.

Custom Search

.

1982: A Banner Year for High MPG Cars

There’s no question that the gas crisis of the 1970s spurred the automakers into action, as the 1982 model year bustled with high mileage cars. Small cars that eclipsed 40 miles per gallon on the highway weren’t the exception in 1982 … they were the norm … with a good number of cars breaking the magic 50 miles per gallon mark.

The Japanese automakers lead the way, with the Isuzu I-Mark, Toyota Starlet, and Honda Civic all hitting the magic 50 MPG mark.

Mopar had more than its fair share of fuel-thrifty 50+ MPG vehicles in the 1982 model year, in stark contrast to today’s lineup. Dodge’s 1982 Omni and 024 got the groceries with a thimble full of gas, as did their 1982 Plymouth Horizon and TC3/Turismo stablemates.

While many of the General Motors economy cars built in this time period were truly forgettable, there was no end to the selection, with a host of GM vehicles beating 40 MPG highway, not just from Chevrolet, but from Pontiac, Buick, Oldsmobile, and yes … even Cadillac.

The Cadillac Cimmeron is perhaps the most unlikely of the GM offerings … who could possibly recall that there was a Caddy that pulled down 40 MPG on the highway?




Fuel Efficient 1982 Cars

YearManufacturerModelEngineDisp.Trans.CityHwy.
1982DODGEOMNI41.7M43552
1982DODGE02441.7M43451
1982PLYMOUTHHORIZON41.7M43552
1982PLYMOUTHTC3/TURISMO41.7M43451
1982DODGEOMNI42.2M42440
1982PLYMOUTHHORIZON42.2M42440
1982FORDEXP41.6M42946
1982LINCOLN-MERCURYLN-741.6M42946
1982FORDESCORT41.6M42844
1982FORDESCORT WAGON41.6M42844
1982LINCOLN-MERCURYLYNX41.6M42844
1982LINCOLN-MERCURYLYNX WAGON41.6M42844
1982CHEVROLETCHEVETTE41.8A33643
1982CHEVROLETCHEVETTE41.8M54055
1982CADILLACCIMARRON41.8A32541
1982CADILLACCIMARRON41.8M42642
1982CHEVROLETCAVALIER41.8A32541
1982CHEVROLETCAVALIER41.8M42642
1982CHEVROLETCAVALIER WAGON41.8A32541
1982CHEVROLETCAVALIER WAGON41.8M42642
1982PONTIACJ200041.8A32541
1982PONTIACJ200041.8M42643
1982PONTIACJ2000 WAGON41.8A32541
1982PONTIACJ2000 WAGON41.8M42642
1982BUICKSKYHAWK41.8A32741
1982PONTIACJ200041.8A32741
1982PONTIACJ2000 WAGON41.8A32741
1982OLDSMOBILEFIRENZA41.8A32741
1982BUICKSKYLARK42.5A32540
1982BUICKSKYLARK42.5M42641
1982BUICKCENTURY42.5A32540
1982CHEVROLETCITATION42.5A32540
1982CHEVROLETCITATION42.5M42641
1982CHEVROLETCELEBRITY42.5A32540
1982OLDSMOBILEOMEGA42.5A32540
1982OLDSMOBILEOMEGA42.5M42641
1982OLDSMOBILECUTLASS CIERA42.5A32540
1982PONTIAC600042.5A32540
1982PONTIACPHOENIX42.5A32540
1982PONTIACPHOENIX42.5M42641
1982BUICKCENTURY64.3A32642
1982CHEVROLETCELEBRITY64.3A32642
1982OLDSMOBILECUTLASS CIERA64.3A32744
1982PONTIAC600064.3A32744
1982CHEVROLETS10 PICKUP 2WD41.9M42840
1982GMCS15 PICKUP 2WD41.9M42840
1982HONDACIVIC41.3M43544
1982HONDACIVIC41.3M53953
1982HONDACIVIC41.5M53445
1982HONDACIVIC WAGON41.5M53444
1982ISUZUI-MARK4 M44151
1982ISUZUI-MARK4 M53950
1982ISUZUP’UP PICKUP 2WD4 M53344
1982CHEVROLETLUV PICKUP 2WD4 M53344
1982DATSUN8106 M53042
1982DATSUN810 WAGON6 M53042
1982DATSUN2104 M53044
1982DATSUN210 WAGON4 M52942
1982DATSUN3104 M43245
1982DATSUN3104 M53145
1982DATSUNNISSAN SENTRA4 M53348
1982DATSUNNISSAN SENTRA WAGON4 M53145
1982DATSUNNISSAN STANZA4 M53044
1982RENAULTLE CAR4 M42940
1982RENAULT18 I4 M42941
1982DODGECOLT4 M43847
1982DODGECOLT4 D43445
1982PLYMOUTHCHAMP4 M43847
1982PLYMOUTHCHAMP4 D43445
1982DODGECOLT4 D43141
1982PLYMOUTHCHAMP4 D43141
1982MAZDAGLC41.5M43444
1982MAZDAGLC41.5M53546
1982MAZDAGLC WAGON41.5M43041
1982MAZDAGLC WAGON41.5M53143
1982MAZDAB2000/B2200 PICKUP 2WD42.2M53240
1982TOYOTASTARLET4 M53751
1982TOYOTACOROLLA TERCEL4 M43447
1982TOYOTACOROLLA TERCEL4 M53245
1982VOLKSWAGENJETTA4 A33445
1982VOLKSWAGENJETTA4 M54255
1982VOLKSWAGENQUANTUM4 A33241
1982VOLKSWAGENQUANTUM4 M53850
1982VOLKSWAGENQUANTUM WAGON4 A33241
1982VOLKSWAGENQUANTUM WAGON4 M53850
1982VOLKSWAGENRABBIT4 M43042
1982VOLKSWAGENRABBIT4 M52842
1982VOLKSWAGENSCIROCCO4 M52841
1982VOLKSWAGENJETTA4 M52842
1982VOLKSWAGENQUANTUM4 M52841
1982VOLKSWAGENQUANTUM WAGON4 M52840
1982VOLKSWAGENQUANTUM4 M53650
1982VOLKSWAGENQUANTUM WAGON4 M53650
1982VOLKSWAGENRABBIT4 A33747
1982VOLKSWAGENRABBIT4 M44558
1982VOLKSWAGENRABBIT4 M54359
1982VOLKSWAGENJETTA4 A33747
1982VOLKSWAGENJETTA4 M44253
1982VOLKSWAGENJETTA4 M54359
1982DATSUNPICKUP 2WD4 M44249

Search MPGomatic

Custom Search

Similar Posts

.

16 comments ↓

#1 Frank Lee on 11.18.07 at 7:55 pm

Keep in mind that the EPA figures from that time period were very optimistic, and even the careful, sensible driver would have a tough time averaging what the EPA claimed. The next generation of EPA figures was, in my experience, very attainable. Don’t confuse them with the very latest EPA “adjustment” of economy figures, which I think rewards bad driving behavior by “legitimizing” the poor fuel economy gotten by driving like an azz.

#2 Mike Kamm on 10.06.08 at 11:06 am

Very well said Frank!

#3 Tim on 12.26.08 at 11:43 am

I would like to see any celebrity, 6000, century, or ciera have a 4.3 crammed under the hood. this engine was never put in these vehicles. I owned three or four of these. I also have a ’82 rabbit diesel m5 and get no where near 59 mpg. where are you getting your info?

#4 mpg-o-editor on 12.26.08 at 11:54 am

@Tim Our condolences on having owned three or four of GM’s worst cars. 🙂 We’re not pulling this stuff out of thin air … we work from the official stats.

FWIW, Wikipedia lists the 4.3L in the ’82 Ciera and 6000.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldsmobile_Ciera
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_6000

What kind of mileage are you getting on the highway in your Rabbit at 55 MPH?

#5 Bob L on 01.16.09 at 1:13 pm

The 4.3L in these cars was a completely different engine than the gas 4.3L. I do beleive it was based on a gas powered V8 Oldsmobile block like the 6.2L. I could be wrong though.

#6 Clif G on 02.18.09 at 8:14 pm

I had a 1982 1.5L Honda Civic Hatchback that I bought in 1991 when it had 150K miles on it (For $1100.00). I know at least for that model that the mileage listed is very much in the ballpark. Even after 10 years and 100K+ miles.

#7 Mike Davis on 05.25.09 at 11:24 pm

Buying a 82 Toyota pickup : )

#8 Lenny on 04.03.10 at 12:08 pm

So what happened to derail all this progress? Were the auto and oil companies in cahoots? I know the auto companies like to tell us that they were just responding to public demand for power and performance but don’t believe that any more than I believed the Tobacco industry’s addition of addictive ingredients was a public mandate.
I guess the new low efficiency standards to be met by 2016 (which are lower than those already reached in 1982!) relies on a strategy of collective amnesia.

#9 Guy on 04.24.11 at 8:14 am

I owned a 1978 Dodge Omni with a five speed manual transmission. On the highway, 55mpg was normal…For the sake of asking the question, why can’t we replicate the technology. I would buy two tomorrow if someone would make one.

#10 Guy on 04.24.11 at 8:43 am

Hello, me again. I decided that I would help my three children to acquire them as well. Wouldn’t that stimulate the economy, and reduce dependency on foreign oil.

#11 mpg-o-editor on 04.24.11 at 9:32 am

@Guy – The drop in mileage between then and now is largely due to increased vehicle weight. The ’78 Omni probably weighed in around 2,000 lbs. The 2011 Honda Civic, for the sake of comparison, can be as high as 2,800 lbs or so. The added weight of airbags and other safety features has taken its toll on fuel economy. That said, an increasing number of current vehicles are capable of 40 MPG or better on the highway … many of which are not hybrids. Check into the Ford Fiesta and Focus, Chevy Cruze Eco, Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Jetta, Golf, and Passat TDIs …

#12 Guy on 04.24.11 at 9:43 pm

Thank you…That makes sense.. Great website. Keep up the good work.

#13 mpg-o-editor on 04.25.11 at 8:16 am

@Guy – Thanks!

#14 HL_guy on 05.03.11 at 10:10 am

I had the ’82 Nissan Stanza Wagon 5-speed, it definitely could get well over 40 mpg on pre-gridlock CA freeways. Furthermore, it was no Chevette- it was comfortable, if not particularly roomy, and had some nice features (sunroof, fog lights). It was nice going over 400 miles on $10 worth of gas.

#15 eric on 11.18.11 at 3:51 am

None of these cars could ever get this kind of mileage today, because of the **** for gas we have now. I own a 1993 Ford Festiva and to get 57 MPG I had to put racing plugs & wires, K&N filter system, & use 5.25 oz. of Lucas gas treatment in every full tank. Plus a power chip that gave me from 63 hp to 107 . It has a 5 spd trans. It also has 404,652 miles on it. These cars are awesome. I have owned 13 of them: 3 auto,s, 2-4 spd’s, 8-5 spd’s. The most I ever paid for one is $400, my wife & I figure we have saved in 28 yrs. $500,000 in gas alone. Changed oil & filter every 3500 miles. I also owned a 1982 Dodge Omni Miser 1.7 liter, 75 hp. 5 spd. Best mileage 45! Thank you.

#16 mpg-o-editor on 12.07.11 at 12:21 pm

Had to turn comments off for a bit, to foil the bots. Stay tuned …

.