Super Cheap High MPG Cars: 1978-1981

Looking for a car that gets crazy great gas mileage but don’t want to spend a lot of cash? This list of knuckle-busting (can we call them classic?) small cars from 1978 through 1981 haul down some impressive gas mileage figures and can be had for chump change … if you’re handy.

It’s not just that they’re cheap … these cars are past the magic 25-year point that may actually make them qualify as antique cars, dependent on state regulations. While the thought of a rusty old Dodge Omni or Plymouth Horizon with historic plates might lead to hysterics, the owner can take solace in those remarkably high gas mileage figures.

The possibilities run from wannabe exotics to the work-a-day. Imagine finding a Dodge De Tomaso, under a tarp in a barn … only to realize that it’s not only "the Italian sports car from Detroit," it’s worthy of a 50 mile per gallon highway rating. Need to haul around some stuff? How about a 1980 Chevy Luv pickup truck that pulls down 53 miles per gallon on the highway? We sure could use some of those small diesel pickup trucks today …

Partsgeek Volkswagen Parts

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Chevy Silverado Gas Mileage: 1999 – 2013

Chevrolet’s Silverado is not only the second-best selling truck in America, it’s the second-best selling vehicle, overall. With over 630,000 sold in 2006, Silverado sales were only exceeded by Ford’s ever-popular F-series pickup trucks. Due to the massive numbers sold, the Silverado’s gas mileage figures have a considerable impact on the nation’s rate of gasoline consumption. A 25- or 30-percent rise in the Silverado’s MPG average would have significantly positive implications.

While a nice jump in the Silverado’s gas mileage is coming, we’ll have to wait a bit.

Silverado Engine Options

Chevrolet currently offers a slew of engine options in the half-ton Silverado 1500 range. The most fuel efficient conventional choice is the 2WD 2010 Silverado XFE that delivers 15 city/22 highway miles per gallon.

The 2WD 6.0-liter Silverado Hybrid is rated at 21 city/22 highway, while the 4WD Silverado Hybrid is rated at 20 city/20 highway.

  • Vortec 4.3 liter V6
  • Vortec 4.8 liter V8
  • Vortec 5.3 liter V8 (iron-block, Active Fuel Management, with or without FlexFuel)
  • Vortec 5.3 liter V8 (aluminum-block, Active Fuel Management, with or without FlexFuel)
  • Vortec MAX 6.0 liter V8 (Active Fuel Mangement)

Although Chevy offers diesel engine options for the Silverado, the diesels are only available in the 2500 and 3500 range trucks. The 2500 and 3500 come standard with the Vortec 6.0 liter V8, with the Duramax Diesel 6.6 liter turbo V8 available as an option. Chevrolet does not publish official mileage figures for the Duramax diesels, which are produced by a joint venture between GM and Isuzu.

We recently put a 6.6 liter, V-8 Duramax-equipped Silverado to an exhaustive road test. Be sure to check out our 2011 Silverado 2500HD review

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