Honda Civic Gas Mileage: 1978-2013

From its launch in the early 1970s, the Honda Civic has earned its reputation as a frugal choice for drivers on a tight budget. The Honda Civic’s gas mileage figures have consistently topped the charts over the years, even as the car has grown in size, weight, and engine displacement. While not the most miserly with gas, current Civic Si models come with high-performance 2.0 liter engines … a far cry from the tiny 1100cc engines found in the earliest (and equally tiny) Civics.

Today’s Civic Hybrid, on the other hand, uses a much smaller 1.3 liter gasoline engine in tandem with its electric motor. While the current Civic Hybrid’s performance can’t match the Si, its gas mileage figures are quite respectable at 44 combined.

The Civic CRX HF of the late 1980s is in particularly high demand from Honda enthusiasts and prices can be quite elevated, given the model year. Part of the secret behind the the high-MPG HF models is their low weight … the HF cars are lighter than their stable mates making them particularly attractive for the drag racing crowd. The power-to-weight ratio that delivers excellent gas mileage can be easily raised with an engine swap that delivers remarkable times in the quarter mile. 2012 marks the return of the HF designation.

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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

Chevy Corvette Gas Mileage: 1978-2009

From its debut in 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette has endured as America’s sports car. Unmatched by the competition, today’s Corvette delivers a legendary package that combines exhilarating acceleration, exuberant handling, iconic style, and most surprisingly, respectable highway gas mileage.

Although the classic Corvettes of the sixties and seventies were known to drink copious amounts of fuel (most notably the multi-carburated big-block beasts), today’s fuel-injected 6 liter Corvettes are downright miserly by comparison.

Owners of the highest horsepower modern 7.0 liter Corvettes pay a slight penalty in gas mileage for the extra performance, it’s hardly a drop in the bucket of petrol, and downright remarkable for the level of performance. The standard 6.0 liter Corvette is no slouch by any means, as it delivers highway mileage figures in the high twenties and can flirt with 30 miles per gallon on the open road when driven with a steady foot and a bit of restraint.

Okay, so if you’re thinking about buying a Corvette, gas mileage might just be the last thing on your mind. But it’s more fuel for the fire, so to speak, as you try to sell the acquisition to your significant other. “And gee honey, did you know that the Corvette is good for 28 miles per gallon on the highway? That’s 30% better than the SUV …”

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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?

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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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