Cheap High MPG Cars: 1984

1984 was a high-volume year for high-MPG cars in the USA, as the domestic and import manufacturers produced a range of cars that matched or exceeded the 40 MPG highway mark and met America’s thirst for fuel-thrifty vehicles.

General Motors was quite well represented among the domestic manufacturers. Buick offered the Skylark, Skyhawk, Regal, Century. Cadillac had the Cimmarron, while Chevrolet had the Chevette, Cavalier, Celebrity, and Citation, along with a 4-cylinder Camaro and S-10 Pickup. (GMC offered the S15 Pickup, as well.) Oldsmobile had the Cutlass Ciera, Firenza, Cutlass Supreme, and Omega. Pontiac was flush with high-MPG choices, including the 1000, 2000 Sunbird, two-seat Fiero, 6000 Wagon, and the four-cylinder Firebird.

Chrysler-Plymouth offered the Plymouth Colt, Colt Vista, Horizon, Reliant, and Turismo, along with the Dodge twins: Colt, Omni, Aries, Daytona, and Charger, and the tiny but unique Rampage Pickup. Ford’s 1984 highest MPG offerings consisted of the Escort, EXP, Laser and Tempo, along with the Lincoln-Mercury Lynx and Topaz.

The Japanese auto manufacturers sold boatloads of cars during 1984, with Honda’s Civic, Accord, and Prelude leading the way. Nissan hit its stride with the Pulsar, Sentra, 200SX, Stanza, and 2WD Pickups, while Toyota had the Starlet, Corolla, Tercel, Camry, and 2WD Pickup. Mitsubishi’s Precis (also sold as the Dodge and Plymouth Colt), Tredia, Cordia, and Pickup, met or exceeded 40 MPG highway, as did Mazda’s GLC, 626, and B2000/2200 Pickup. Subaru and Isuzu hit the mark, as well.

Among European manufacturers, Volkswagen was exceptionally prominent, with diesel models of the Rabbit, Quantum, and Jetta hitting or exceeding the 50 MPG mark. Knowing shoppers also found the Mercedes-Benz 190 in that same vaunted category.

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Cheap High MPG Cars: 1983

1983 was another banner year for high-MPG cars in America, with both import and domestic auto manufacturers well-represented among the ranks of cars that eclipsed a 40 MPG highway rating.

The high-MPG imports were lead by the Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel at 50 city / 67 highway, the Datsun (Nissan) Sentra at 48/62, and the Honda Civic at 46/59. The top of the charts included the Toyota Starlet, Renault Alliance, Isuzu I-Mark, and the Audi 4000 Coupe.

American auto manufacturers hit a high point with the Chevy Chevette and Pontiac 1000 oil burners at an amazing 43/60. Mopar put in some very respectable numbers with the Dodge Omni, Dodge Charger, and Plymouth Horizon, along with the Dodge and Plymouth Colts (which were rebadged Mitsubishi Precis). Ford lagged a bit behind GM and Mopar, but still managed to put a good number of Escorts and EXPs over the 40 MPG highway mark.

Amazingly, there were de-engined pony cars in the group, with four-cylinder versions of the Chevy Camaro and Pontiac Firebird landing mileage rankings of 26/42. Z-28s and Trans-Ams, they weren’t.

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Honda Element Diesel Woodie

This wickedly cool chopped Honda Element Diesel Woodie concept didn’t appear at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show. And it won’t make an appearance at SEMA, either. It’s actual whereabouts are a guarded secret. Power comes from a breathed on version of the diesel mill that currently powers the high-MPG diesel Honda CR-V that is currently … Read more

Dodge Ram Gas Mileage: 1994 – 2012

While the Dodge Ram is America’s third most popular full-size pickup, the truck enjoys a enthusiastic fan base. Much of this enthusiasm is due to the medium- and heavy-duty Dodge Ram’s gas mileage figures when outfitted with a fuel-efficient diesel engine option. The word on the street is that fuel-efficiency may eventually spread throughout the line.

The 2010 half-ton Dodge Ram 1500 is available with three engine choices, a 3.7 liter V6, a 4.7 liter V8, and a 5.7 liter HEMI V8. (While a diesel is not currently available in the Ram 1500 series, one is in the works … see below.)

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