Help me choose a gas saver please

a fellow construction worker was complaining at "just" 40 something mpgs in dead of Pa winter, says he sometimes gets almost 60- thats 60 mpg in moderate weather!! it was an early 2000 model + prolly like my 1.8T 2001 gasser i had NO rust in over 10 years + 200 thou in salty Pa. i averaged 35 mpg stock 150 hp 162 tq + still 30 mpg with 275 hp + 300 TQ. good luck as over pricing is at an all time high thanks to our current governing + other issues i cant mention!!
 
Of course that price is doubled now...
Yeah.. And honestly as far as gas savers go it really isn't one. My average over 10k miles on Fuelly is 25.3 with a best of 31... Granted I drive it hard and mostly in town. The later years with the 6spd get dramatically better hwy mpgs. Mine is a 5spd manual and is running 3500rpm at 80mph.
 
Hey guys, as the post title says, I'm looking for a gas saver to drive 160-170ish miles a day between school-work-babysitters-and home sweet home

I have a few things too keep in mind
1: budget- 4-6k give or take a few hundred or so.
2: I am a college student, who works a full time job while raising a family. NO NEW CAR OFF THE LOT CRAP (my parents always tell me I should go buy a 2022 or newer tacoma or whatever I'm in the market for. NO)
3: I prefer a manual transmission over an automagical, but will go with an auto if I have to.
4: just a final reminder, I don't want to go finance a new car off the lot. New cars make no sense to me. They depreciate way too much, insurance is higher, and tags are too expensive. Not to mention, I don't want to be so worried about scratching up or accidentally spilling my mtn dew.
5: let's try to keep it with somewhat reputable manufacturers (Gm, Ford, Toyota, Honda, SOME kia) not really a mopar/chrysler/fiat person, as I've never been impressed with much that they've offered other than the cummins trucks.
I'm thinking something like a corolla, focus, caviler, accord, or civic. I'm open to all suggestions though, please let me hear what you think, don't hold back.
How about a gently used VW? 2009 Eos
 
Yeah.. And honestly as far as gas savers go it really isn't one. My average over 10k miles on Fuelly is 25.3 with a best of 31... Granted I drive it hard and mostly in town. The later years with the 6spd get dramatically better hwy mpgs. Mine is a 5spd manual and is running 3500rpm at 80mph.
Wow, I would've thought that got better mileage. My BMW I get 25-26 average with an inline 6 not being nice to it, and have gotten 30 highway doing 75. Short tripping around town is more like 24-25, especially in winter since I have a short commute.
 
I just picked up a 2009 Vibe with 40,000 miles on it. 2AZ and AWD. Not crazy about the AWD but I’ll live with it. It’s had less than 2000 miles put on it in the last 3 years.
I’d be less crazy about the 2AZ than the AWD. The one in my Scion was a real oil guzzler when I got it. Still, at 40k miles you probably have a while before that starts being a problem.

I learned something new in this thread. I wouldn’t have thought a 2010 Focus was a decent choice but I might have to reconsider.
 
A 2010-11 Focus. Try and get a higher trim. They’re cheaper than Corolla/Civics - are very reliable, fuel efficient, parts are cheap and easy to maintain. That’d be my pick - it’s also fairly new vehicle to make it safer in side impacts.

I suggested that earlier, but I didn't realize the 2011 is the same generation... agree with everything you wrote.

Only downside is it's not IMO a real comfy cruiser for racking up miles in, at least the one that I have experience with wasn't.
 
I’d be less crazy about the 2AZ than the AWD. The one in my Scion was a real oil guzzler when I got it. Still, at 40k miles you probably have a while before that starts being a problem.

I learned something new in this thread. I wouldn’t have thought a 2010 Focus was a decent choice but I might have to reconsider.
I’m going to try and stay ahead of that if I can help it. I figure my daughter will drive it for a couple of years and I can sell it for at least what I paid for it if it becomes an issue after that.
 
I suggested that earlier, but I didn't realize the 2011 is the same generation... agree with everything you wrote.

Only downside is it's not IMO a real comfy cruiser for racking up miles in, at least the one that I have experience with wasn't.
The passenger side motor mount is liquid filled and often blown which gets the interior buzzing pretty good, especially if its cold out. I can't say I've been in a 2008-11 Focus, but have been considering them too. They put in a lower ratio diff in the MTX75 in the lower end trims. The SES got the same higher ratio diff in the MTX75 that the earlier cars have so not quite as good on gas.
My wagon is averaging about 33mpg on fuelly, so not bad for near CRV cargo space, but not super efficient especially above 65mph.
 
I suggested that earlier, but I didn't realize the 2011 is the same generation... agree with everything you wrote.

Only downside is it's not IMO a real comfy cruiser for racking up miles in, at least the one that I have experience with wasn't.
Agree with your comment - the interior quality is typical Ford cheap of the era. The seats could use more bolstering. But it’s fairly quiet as I’ve done a few 600 mile drives in the one a family member has (‘08 S coupe stripper model with manual windows and manual outside mirrors) It keeps up with traffic - I just always thought the transmission was programmed kinda funny. It’ll kick down over eagerly instead of trying to maintain 4th unlike in my Corolla.

My biggest gripe on that car is that Ford didn’t put a trans drain plug and I’m always nervous with the rust above the transmission pan drain bolts…

That being said, if I was looking for a vehicle in today’s market for daily commuting, I’d still pick it over the equivalent Corollas and Civics.
 
03-08 Corolla is my choice. If well cared for they are just such good cars. I sold my 03 to a buddy of mine several years ago he still has it sitting at 220k. Outside of normal maintenance, it has needed a starter that's it!
 
Don’t those have the really bad auto transmission?

The one I had with a 6f35 had a real sloppy 2-3 shift that is a common problem with them. Not on the same level as the Power shift in the Focus, though.

Otherwise, my 2013 was a pretty good car, very quiet and smooth ride, good hwy mpg, reliable engine that was raucous at high rpm but quiet cruising
 
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