The stalwart Consumer Reports has come up with a list of a dozen or so used cars that get great mileage. The list is divided into two categories, under $10,000 and between $10,000 and $20,000. There’s no mention of tailpipe emissions, so the focus is on the price of gas, not the ecological impact of the vehicles.
The hybrid 2000 Honda Insight tops the fuel economy numbers at 51 mpg for under $10,000, but there were only about 17,000 of these cars in the country even while it was still being produced. Good luck finding one now — especially for that price. You might be better off socking your down payment away in a savings account and waiting for the reincarnated Insight hybrid to arrive in dealerships next spring.
It’s interesting to note that the cars are as old as a 1998 Mazda Protege LX and as new as a 2007 Honda Fit Sport with a manual transmission, but even more interesting is the fact that one lone American car, the 1998-2002 Chevy Prizm, made the list. It can be snagged for less than $10,000, and it gets a respectable 32 mpg.
CR, being the people’s advocate that it is, points out that the older cars on the list lack some safety features common in new cars, like ABS and side-curtain airbags. Check out MSN Autos for the full list.