained and the guy sold it because he just bought a new M3.

t25torx Dork
8/12/17 11:12 p.m.
The_Jed wrote:
mazdeuce wrote: V6 Mustang. Cheap. Plentiful. Thow a hitch on it and it's an smallish truck. There are so many of them you don't have to feel the least bit bad about winters destroying it. When it ceases to function, buy another one. And before anyone says "just buy the V8", I picked the V6 for it's mileage and cheapness allowing you to move up a generation (for safety features) and stay the same price.
I'd say this.^ I'm such a cheapskate that I automatically, reflexively, and unconsciously halved the budget and when I read V6 Mustang I was vigorously nodding, picturing an SN95 ('02-'04 for the longer connecting rods and fewer head gasket woes) with a trailer hitch, caster/camber plates, a panhard bar, and three sets of wheels and tires.

I would love to agree on the this car, being as the hope of getting decently good milage was what made me go for the V6 when I got my S197, but alas even with the 5 speed I can only manage to eak out 24mpg from it. Maybe it's because of the convertible, and the fact I pretty much only do mixed driving, no long interstate hauls. I was hoping for 27-28mpg, but so far I haven't been able to get close to that.

I think you're going to have trouble finding anything newish that is a more luxurious, or a european brand that doesn't require premium fuel. They may get the MPG you are shooting for, but any savings will be negated by the fuel requirement.

Tyler H
Tyler H UltraDork
8/13/17 7:43 a.m.
ProDarwin wrote: Acura TL Type-S would be on my list. 275hp, 6 speed, limited slip, double wishbones, brembos, 4 doors.

Agreed! A close second would be a BMW E46 330i ZHP. Even with a shorter final drive, I'm averaging about 26mpg in mixed driving. And I mostly drive like a BMW driver is supposed to, except I use my turn signal and don't tailgate.

914Driver MegaDork
8/13/17 7:55 a.m.

I had my son's 9-3 wagon for two weeks while he took my truck to move into a new home. He bought it from a friend who was going to trade it in but kept it for the Nanny to use. She didn't want it so he got it for $5k.

I liked it. 2.0 turbo gets decent gas mileage if you keep your foot out of it, the "night" panel is wonderful for trips and the rear holds quite a bit of stuff.

My Jetta, which I like also, has 130,000 miles on it so I'm waiting anxiously to see which way you jump P of D.


A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ HalfDork
8/13/17 9:44 a.m.

I'm going to say an early 2000's VW TDI juiced up to roll coal and sound like a bread truck. Over 50 mpg, fast as f-ck, but probably no $10k.

pointofdeparture PowerDork
8/13/17 11:05 a.m.

All my friends with used TDIs had the gas savings almost negated by maintenance costs. Once they start falling apart, eating camshafts and the like there is not much value left there. Also, going fast was never really a priority here.

I'm having my buddy watch the auctions for a solid Accord Sport, 6 Touring, etc. Maybe an Optima SX. Something that can knock back 35MPG on regular gas while offering a better driving experience than a Malibu.

G_Body_Man SuperDork
8/13/17 11:16 a.m.

A 2011+ Mustang V6 would be great. 30 MPG highway, 305 horses, solid platform. If you can find a Mayhem (V6 Performance Pack) car, buy it.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
8/13/17 4:15 p.m.

I'd rather have a Fit than a TSX. I was convinced I wanted one till I drove one. Not a lot of car, just a whole lot of "honda fanboi tax." See also: TL.

I'm glad I went with the "nuclear option" and bought a V1 CTS-V. YMMV.

EDIT: Sorry. I missed the mpg requirements. That said, if hyper-miling is your goal, buy an old civic.

Have you done the math on what 20mpg vs. 30mpg would cost you per month?

pointofdeparture PowerDork
8/13/17 4:42 p.m.

In reply to poopshovel again:

I already get about 36MPG in the Fit. By most accounts the 2013+ Accord or 2014+ 6 can do 30-33MPG reliably and both are far more comfortable than the Fit with its stubby seat cushions and awful freeway NVH. I don't need to get a bazillion MPG, I just want to be more comfortable without taking too much of a hit on gas/insurance/monthly payment.

If I never averaged below 25MPG I'd be OK as long as it was on regular gas. 91 octane is 80 cents more than regular 87 around here! That adds up fast when you drive 450 miles a week for your commute alone, hence my desire to stick with regular unleaded unless something gets REALLY good mileage. When I went from my E39 to the Fit it was like I began giving myself a cash bonus every month, I had no idea how much I was spending on gas until I stopped. Just trying not to make that mistake again.

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