1 June 2011

Save at the pump: Top 10 fuel-sipping classics

As gasoline surpasses $4 a gallon in many places, more than a few people are thinking about fuel economy even in their collector cars. A weekend of fun or a long tour can turn mighty expensive in a 12 mpg muscle car. Most of the cars on our list are remarkably frugal and major attention-getters in their own right. Don't believe us? Go to any car show where there's an Isetta and a Ferrari and look at where the crowds stop. 

The following is a list of some of our favorites — all are capable of returning well over 30 mpg around town according to contemporary road tests.

  1. Crosley Hot Shot — 48 mpg
  2. BMW Isetta — 44 mpg
  3. Honda S800 — 42 mpg
  4. Fiat 850 Spider — 38.5 mpg
  5. Lotus Elite — 38 mpg
  6. Nash Metropolitan — 37.5 mpg
  7. Austin-Healey Sprite — 36 mpg
  8. Morris Minor — 35 mpg
  9. MG Midget — 35 mpg
  10. Fiat X1/9 — 34 mpg

Off the list, if cost were no object, we’d probably look for a slightly scruffy but mechanically sound Porsche 356 sunroof coupe. The combination of reliability and practicality is hard to beat at about 30 mpg.

If you want to buy American, the Cosworth example of the much-maligned Chevy Vega is an interesting choice. Sold from 1975-76, only 3,508 were produced. Apparently, there was little demand for a Vega that cost nearly as much as a Corvette. Still, it’s quicker than a BMW 2002tii (although build quality is not in the same universe) and new ones occasionally show up at auctions with almost no miles on them. They also get close to 30 mpg.

Finally, if you’re looking for your favorite Detroit muscle car on the list, you’ll be disappointed: Single-digit gas mileage was the rule when gas was thirty cents a gallon. You will be surprised to discover, though, that Car and Driver magazine reported that the new Corvette is capable of delivering almost 27 mpg in real world driving.

155 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Caroline I thank you humbly for sharing your widsom JJWY June 7, 2011 at 01:59
    I thank you humbly for sharing your widsom JJWY
  • 2
    Maggie Good point. I hadn't thgouht about it quite that way. :) June 7, 2011 at 01:59
    Good point. I hadn't thgouht about it quite that way. :)
  • 3
    Kapri Thanks alot - your answer solved all my problems after several days sutrggilng June 7, 2011 at 14:39
    Thanks alot - your answer solved all my problems after several days sutrggilng
  • 4
    Ron Washington June 9, 2011 at 13:22
    How can you not list the Citroen 2cv6? 50 mpg ( 2 cyl - 29HP) 70mph top speed.
  • 5
    Ted Motor City June 9, 2011 at 13:25
    Well, yes a high-torque, high-horsepower performance built 'muscle car' will get single digit mileage but my properly tuned 1959 Cadillac gets 17 mpg with a/c on going 70 mph down the highway. An article as such seems to be written with a particular 'slant', please be sure to look at a topic from all sides - many pre-emission cars get very reasonable double-digit mileage.
  • 6
    Ted Motor City June 9, 2011 at 13:25
    Well, yes a high-torque, high-horsepower performance built 'muscle car' will get single digit mileage but my properly tuned 1959 Cadillac gets 17 mpg with a/c on going 70 mph down the highway. An article as such seems to be written with a particular 'slant', please be sure to look at a topic from all sides - many pre-emission cars get very reasonable double-digit mileage.
  • 7
    Rodger Martin Newport, RI June 9, 2011 at 13:28
    My 1963 Daimler SP 250 gets 30 mpg on the highway cruising at 65 mph. It has a 2.5 litre (152 cu. in) 140 bhp Daimler hemi V8!
  • 8
    Charles Sallia Dundee, Oregon June 9, 2011 at 13:35
    It might be worth noting as well on this subject that Studebaker consistently won the Mobil fuel economy runs for decades.
  • 9
    Rich Florida June 9, 2011 at 13:36
    How about the original Fiat 500 / 126 or the Autobianchi A112 / Lancia A112?
  • 10
    Don California June 9, 2011 at 13:38
    I liked you last comment: "the new Corvette is capable of delivering almost 27 mpg in real world driving" -- HAH! Not in MY world driving THAT car!
  • 11
    Bill Brown Arlington, Texas June 9, 2011 at 13:40
    Some great cars with great gas mileage!
  • 12
    Bill Leake Evergreen, CO June 9, 2011 at 13:44
    Isn't the Vega the one with the heated rear window ... in order to keep your hands warm while pushing it?
  • 13
    David Elliott Sal tLake City, Utah June 9, 2011 at 13:50
    I have been restoring a 1983 Volkswagen Desiel Caddy Pickup (RabbitPickup) and getting 46 miles to the gallon around town and 50 miles to the gallon on the highway.
  • 14
    dave Pittsburgh June 9, 2011 at 13:50
    http://www.topgear.com/uk/videos/tiny-apeel How about the 100 mpg+ Peel 50?
  • 15
    Dimitri Fotos Annapolis June 9, 2011 at 13:54
    My Volvo 1800s (1967) gets 36 mpg on road. Su carbs, 2 L. motor.
  • 16
    Ralph Matkin Los Angeles June 9, 2011 at 13:58
    I owned a 1969 Austin-Healey Sprite (1971-73). Maintained it rigorously to factory tuning (etc.) specs. Best MPG it ever achieved was approximately 30 MPG, rather than 36 reported in the article -- 7 gallon tank, max 210 miles.
  • 17
    Michael Attwood Oregon June 9, 2011 at 13:58
    Don't forget the Lotus Elan. The Elite is also one of our favorites, but our Elan also gets over 30mpg in normal driving, while giving the option of very quick motoring whenever its wanted. Lotus certainly got the car to ride phenomenally well for such a light brilliant handling car - we've done some long trips with no fatigue. (It's a FHC, which helps.)
  • 18
    ROBERT MCCULLOUGH Valley Grande Alabama June 9, 2011 at 14:16
    Although 1992 is not antique, my Geo Metro get's 50mpg-----3 cyl. 1 L. 5 speed. think about it-- it's been done before!!!!!
  • 19
    Bernard Siegal Dallas, TX June 9, 2011 at 14:16
    My Citroen 2CV betters even the Crosely at close to 50 mpg. Certainly more usable than the Isetta since I can cruise at about 65 mph.
  • 20
    gene webb hollywood,al35752 June 9, 2011 at 14:37
    What is a fair market value of a 1950 mercury coupe 80 persent restore. thank and have a great day.
  • 21
    John Bazzano Northern California June 9, 2011 at 14:58
    What happened to Triumphs? I'm getting 34mpg on the road with my TR2. Factory says I should get 32.
  • 22
    Doug White North Carolina June 9, 2011 at 15:23
    I am surprised that the high reving Honda S800 gets over 40 mpg. I have recently rebuilt one and will be interested to see. My impression was that they were not so fuel stingy.
  • 23
    Allan Wideman Missouri June 9, 2011 at 15:57
    I just returned from a 400 mile trip to the VW FunFest this weekend and averaged 35MPG in my 1962 VW bug.
  • 24
    Jonathan Ortiz Sacramento, CA June 9, 2011 at 16:08
    What? No Porsche 914?
  • 25
    James Russell Buckeye,Az June 9, 2011 at 16:13
    I was really hoping to see a nice Karma Ghia on the list
  • 26
    RE Morris Broken Arrow OK June 9, 2011 at 16:15
    There is a glaring omission: 1972 Honda 600 sedan (AN600). Consistantly get 42 in town.
  • 27
    JohnOlson Minneapolis June 9, 2011 at 16:22
    InthebackgroundofyourFiat850isablue240DMercedes-Benz...definitelyoneoftheeconomykingsnotonlybecauseofhighMPGbutingrediblylowmaintenance,andstructureablesafety.Thislastpointstandaoutloongattheothervehiclephotos.[Oddly,whentypingthsesesentencesthespacebetweenwordswouldnotfunction,thoughtitworksonmycompiuterineveryotherappiclation.John]
  • 28
    JohnOlson Minneapolis June 9, 2011 at 16:34
    In the background of your Fiat 850 is a blue 240D Mercedes-Benz...definitely one of the economy kings not only because of high MPG but incredibly low maintenance, and structural safety. This last point stands out compared to the other vehicle photos.
  • 29
    Lou Tull Medina, Ohio June 9, 2011 at 16:42
    I think you missed my Geo Metro LXI. On a bad day I get around 40 mpg and some of them with the manual transmission will get over 50mpg. My Geo has a 3 cylinder FI with automatic and Air Conditioning. Check the Metro Club on Yahoo Groups. Thanks
  • 30
    Sam Bass Everett, Washington June 9, 2011 at 16:56
    Yes what did happen to Triumph? I get 35 to 40 MPG in my 1966 Triumph (Herald) Sports 1200. That is with a 45 year old engine.
  • 31
    Mark Bardenwerper Wisconsin June 9, 2011 at 18:37
    When I drove my Europe purchased 1983 Citroen GSA break off the dock in Philadelphia back to Wisconsin a few years ago, I only used 22 gallons of gas. 1300 CC air cooled with hydropneumatic suspension. In other words, slightly smaller than a Pinto with the ride of a Cadillac! read about it at www.candokaraoke.com
  • 32
    Mark Bardenwerper Wisconsin June 9, 2011 at 18:38
    When I drove my Europe purchased 1983 Citroen GSA break off the dock in Philadelphia back to Wisconsin a few years ago, I only used 22 gallons of gas. 1300 CC air cooled with hydropneumatic suspension. In other words, slightly smaller than a Pinto with the ride of a Cadillac! read about it at www.candokaraoke.com
  • 33
    Lizabeth Touchdown! That's a ralley cool way of putting it! June 9, 2011 at 18:44
    Touchdown! That's a ralley cool way of putting it!
  • 34
    Greg McClure The Real Washington June 9, 2011 at 18:57
    If I drive at a constant speed I always get 30+ mpg in my 1959 Porsche 356A Coupe. That is, if the carbs are set up properly!
  • 35
    Janet Bailey Ohio June 9, 2011 at 19:27
    I was pleased to see the FIAT X1/9 on the list! Zipping around town "on the cheap" and getting some sun with the targa top off makes me love my X!
  • 36
    kenny tx June 9, 2011 at 19:37
    yeah, there are better cars for the list. My FIAT 500 gets over 50 mpg. I'm also a bit surprised the Isetta doesn't get better than that!
  • 37
    JIm Fox Hollywood, CA June 9, 2011 at 20:04
    You missed the thriftiest of all, the Berkeley SE 328. They get 60 miles per gallon and will go 65 MPH. I owned and raced a new 1957 and currently own a 1958. The car has a 328cc Excelsior motorcycle motor with a 3 speed and reverse gearbox. Berkeleys were made forn 1956 to 1961 in England.
  • 38
    dvsuton san diego June 9, 2011 at 20:09
    Like all Hondas, even today, that s800 would be a pile of rust within the second year of ownership. My wifes 2009 Odyssey started having surface rust on the doors and tailgate after twelve months. That, along with two transmission rebuilds before the 20k mark has soured me on japanese imports.
  • 39
    dvsuton san diego June 9, 2011 at 20:09
    Like all Hondas, even today, that s800 would be a pile of rust within the second year of ownership. My wifes 2009 Odyssey started having surface rust on the doors and tailgate after twelve months. That, along with two transmission rebuilds before the 20k mark has soured me on japanese imports.
  • 40
    Ken Washington June 9, 2011 at 20:27
    Ihavea58NashMetropolitanthatgetsaround30mpg
  • 41
    DanRisz Az June 9, 2011 at 20:32
    How could you leave out the Austin Mini?
  • 42
    Randy Frantz Pennsylvania June 9, 2011 at 21:53
    Please don't overlook my VW Beetle. 30MPG average, 36-37 MPG highway.
  • 43
    James Ca. June 9, 2011 at 22:10
    Now, let's not be so tough on the cars from the muscle car era--not all were hogs. My '64 Tempest (215 inline six) returns an easy 26 MPG on the freeway, and one can be very comfortable while doing it!
  • 44
    James Ca. June 9, 2011 at 22:10
    Now, let's not be so tough on the cars from the muscle car era--not all were hogs. My '64 Tempest (215 inline six) returns an easy 26 MPG on the freeway, and one can be very comfortable while doing it!
  • 45
    James Ca. June 9, 2011 at 22:10
    Now, let's not be so tough on the cars from the muscle car era--not all were hogs. My '64 Tempest (215 inline six) returns an easy 26 MPG on the freeway, and one can be very comfortable while doing it!
  • 46
    James Ca. June 9, 2011 at 22:11
    Now, let's not be so tough on the cars from the muscle car era--not all were hogs. My '64 Tempest (215 inline six) returns an easy 26 MPG on the freeway, and one can be very comfortable while doing it!
  • 47
    Ian Frazer Kilpatrick British Columbia June 9, 2011 at 22:24
    I STILL THINK MY 2002 PONTIAC FIREBIRD TRANSAM CONVERTIBLE WITH A LS1 AND 6 SPEED GETS AT LEAST 30 MILES PER CANADIAN GALLON AND IS A MUCH BETTER CAR. AT SIXTY MILES PER HOUR IN 6TH GEAR THE CAR IS TRURNING OVER UNDER 1700 rpm. AT 5O MPH IT SHOWS 1100 rpms AND. IT STILL HAS ALL THE POWER ANYONE NEEDS.
  • 48
    James Ca. June 9, 2011 at 22:26
    Now, let's not be so tough on the cars from the muscle car era--not all were hogs. My '64 Tempest (215 inline six) returns an easy 26 MPG on the freeway, and one can be very comfortable while doing it!
  • 49
    Brian Todd New York June 9, 2011 at 22:41
    My 1959 King Midget gets better than 60 mpg around town. My 1950 crosley wagon only gets about 25 mpg around town.
  • 50
    BobBerghult Warner.Robins,GA June 9, 2011 at 23:14
    My.1964.Sunbeam.Alpine.gets.35.MPG.all.the.time.
  • 51
    John Hunter Dailey North Carolina June 9, 2011 at 23:39
    The Datsun 280ZX had an EPA rating of 26 mpg on the highway and 21 in town. It also had a 21 and 1/8th gallon gas tank.
  • 52
    John Hunter Dailey North Carolina June 9, 2011 at 23:39
    The Datsun 280ZX had an EPA rating of 26 mpg on the highway and 21 in town. It also had a 21 and 1/8th gallon gas tank.
  • 53
    Paul SE Louisiana June 10, 2011 at 13:40
    I had a 72 MGB with a factory overdrive in third and fourth that got phenomenal mileage--around 40. Still, that little Crosley is a hoot!
  • 54
    Michael Albers North California June 10, 2011 at 01:50
    As a enthused hagerty classic car owner, I was excited to see this headline. But surprised actually that my car wasn't listed - the original Fiat 500. On my 1967 Fiat 500F, I get at least 45-50 MPG. Yes it's a 2 cylinder, but well ahead of its time in fuel consumption. It makes for a great jawdropping comment when I mention it. Thanks for a great article!
  • 55
    Bob La Mar Half Moon Bay, CA June 10, 2011 at 02:39
    You have left off one of the greatest classics of all . . . The iconic Citroen 2CV!
  • 56
    Lee CT June 10, 2011 at 16:25
    Our stock 1969 Porsche 912 coupe averages 30 mpg.
  • 57
    malcolm vt June 10, 2011 at 06:55
    The first Honda CRX gets up to 70 mph . Still the highest mph car made .
  • 58
    malcolm vt June 10, 2011 at 06:56
    The first Honda CRX gets up to 70 mph . Still the highest mph car made .
  • 59
    anthony dicarlo new castle, pa June 10, 2011 at 07:04
    u r missing the 1990/91 geo metro convertible...48 miles to the gallon. fun two seater car and super kool. rebuilt one for my wife and everyone wanted to buy it. found another covertible and going to rebuild it too.
  • 60
    gary a. foote long island, ny June 10, 2011 at 07:27
    I have a 73 karmann ghia that gets better than 30 mpg about town when there's no winter additive to the gasoline reducing milage. My 77 spitfire doesn't do too well when it comes to mpg, but it's fun to drive.
  • 61
    Steven Pugh Mississippi June 10, 2011 at 07:40
    I get almost 20 MPG in my 1967 Camaro RS/SS 350 Coupe on the highway. If i run the factory air, I get about 18 MPG. Not bad for Detroit muscle...
  • 62
    Clark Kirby Arlington, TX June 10, 2011 at 19:58
    Bill Leake: The car that is mentioned in the article is not the Vega, it is the '75-1/2 & '76 Chevy Cosworth Vega, which is a completely separate model. These expensive cars were among the most dependable cars ever built. In fact, a Chevy Cosworth was the only American-built 2-wheel drive car to have finished the brutal 1977 London to Sydney Rally. After the rally, the car was driven across the continental U.S. to it's home in Virginia, therefore circumnavigating the globe, without any drivetrain failures.
  • 63
    T G Brandl Hope, IN June 10, 2011 at 08:35
    Saab Sonnets get above 30 mpg.
  • 64
    Fred Syrdal (editor-Crosley Quarterly) Sunny Minnesota June 10, 2011 at 09:19
    Remember that a Crosley Hotshot won the 1st Sebring Index of Performance Collins Trophy with an average speed of 52MPH at 35MPG for 312 miles. Howz that for fun on a budget?
  • 65
    Jack Brokenshire Mount Hope, Ontario Canada June 10, 2011 at 09:38
    We in Canada get 20% better mileage than those listed as our gallon has 20% more volume than the US gallon !
  • 66
    Loren Rockford Michigan June 10, 2011 at 21:40
    My 1964 corvair monza convertable will still get 31 mpg highway
  • 67
    Will Seymour western new york June 10, 2011 at 09:43
    what about the classic mini? I get 38-42 MPG with a twin carb 1275. a 850 or 1000cc tuned for economy can get 50+
  • 68
    David Taber Wheaton,Illinois 60189 June 10, 2011 at 21:48
    I have a 1961 Karmin Ghia convertible that gets 38 MPG traveling from Mercer,Wisconsin to Wheaton,Illinois
  • 69
    Will Seymour western new york June 10, 2011 at 09:49
    What about the classic mini, I get 38-42 with a twin carb 1275, a 850 or 1000cc tuned for economy can get 50+ and they made 5,000,000 of them
  • 70
    Kahlil Rinaldi Northern Arizona June 10, 2011 at 09:54
    The VW Bug or the Karmann Ghia with the 36hp motor or the 40hp motor should have ranked pretty high? Last I checked the mpg would have been between 35-40.
  • 71
    Richard Clarkson New Jersey June 10, 2011 at 10:19
    Triumph Herald ?more popular than most cars on the list.130,000 made.I would accept a Spitfire ad an alternate though. But it wa a 4 seater ,which more than qualifies it for this list..How about a Lotus Cortina ?
  • 72
    Duncan Stewart FL June 10, 2011 at 10:58
    The Vette may be able to do 27 mpg, but at $61K, might be beyond many, while for half that, a new Mustang V-6 with 305 HP delivers 30mpg. not as exotic as a Vette but still a sporty, quick, convertible under $30K and 30mpg too!
  • 73
    Bob Warren AZ June 10, 2011 at 11:04
    My Corvair Corsa convertible with the top up from Atlanta to Phoenix averaged 25.2 mpg. Ok, not 30mpg plus, but maybe an honorable mention? I still get 20-21 mpg in town with the top down.
  • 74
    Peter Balazsy New Jersey June 10, 2011 at 00:04
    I own a 1993 Corvette coupe LT1 350ci engine.with a 4/speed automatic transmission w/over drive. I repeatedly get 30-mpg on long hi-way trips.The last 2k mile round trip I took to St. Louis from NJ (1k miles door to door) I got 31mpg going out there in the daytime and 29-30mpg returning at night in heavy rains.
  • 75
    Peter Balazsy New Jersey June 10, 2011 at 00:05
    I own a 1993 Corvette coupe LT1 350ci engine.with a 4/speed automatic transmission w/over drive. I repeatedly get 30-mpg on long hi-way trips.The last 2k mile round trip I took to St. Louis from NJ (1k miles door to door) I got 31mpg going out there in the daytime and 29-30mpg returning at night in heavy rains.
  • 76
    Peter Balazsy New Jersey June 10, 2011 at 00:06
    I own a 1993 Corvette coupe LT1 350ci engine.with a 4/speed automatic transmission w/over drive. I repeatedly get 30-mpg on long hi-way trips.The last 2k mile round trip I took to St. Louis from NJ (1k miles door to door) I got 31mpg going out there in the daytime and 29-30mpg returning at night in heavy rains.
  • 77
    Dave Abel Sparks, NV June 10, 2011 at 12:24
    Interesting report. But I can tell you that after changing the original carburator on my 1966 Corvette convertible for a new Holly 4160 model; I now average 16-17 MPG on the highway at mostly speeds above 60 MPH. Not bad at all for a 45 year old car that can easily run at over 100 MPH if needed...
  • 78
    Art Wegweiser Allison Park, PA June 10, 2011 at 12:38
    Almost all of these things listed were rolling death traps with hideous handling and braking and most without even lap belts. I value life and limb over 30 cents/gallon.Their disappearance was partly the cause of the continued drop in the number of accidents and fatalities but was used as an excuse for the truly stupid 55 mph speed limit. To that list I would add the Hudson Jet, Willys Aero, Henry J, Citroen 2CV, original British Mini, and that French atrocity, the Dauphine (before it fell apart). Of course most of these could not get out of their own way.
  • 79
    Gaines East Texas June 11, 2011 at 14:27
    I've never driven a Honda AN600, but the souped-up version, the Z600 gets about 55MPG consistently. Yes, it was a high-revving engine, but with factory needle bearings, it still gave good mileage. For those not in-the-know it was a 2 cyl. air-cooled 600cc gas engine. Inside the car was not designed for the tall folks - my 6'3" frame has to straddle the gearshift (protrudes from the dash) which makes shifting a little more difficult, but this car is a hoot to drive.
  • 80
    Gaines East Texas June 11, 2011 at 14:28
    I've never driven a Honda AN600, but the souped-up version, the Z600 gets about 55MPG consistently. Yes, it was a high-revving engine, but with factory needle bearings, it still gave good mileage. For those not in-the-know it was a 2 cyl. air-cooled 600cc gas engine. Inside the car was not designed for the tall folks - my 6'3" frame has to straddle the gearshift (protrudes from the dash) which makes shifting a little more difficult, but this car is a hoot to drive.
  • 81
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  • 82
    JEROME NADDLER Long Island, Ny June 11, 2011 at 17:34
    I had a 1960 Renault with a 4 cylinder 750 cc engine. used to get 45 MPG.It had 1 filter , an oil/air bath filter.
  • 83
    Steve Kent Boston June 11, 2011 at 18:09
    My 1959 220S Sedan gets 28 MPG
  • 84
    ChiliJohn Owasso, OK June 11, 2011 at 19:29
    WOW -- go Crosley, my Dad had a Crosley back in the late 50s and early 60s when all the cars surrounding him on the road were bemouths with fins, big engines and no brakes. I drive a 1960 Bug-Eye Sprite and when I am asked about it's gas mileage, I smile and say I fill it up in the Spring and again in the Fall...
  • 85
    tad florida June 11, 2011 at 10:51
    Geo metros...really? The article was about fun cars not econo shitboxes.
  • 86
    Mark Rochester June 12, 2011 at 18:07
    The H-body gets a mention, Love it! (Cosworth Vega) See more this June at the GM Nationals, in Carlisle, Pa..which is featuring them this year.
  • 87
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  • 88
    Justin colorado June 12, 2011 at 22:02
    most of the cars on the list are gayer then a bag of dicks......and why hate on the vega?
  • 89
    Hagerty Web Managing Editor Traverse City, Mich. June 13, 2011 at 16:14
    Editor's note: Readers have commented with some great additions to the list. Check back in July for "Readers respond: Top gas-sipping classics," which may just feature your suggestion.
  • 90
    Hagerty Web Managing Editor Traverse City, Mich. June 13, 2011 at 16:15
    Editor's note: Readers have commented with some great additions to the list. Check back in July for "Readers respond: Top gas-sipping classics," which may just feature your suggestion.
  • 91
    Hagerty Web Managing Editor Traverse City, Mich. June 13, 2011 at 16:28
    Editor's note: Readers have commented with some great additions to the list. Check back in July for "Readers respond: Top gas-sipping classics," which may just feature your suggestion.
  • 92
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  • 93
    Radford Thomas Roanoke, VA June 14, 2011 at 18:15
    OK, my XJ6 Series III gets all of 11.4 MPG on the highway, according to the computer readout. But what fun on all the twisting roads around here! Good thing it has 2 gas tanks.
  • 94
    Trisha Now that’s sbulte! Great to hear from you. June 14, 2011 at 06:57
    Now that’s sbulte! Great to hear from you.
  • 95
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  • 96
    Lindy Cosper Montrose CO. June 14, 2011 at 19:38
    My 1973 Porsche 911T gets 26 to 28 MPG...It got better with leaded gas.....
  • 97
    Randall Bluefield, VA June 14, 2011 at 10:22
    My 2002 Corvette gets 34 MPH is kept below 70 MPH and all highway driving !! Good ride, too
  • 98
    Gary Voleshen Hamlin NY USA June 14, 2011 at 10:27
    Lets talk practical American cars for a moment. Like the mid 70s Dodge Dart "lite" and Plymouth Feather Dusters. They came with aluminum body pieces, and a mileage-tuned slant six engine with an overdrive 4 speed standard trans. They drive well in the real world, get over 30 MPG on the highway, and parts are easy to find. Nice cars.
  • 99
    Denise Hartline Boaz, AL June 24, 2011 at 15:20
    My 1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra V8 gets pathetic gas milege, but is so much fun to drive! All my friends from school wanted to buy it. Got it off the show room floor in 1978 when I was only 14. Still have her and still love her as much today as I did back then.
  • 100
    Dusty Twin Valley, MN July 2, 2011 at 16:05
    with smart driving my 1974 Plymouth Duster will get around 24mpg, i am rolling with a slightly modded 225 slant 6, it isnt a v8 but i can drive past my buddies while they fill up...
  • 101
    Cassandra I rceokn you are quite dead on with that. July 5, 2011 at 14:34
    I rceokn you are quite dead on with that.
  • 102
    Bono I was looking everywhere and this popped up like ntoihng! July 12, 2011 at 06:47
    I was looking everywhere and this popped up like ntoihng!
  • 103
    Suzi Goodview, VA July 18, 2011 at 15:49
    My 70 Chevelle SS ragtop got me about 13 mpg's on a trip. I was in heaven! Driving around home gets me down to 8 mpg's, depending on how hard I put my foot in it.
  • 104
    jim konopliski northern california July 18, 2011 at 16:05
    Ahem!- my 3 renault r-5 (leCar) all get about 32 on the highway and 25-28 city I have a 1980, 1981 and a 1986 all with 1.4 motors and dual throat weber carbs. If you stomp on them the secondary opens up and they really do fly, great gearing gives a easy 80mph freeway speed even with a 4 speed, a much maligned and under rated car in this country
  • 105
    jim konopliski northern california July 18, 2011 at 16:06
    Ahem!- my 3 renault r-5 (leCar) all get about 32 on the highway and 25-28 city I have a 1980, 1981 and a 1986 all with 1.4 motors and dual throat weber carbs. If you stomp on them the secondary opens up and they really do fly, great gearing gives a easy 80mph freeway speed even with a 4 speed, a much maligned and under rated car in this country
  • 106
    jim hawaii July 18, 2011 at 16:10
    most kit car's get great gas mileage mine get's 25bug powered with a kit you get style get up n go & wow factor with out the high cost plus INS is cheep
  • 107
    Doug MI July 18, 2011 at 16:15
    I recall the old standard vega got one gallon per mile - of oil that is! Kidding aside, my 210hp327 camaro consistently bests 20mpg on the open road. Good mileage though is in the eye of the beholder. Anytime you can get behind the wheel of a classic car - that's "good mileage".
  • 108
    Bill Morgan Clearlake, CA July 18, 2011 at 16:24
    Hello? Triumph Spitfire Mk1 and Mk2? 1147 cc, around 40 mpg. Much more dependable and comfortable than those Spridgets.
  • 109
    craig Ca July 18, 2011 at 16:57
    When people ask me what my 64 Galaxie Convertible 390 gets in gas mileage..I always reply "I DON'T CARE!"
  • 110
    David waterbury,ct. July 18, 2011 at 17:33
    I drive a 1972 vw super beetle and I average 32 mpg,very reliable and great comments everywhere i go,what could be better
  • 111
    Charlie North branch, Mi July 18, 2011 at 18:00
    I drive My GTO only about a 1000 miles per year so why think about gas mileage!! Just have fun doing it. My boat uses more gas than that..LOL!!
  • 112
    Charlie North branch, Mi July 18, 2011 at 18:01
    I drive My GTO only about a 1000 miles per year so why think about gas mileage!! Just have fun doing it. My boat uses more gas than that..LOL!!
  • 113
    Fred Liverpool, NY July 18, 2011 at 20:02
    Get rid of ethonal it is bad for all cars
  • 114
    Tom Balser Zephyrhills Florida July 18, 2011 at 22:48
    We own a 1966 mustang with a 200 cubic inch inline six , that delivers 27 miles to the gallon at high way speeds , a real American classic with excellent gas mileage
  • 115
    Tom Balser Zephyrhills Florida July 18, 2011 at 22:49
    We own a 1966 mustang with a 200 cubic inch inline six , that delivers 27 miles to the gallon at high way speeds , a real American classic with excellent gas mileage
  • 116
    Peter Bermuda July 18, 2011 at 22:58
    My first car was a Fiat 850 coupe. I got 50 mpg with that car - I loved it - but cruising in Canada in the 70s at 65 mph was not fun.Now I have a 2003 VW Jetta 1.8T manual tran. I get 40 mpg average city/highway. I am easy on the pedal and coast to the stop lights in neutral.
  • 117
    Terry Oceanside July 19, 2011 at 13:27
    I doubt if some of these cars would do quite that well using modern mileage testing. I did, however, have a C6 Corvette which regularly got in the 27mpg range on the highway. Unfortunately, that went to hell around town!
  • 118
    Dale Ellard United States July 20, 2011 at 13:37
    My '70 MGB consistently gets 32+mpg on road trips. Even before I installed OD, I got 30. All original from bumper to bumper. Is that unusual?
  • 119
    Ron California July 20, 2011 at 17:56
    All of the 144ci Falcons got 33mpg!
  • 120
    Ron California July 20, 2011 at 17:57
    All of the 144ci Falcons got 33mpg!
  • 121
    Mark Syracuse NY July 20, 2011 at 10:50
    My 1984 Mercedes Benz 190D 42 mpg highway.
  • 122
    Mark Syracuse NY July 20, 2011 at 10:52
    My 1984 Mercedes Benz 190D 42 mpg highway.
  • 123
    wayne rich shinglehouse pa July 24, 2011 at 08:42
    going to and returning from syracuse nationals i got 21 mph with my 1952 chev. mod 350, 700r4 tran. i thought that wasnt bad running octain booster in the crap gas we are buying.
  • 124
    Rush Limbaugh Florida July 28, 2011 at 17:16
    I have a 2008 Bentley Mulsanne that gets 4-6 mpg. I do not care what it gets because it is so fun to drive! Ditto!
  • 125
    Rush Limbaugh Florida July 28, 2011 at 17:16
    I have a 2008 Bentley Mulsanne that gets 4-6 mpg. I do not care what it gets because it is so fun to drive! Ditto!
  • 126
    Ted Turner Hollywood, MD August 7, 2011 at 22:44
    My 1965 Corvair 500 4dr hardtop routinely delivers 21 mpg in mixed hwy/city Hwy mileage is about 23-24 mpg with the 110 hp 164 CID Powerglide, at 55-60 mph. Very respectable for the mid 1960s, and WAY fun to drive! Not a mileage champ, but very respectable.
  • 127
    Ted Turner Hollywood, MD August 7, 2011 at 22:44
    My 1965 Corvair 500 4dr hardtop routinely delivers 21 mpg in mixed hwy/city Hwy mileage is about 23-24 mpg with the 110 hp 164 CID Powerglide, at 55-60 mph. Very respectable for the mid 1960s, and WAY fun to drive! Not a mileage champ, but very respectable.
  • 128
    Kailin I'm not whorty to be in the same forum. ROTFL September 9, 2011 at 01:37
    I'm not whorty to be in the same forum. ROTFL
  • 129
    Jayne Real brain power on dsipaly. Thanks for that answer! October 1, 2011 at 14:35
    Real brain power on dsipaly. Thanks for that answer!
  • 130
    Lynda Just what the dcotor ordered, thankity you! October 5, 2011 at 08:51
    Just what the dcotor ordered, thankity you!
  • 131
    JimP Arizona April 7, 2012 at 13:54
    I had a Datsun/ Nissan F10, same car as a B210 but front wheel drive, that consistantly got 45mpg, back in the late 1970's early 1980's
  • 132
    Bill Duff Washington April 7, 2012 at 14:38
    I owned a 1984 Ford Tempo with a Mazda 2 liter diesel. The car got an average of 42 mpg in Fort Worth Texas and an average of 55 on the highway. Probably the best car I have ever owned. Also owned a Chev Vega 1970 it got about 12 mpg about 16 on the interstate highway. Also drove a Nash Metropolitan the best it ever got was about 24 mph on a trip from Pa to Fla.
  • 133
    James Merkel Maxton, NC April 7, 2012 at 16:24
    My 2001 VW Jetta Bora TDI with manual transmission regularly gets over 50 mpg and I have got has high as 56 mpg. Granted, that is diesel, not gasoline, but still greet mileage.
  • 134
    Eric SLC, UT April 7, 2012 at 16:24
    Kind of sad that you can beat every one of these with a big, roomy, powerful, fast, comfortable, fully-loaded VW Passat turbo diesel. I love progress!
  • 135
    Old Man Williamson, GA April 7, 2012 at 17:28
    My 93 Sunbird 2.0 rag top gets me 28 mpg in town. Haven't had it on the road in forever so can't say about that. It is really a small fun car to drive. Almost as good as the fuel milage is I can park it anywhere.
  • 136
    K Kammeyer Colorado April 7, 2012 at 18:09
    Most of the cars on this list had dinky little engines and were so under-powered they could hardly get out of their own way. By contrast, my 1987 Chevrolet Sprint Turbo got 40 mpg consistently for 17 years. They only imported the turbo version into the US for one year. It was rated at 70 hp instead of the 48 hp of the standard Sprint, and it was a blast to drive. The speedo only went up to 90, for some reason, but judging by the tach I could easily top 100 mph with it. The 3-cylinder engine had beefed-up rings and bearings and just refused to wear out, even after 220,000 miles. Not the best car I ever owned, but certainly the most fun.
  • 137
    Murray Korson Yorktown Htys., NY April 7, 2012 at 19:56
    I have a 2008 Smart Car gets 40 miles to gallon
  • 138
    Phillip Jolliffe Lake ity, Fl April 8, 2012 at 19:43
    I learned to drive in a Morris Minor so when I saw a 1956 Minor for sale I had to have it, It gets well over 30 mpg and better yet another 30 smiles per mile. Note that the Morris, Midget and Sprite all had the same engine and tranny and the Metropolitan had the bigger b engine from Austin.
  • 139
    Chuck Dewey United States April 8, 2012 at 20:13
    I have had several muscle cars that got reasonable mileage. One was a 1963 Corvette with the mechanical fuel injection. It was rated at 365 horsepower and got 20-21mpg on the highway. Another was a 1967 Chevelle with the327 350horespower motor. I got around 25 mpg on the highway, and at the drag strip went 14 seconds in the quarter mile. Last was my wifes 1989 Corvette roadster. We put the power chip in the computer and got 30 mpg on the highway and a top speed of over 140
  • 140
    Ross Florida April 8, 2012 at 20:31
    Yes, in the real world ... my 2008 corvette, 6 speed manual, gets 28 MPG, highway driving ... and no that is not at 55.
  • 141
    jeff Taiwan April 8, 2012 at 21:43
    I had a 1982 Nissan Sentra that got 45 mpg. However, the 65 hp motor meant downshifting just to take an exit ramp.
  • 142
    Rob M. Portland OR April 8, 2012 at 22:47
    Another good one for the list is the Messerschmitt KR200 three-wheel bubble car built from 1955-1964. Its narrow body enabled it to get 87 MPG with a top speed of 65 MPH from its 10 HP engine. (Look it up on Wikipedia for photos and more details.)
  • 143
    Ben Ford rural Missouri April 8, 2012 at 23:38
    My 1969 RoadRunner got 17 highway. My 2000 Chevy Metro got 50mpg highway consistantly. If you have your life ins. paid up to date and your burial expenses prepaid buy the little eco cars. If you want to collect at least some of your SS benefits buy a truck, a Caddie, or a Lincoln. I have!!
  • 144
    imthegrumpyone SpringTx April 9, 2012 at 03:33
    Just proves one thing, we can do it if we want to!!!
  • 145
    default user NE CT April 9, 2012 at 08:41
    Renault Alliance was rated 53 mpg in 1983, better numbers than a prius and any cars on the list, albiet different standards.Yeah it was crap, but at least it had four wheels.
  • 146
    Rob M. Portland OR April 9, 2012 at 10:21
    Another good one for the list is the Messerschmitt KR200 three-wheel bubble car built from 1955-1964. Its narrow body enabled it to get 87 MPG with a top speed of 65 MPH from its 10 HP engine. (Look it up on Wikipedia for photos and more details.)
  • 147
    Rob M. Portland OR April 9, 2012 at 10:23
    Another good one for the list is the Messerschmitt KR200 three-wheel bubble car built from 1955-1964. Its narrow body enabled it to get 87 MPG with a top speed of 65 MPH from its 10 HP engine. (Look it up on Wikipedia for photos and more details.)
  • 148
    Lonzo White Mills, KY April 25, 2012 at 16:54
    I can't believe no one mentioned the Subaru 360... As for my personal "ride of choice", my 1962 Chevrolet (Corvair) Greenbrier van gets a consistant 23 mpg while driving it daily... but I can stretch almost 29 out of it if I really try.
  • 149
    Billy Bobby Local April 25, 2012 at 22:57
    We restored a 1986 Honda CRX with a 4 cylinder with carburation and 5 speed. Consistantly get 45mpg either at 55 or 85 mph. Go figure?
  • 150
    Billy Bobby Local April 25, 2012 at 22:58
    We restored a 1986 Honda CRX with a 4 cylinder with carburation and 5 speed. Consistantly get 45mpg either at 55 or 85 mph. Go figure?
  • 151
    SteveNorton Alabama April 25, 2012 at 23:47
    Notaclassicbut,my91grandprixSTEgets33mpghwy23citywithastock3.1lv6
  • 152
    SteveNorton Alabama April 25, 2012 at 23:49
    Not a classic but my 91 grand prix STE gets 33 mpg hwy, 23 city with a stock 3.1l V-6
  • 153
    Rick Bako April 25, 2012 at 12:28
    Amazing that they fail to mention the best cars sold in the world for high mileage... Such as the Chevy 3 Cyl Sprint (50+MPG), the Smart Car (40+mpg), the Ford Fiesta (43+MPG) the the Smart Car Deisel (60+MPG) and the VW TDI series... Maybe because they are still sold around the world, EXCEPT the USA (the VW TDI series and the SMART cr Gasoline cars being the only exception)... I have yet to hear a reason form ANYONE as to why...Which leave me no choice but to ASSUME that they get too good a mileage for the Oil Companies,
  • 154
    George Erskine Columbus Oh October 31, 2012 at 18:16
    What about the Subau 360? A tiny car with 10" tires, a 360 CC 2 stroker motor....I drove one for quite a while, dont even recall how economical it was, but rarely went to a gas station. Would love to see the mpgs on that one. Also of note would be the Citeron Mahri, King midget, Messerschmitt bubble top, Renault Dauphine, and Im sure many others.
  • 155
    George Erskine Columbus Oh October 31, 2012 at 18:21
    What about the Subau 360? A tiny car with 10" tires, a 360 CC 2 stroker motor....I drove one for quite a while, dont even recall how economical it was, but rarely went to a gas station. Would love to see the mpgs on that one. Also of note would be the Citeron Mahri, King midget, Messerschmitt bubble top, Renault Dauphine, and Im sure many others.

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