20 June 2013

Fight high gas prices with these fuel-efficient classics

Forget about a mountain drive or a blast down the highway. With fuel prices still hovering near all-time highs, even a cruise down to the local car show can drain your wallet. But owning a classic shouldn’t necessitate a large shareholder’s position in Exxon. In fact, you could daily drive the following classics as they sip, not slurp, fuel.

  1. The Austin Mini was the David to the auto industry’s Goliath. This giant-slayer is a world-class rally-winning race car due to its Go-kart-like steering and front-wheel drive. Anywhere but on a drag-strip, the Mini’s razor-sharp handling, short wheelbase and quick braking more than compensate for any lack of power. Additionally, there are infinite engine choices and tuning levels, but even with a wilder setup you should see north of 30 mpg. What else would you expect from a one-liter?
  2. A more mainstream option, if you prefer a true sports car with traditional front engine/rear-wheel drive layout, comes from across the other pond: Datsun 240Z. It’s as reliable as it is pretty and is currently appreciating strongly. It features a 2.4-liter straight-six engine that is just as responsive as the chassis. Forget the Toyota 2000GT, this is the classic Japanese sports car. As an added bonus, the Z gets fuel economy on par with most of today’s sports cars: about 22-25 mpg.
  3. So too does another reliable sports car option that is also beginning to appreciate rapidly: the timeless Porsche 911. I recently drove one cross-country and back while enjoying 23 mpg. These German cars may be finicky, but once they’re running right, they’re as dependable as a Swiss watch (and much more fun). Want even better fuel economy and a lighter car? Go for its four-cylinder little brother, the 912, which is also less likely to swap ends on you if you get scared and jump off the throttle.
  4. How about the Lamborghini Countach LP400? No, it isn’t remotely fuel efficient. But the Fiat X1/9, designed by Marcelo Gandini of Bertone (who penned the Countach), and also a rear-wheel drive mid-engined two-seater, is very fuel efficient. No one will mistake its performance for that of the Countach, but it is a good-looking Italian that gets roughly 33 mpg in normal driving.
  5. Sadly (or thankfully, depending on perspective), fuel efficiency isn’t classic American cars’ forte. Most Detroit muscle doesn’t even dream about 15 mpg; big-blocks were racing engines detuned so that people could get more than four mpg, but not much. However, if you’re a fan of mean 60s steel, don’t despair: there are options that make about 20 mpg, have style and are cheaper to own and insure than their big-block brethren as well! For example, the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang could both be outfitted with six-cylinder engines, and while they certainly won’t set any speed records, they’re stylish, fun and relatively easy on gas. Just make sure you get one with a manual transmission, as the automatic will eat into that fuel economy.
  6. Finally, the Chevy Corvair. Not a muscle car, but a great, modern-looking classic that featured a rear-mounted air-cooled (oil-cooled) flat-6, just like the Porsche 911.

Go ahead, pick any of the above, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it has to be inefficient. Then hit the road!

65 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Glen overseas currently June 30, 2013 at 09:50
    Who says big blocks and fuel mileage do not go together??!!! I personally built from a scraped shell a 69 Camaro with a 396 +.030, mild cam, TH350 with 2700 stall converter and manual valve body with a 3.31:1 posi. I drove the car every day to work on a 60 mile round trip commute and averaged over 20 MPG. Thursdays at Sears Point it ran 10:50's at 130+ mph, in the same setup as I drove it to work.
  • 2
    mike united states July 3, 2013 at 13:01
    That Glenn guy is high! 20mpg in a car that runs 10 sec quarter miles. Were you driving at 45mph? Just hours to show you, it doesn't have to be true! You just have to believe its true!
  • 3
    Bob Memler Bishop, GA July 3, 2013 at 13:10
    I thought it was a very narrow list. My '75 MGB gets in excess of 27 mpg and my AH 100 gets 25 mpg. The MG is a very dependable and inexpensive way to get economical and dependable daily transportation.Bob Memler
  • 4
    Rob Indiana July 3, 2013 at 13:19
    What about the VW Beetle? They get excellent mileage and are loved at automotive events.
  • 5
    Travis Royboy Scanlan Kansas July 3, 2013 at 13:26
    On a 1300 mile trip to the Lonestar Roundup this year my 63 Ford Galaxie with a 390 in it averaged 18.8 mpg including sitting in Austin traffic for longer than she wanted to. It's possible to have a kool kustom with a big block and still be able to afford to have it on the road where it belongs. See you at a show! - Royboy
  • 6
    rlatorre schenectady ny July 3, 2013 at 13:35
    don't forget the Studebaker Lark with a Six and overdrive will get you better milage than the mustang and will seat six comfortably. Low twenties are easy on the highway. Just don't enter into a speed contest.Rlatorre
  • 7
    Ross NM July 3, 2013 at 14:10
    I have an '86 Porsche 944, and on several trips cross country I have seen between 28 - 31 mpg. Around town even with the A/C on I get 23 mpg. They aren't fast but they handle like a dream and are very comfortable. Parts are more available than for most 10-yr-old cars (and not from Porsche, so affordable).
  • 8
    Steve K New Orleans July 3, 2013 at 14:23
    Don't forget the 1965 AMC Rambler 440, six cylinder, convertible. Came with optional AC. Gets 23 mpg. Might not be the most stylish, but it is frugal, top comes down, seats fold flat, and its big enough for everyone and their toys.
  • 9
    Big Red Easthampton,Ma. July 3, 2013 at 14:38
    68 Camaro with 327 2 barrel 210 horse 25 miles per gallon with 4 speed
  • 10
    dominique metreaud United States July 3, 2013 at 15:00
    What about the lotus ,mg, triumphs Fiats. More fuel efficient than most of the cars you mentioned.Dominique
  • 11
    DRUE LAKE GASTON, (EBONY) VIRGINIA July 3, 2013 at 15:02
    I am fortunate to own a c-6 corvette. It has 436 hp and gets 24-29 mpg,depending on where and how you drive it. I have a 1980 shay, a 1929 model a commemorative roadster, 4 cylinder that runs on regular unleaded and yields about 23 mpg. My wife's crv only gets 25 mpg and my camry hybrid yields 35 mpg. So they are not "deal breakers" in the gas mileage department. Fun to drive with the top down and will not break the bank at the pump. Is this a great life or what?
  • 12
    Neil Federman Woodstock, GA July 3, 2013 at 15:10
    I own a 1966 Mustang with the 200 cid 6 cylinder engine. It gets around 15 miles per gallon. Although it may not be the fastest Mustang ever built, it still gets looks everywhere I take it & it's great fun to drive.
  • 13
    Pete United States July 3, 2013 at 15:17
    Sorry, don't buy that 396. I have built fuel efficient V8s. I built them for low R's and toque, using special features here and there. I can touch 20 on the highway with a Holley carb. Even got a Mustang to bring home 24 on one trip. But no way you get 20 or so with a 396 10 sec car. Math is math . . do it right and get the right answer.
  • 14
    Dave Randall Marblehead, Ma July 3, 2013 at 15:20
    I think you folks are wrong in that the 2000GT is THE classic Japanese sports car. There are many other cars that could have placed on this list.
  • 15
    Earl Albuquerque July 3, 2013 at 15:36
    You forgot the Porsche 914... and remembered the Fiat??? !!!
  • 16
    Matt Abela Detroit July 3, 2013 at 15:42
    I believe the writer may have something against American iron! Collectible and fun American fuel sippers include the Ford Falcon and early Mercury Comet with a long six; Dodge and Plymouth A-Bodies including the Dart, Valiant, Duster and Demon (with the ubiquitous slant six); Chevy II and Nova with a straight six; and any pre-1972 AMC product with a straight six. Jump into the 1950's for the fuel sipping Crosley or Nash Metropolitan. Into trucks? - let's not forget early Jeep CJ/MB models with a four cylinder or first generation Bronco's with a straight six. Fact is, even sub 300 cubic inch American V-8's that are properly tuned such as the Chrysler 273, Ford 289, AMC 289 and Chevy 283 have no problem pulling down 20 plus MPG on the freeway in mid size and smaller cars!
  • 17
    C. Ed Penuel Warrenton Oregon July 3, 2013 at 15:54
    You don't need those cheapo imports to get good mpg and have a classic driver. There are a lot of Ramblers,& Studebakers sixes and v-eights driven daily on the road today. Also they proved themselves in the old Mobil economy run that they used to have. Take some of the cars today and do a new Mobil economy run and they probably wouldn't be close to their advertised fuel mileage.
  • 18
    Bruce Johnson oakdale MN July 3, 2013 at 16:12
    I recently purchased a 1970.Opel GT with the 1.9 102bhp solid lifters. With 4 speed. Not only does it look like a mini corvette! It averages 28mpg.
  • 19
    Roger Florida July 3, 2013 at 16:15
    I'd nominate ANY Volkswagen, particularly Beetles that I sold as new cars between late 1960 and late 1965. My personal Karmann Ghia coupe got a consistent 30+MPG and was always driven with the pedal-to-the metal. Years later I bought a new Diesel Rabbit with a 5-speed. It was my commuter between Wasilla and Anchorage, AK. Mileage was consistently over 40MPG and again, was always driven with the accelerator flat to the floor. The early Rabbit Diesel is underrated and under appreciated . rc
  • 20
    John Hamburger Croton-on-Hudson, NY July 3, 2013 at 16:25
    I have a 1954 Ford F100 Panel Truck that I just finish in late April with a whole new drive train. A new Vortex 350 with a 9 inch rear with 3:55 gears and a 700R4 transmission. The engine puts out about 350HP. Idrove it out to Nashvile and back in May and my best MPG was 24.5MPG on Highway 81. Not bad for a truck that has the aerodynamics of a brick. And yes I was doing the 70MPH speed limit.
  • 21
    mark allard Sacramento ca July 3, 2013 at 17:14
    The best gas mileage beli gs to tbe 90-93 geo metro convertible. ..45 miles per gallon with a 5 speed. A/c was an option. I own lots of them a love them.
  • 22
    Richard Hillsboro, Oregon July 3, 2013 at 17:22
    I also must take exception with down playing American fuel economy and classics. I own a fine example of America's first Sportscar, a 1952 Crosley Super Sport. It still represents itself well at freeway speeds & manages to get about 40+ mpg in normal driving.
  • 23
    Ronnie Carr Sterling Heights, MI July 3, 2013 at 17:27
    Don't forget about the Porsche 914 and it won't swap ends on you it will gun a curve like it's on rails :)
  • 24
    Don United States July 3, 2013 at 17:39
    I've spent years searching for a nice 1962 Plymouth Valiant Signet. The slant 6 ran forever, had lots of pep, with decent mileage. Valiants wiped out the Corvairs and Falcons the one year that they raced together. Unique design.
  • 25
    steve schlott Flushing, MI July 3, 2013 at 17:49
    I can attest to the fuel efficiency of the Corvair. In May, we drove ours from Michigan to California along Route 66 and back, 5,300 miles averaging just under 30 mpg for the entire trip!
  • 26
    Marc Stockton Ca July 3, 2013 at 18:10
    Great article. I have my eyes on a 1971 Dodge Dart Swinger 2 door hardtop, with a slant 6 and those were my same comments cool car great gas mileage! Keep cruising .
  • 27
    Mike Rabideau Indy July 3, 2013 at 19:43
    What about my 1962 Nash Metropolitan? A GREAT looking car that gets 40mph! Long live the metropolitan!
  • 28
    Asa Jay US July 3, 2013 at 21:21
    I owned a 1973 Mustang fastback with a 351 Cleveland and C6 auto trans. I rebuilt the engine in Auto class in college, drove it every day to and from work 30 miles each way. I got 22 MPG. When I bought my 1971 Mach I, the engine and trans went into it because it ran so darn well and got such good mileage. Today I'm driving a 1973 DeTomaso Pantera; after a rebuild last year with a mild cam, quench heads, flat top pistons, .030 over, dual-plane aluminum intake, Holley 4V, I averaged about 19 MPG to and from the Silver State Classic Challenge last year (not counting the actual race). Who says big Iron in a muscle-car can't get decent mileage?
  • 29
    Terry Missouri July 3, 2013 at 21:44
    I love my Pinto, it is slow but gets decent mileage. Pintos are cheap to buy ,own and insure. They don't have a very good reputation but mine starts and runs great, gets a lot of looks and thumbs up. You do however need thick skin since someone always brings up the gas tank issue.
  • 30
    Geoff Seattle July 3, 2013 at 22:27
    911's! Boy the most overlooked Porsche is the 914/4 or 914/6. The 914/4 2.0L will do 25-30mpg while the 914/4 1.7L will get close to 40mpg. Great little car to drive on the Freeways or the twisty two lane backroads with the targa top off. Two trunks to stuff with gear to travel in style.
  • 31
    Chevelleman C C Tx July 3, 2013 at 23:03
    I own a 1967 CHEVELLE SS396 it has a 496 BBC hyd roller cam Edelbrock Performer RPM air-gap ' Edelbrock 800 CFM performer carb hei ignition , GM781 heads 9.6 compression TH400 wih a Gear Vender O/D 3.55 gears. I average brtween 16-18 MPG hwy & 12 in the city not using the overdrive not bad for a Big-Block Chevy
  • 32
    Barry Barnes Reno, NV July 3, 2013 at 11:04
    What about the MGB? Highly popular back then and still 10s of thousands being driven. One of my two gets 27 mpg and the other (with a modified engine) about 21.
  • 33
    Gary Santa Rosa, CA July 3, 2013 at 12:01
    It would be nice to see some restored vintage Volkswagens with the early 25 bhp or 36 bhp motors. My 1957 sunroof Beetle gets 32-35 mpg. And it still is a classic admired by many when I show her at vintage VW club car shows. I know, it doesn't get up and go like a muscle car of the same era, yet it still is a classic and was a major player in the American roads of the 50s and 60s.
  • 34
    Paul Wigton Denver July 3, 2013 at 12:01
    Not sure tis will get posted: Seems a number of my posts don't. I'd like to plug the Rover 2000 TC (P6) as another fuel-efficient classic. I regularly get ~26 on the highway, 24 in town. Even my E Type, driven at 65 mph, will return around 25 mpg.
  • 35
    TJ Calgary, Canada July 3, 2013 at 12:05
    You forgot the most obvious, a Volkswagen Beetle! A VW Beetle Convertible is surely considered a fun classic and certain models have been know to get as high as 60 mpg! My Super Beetle could also burn rubber accross the intersection and could top out at 180 km/h, all while getting over 30 mpg. Now that's got to be respectable.
  • 36
    J.K.Salser Dallas, TX area July 3, 2013 at 12:10
    Our '69 Delta Olds 88 hard-top with 455cc engine, but small carb, got about 17 mixed driving. Chevy Corvair also came with a 4 cylinder engine--making it even more economical to drive. Or, how about a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia--very sporty, handles nicely and with only a stock engine set-up will run like a scalded ape on regular gas.
  • 37
    John Buban Washington State July 3, 2013 at 12:13
    This is no bull. I had a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 two door hardtop with a 312 cid engine and a 4bbl carburetor. I entered it in an economy contest at Cal Poly University in Pomona, California while attending school there in the early 1960's. The contest went as follows. The car was filled with gas at the start by judges. The car traveled a fixed course through Pomona and surrounding area. The course contained highway as well as stop and go driving. The driver (me) and an observer were in the car. I was required to stay at about the speed limits, and the observer was required to see that I did and that I did not cheat. At the end of the course (considerable miles later), the car was refilled to see how many gallons that were burned. The course milage was known and now the gas consumption was known. I got approximately 50 miles per gallon in that car during that test. There were alot of unbelievers and they went over my car to see how i was cheating. They could not find anything. I was not cheating. In that same car, I could race my roommate in his 1957 Olds two door hardtop. He raced it at the Pomona Winter Nationals. He also raced it on the street against Corvetttes. He could always beat the 'vets on the street, but he could not pull away from me until we were doing about 70 mph. Go figure. Ofcourse, I did not get 50 mpg when racing him.
  • 38
    John Clement Keller TX July 3, 2013 at 12:13
    Don't forget about the fun, and in some configurations, sporty Rambler American! The Rogue version with the 290 V8 would still do better than 20mph and the sixes better than that. They actually look better now than they did back in the day.
  • 39
    vincent New Jersey July 3, 2013 at 12:19
    I have a 1978 amc gremlin x - levi edition - came with a rare 4 cyl. 2L Audi engine - gets around 34 mpg - love it!
  • 40
    roguev8 USA July 3, 2013 at 12:21
    The first economy car, dating back to the fifties, was the little Nash Rambler. Introduced in 1950, George Mason, President on Nash-Kelvinator, coined the term "compact car." A decade later, the rest of the American auto industry clamored to build their own compact cars. The Rambler consistently won the Mobilgas Economy run with mileage in the high twenties and low thirties. The others couldn't touch them. Larry in PA
  • 41
    Tom Steitz United States July 4, 2013 at 01:17
    You did'nt mention the most popular and most fuel effient car of the 1960's, the VW bug, shame on you, but you mention the Porsche which 90% of the population could not afford.
  • 42
    Tom Cedar Park, TX July 4, 2013 at 14:17
    My 1968 Firebird with a 400 recently averaged 17 MPG on a trip to Estes Park, CO. Wife, 3 kids, luggage and windows down the whole way in August. The 5 speed OD helped :)
  • 43
    Gordy Klug Loves Park, Illinois July 4, 2013 at 05:33
    I have a restored 1967 Opel Kadett Rallye 1.1 L with twin carbs that gets 42 mpg highway and doesn't look like a golf cart either! I first bought Opels in 1971 when gas hit a dollar a gallon. Traded in a SS396 67 Chevelle (got a whopping $800 on trade).
  • 44
    Robert Livonia, MI July 4, 2013 at 07:15
    An overlooked good MPG car that's fun to drive and easy to maintain? How about a E30 BMW. I have a 1987 325E with the 6 cylinder eta engine. Gets about 26 mpg overall and can easily get mid 30's on the highway. Of course it all depends on how you drive it and how fast you go...
  • 45
    Rebecca California July 4, 2013 at 19:24
    My 1957 TR3 with a 2 liter engine, four speed with overdrive returns around 32 MPG at 70 MPH. There are many fuel efficient British cars from the fifties, sixties and seventies that are a joy to drive, easy to maintain, and deliver great gas mileage.
  • 46
    Michael Leeder Deerfield July 4, 2013 at 07:35
    One of the most unheralded and overlooked vehicles that GM ever designed to be efficient and stylish was the Chevy II. Production began in 62 and with its unibody construction and inline six delivered 25+ mpg, and all the comfort and style of the day. Though prone to rust in the Death Valley for cars,the salt belt, there are still lots of these around and they are fantastic cars!
  • 47
    Martin Feagle Georgia July 4, 2013 at 09:04
    Had a 1968 Falcon station wagon years ago with a 200 6-cyl and automatic that averaged 28 mpg and a 1966 Falcon Ranchero that got 30 mpg with a 200 6-cyl 3 speed manual transmission. Wish I still had them both. Had a 1972 Honda Coupe that average 40 mpg. They were all easy to maintain and did not have all this computer junk we have now days
  • 48
    Dennis Tomlinson Owosso, Michigan July 4, 2013 at 09:41
    What about the VW Rabbit Diesel. I have 2 of them. Both get up to 55mpg if you stay below 65mph. They were also made in Ohio in the 80's. I also own a 1990 VW Jetta which gets 45mpg as a diesel 1.6L. As fuel keeps going up, I started collecting these vehicles. People ask me why I like to pay for the higher priced diesel fuel. I tell them that a few cents extra I spend allows me to drive 3 times the distance of an average car. In addition, I can dump a gallon or so of clean used motor oil in the tank (for free), to extend my driving range another 40-60 miles. Will never sell these and intend to keep them.
  • 49
    Bob Sherman Oaks CA. July 4, 2013 at 11:48
    There's no way a car doing mid 10's in the quarter is getting 20 mpg. Who do you think you're fooling?
  • 50
    Dennis S Tomlinson Owosso, Mi. 48867 July 5, 2013 at 11:39
    1977 to 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit DIESEL'S got up to 60mpg and were built in the US in Ohio. I have two that regularily get 55mpg if you drive below 65 mph. I am not selling either one and will keep them in the family. Can go 3 times the distance or more versus the newer vehicles available.
  • 51
    Tim Spokane July 6, 2013 at 01:23
    I had a 67 Sprite in 1974 that got 38-43 mpg when no one really cared much. The 43 mpg was after three trips from Spokane to Lewiston ID and back. I was shocked because the Lewiston grade was awesome with its multitude of switch backs and lots of '30s and '40s cars littering the hillside where they broke down on the attempt. No lack of power in the Sprite and gas was under 50 cents a gallon-- a fill up for under $5 bucks. It was a blast. A couple of times we put the sister-in-law, my wife's twin, behind the seats and went cruisin'. Try that one now! So, instead we put a roll bar in the one we have now--also a '67, but haven't really checked the mileage and no lack of power in this 1275 either.
  • 52
    Rich Rentner United States July 6, 2013 at 19:34
    So...lot's of little cars, fine for little people. What do us big guys (6'8") do for economical transportation across country? Not much to choose from here!
  • 53
    Dan Indiana July 6, 2013 at 09:44
    Hey what about a Yugo!! They are great car. If they were taken care of.. I still have one after 23 yrs.. best car Ive ever had! Mine gets about 35MPG
  • 54
    Tim McSwain Virginia July 8, 2013 at 19:57
    Don't forget the Porsche 914. It will deliver 30+ mpg with the 2.0 engine and stock fuel injection. It's also no speed demon, but it will run rings around a Fiat X19 and will give the 912 more than it can handle.
  • 55
    David Smith Pinole, CA July 23, 2013 at 17:22
    My dad's 1914 Model T gets 20+ MPG.
  • 56
    Jim Elchert Michigan July 26, 2013 at 15:16
    Always overlooked- The Nash Metropolitan. I own a 55 and get 30+ mpg. Iconic 50"s styling and great gas mileage. How can you go wrong?
  • 57
    John Ca July 27, 2013 at 14:29
    Just a reminder that this article's title never said these were the only fuel efficient cars ever made. Everyone knows there are many other fun an efficient cars out there. These are just the ones Yoav Gilad selected for the article. But I do have to agree, a 396+ cubic in motor that runs 10's in a 1/4 mile and gets 20mpg is hard to compute (just my thoughts)
  • 58
    Matt IL August 12, 2013 at 13:00
    I have a 1971 Porsche 914 with a modified 2.0L with 44 webers and it will still avg 28-30 mpg.
  • 59
    Gregg Monrovia CA June 5, 2014 at 15:29
    Studebaker was known for its fuel economy. I have a 1953 Champ coupe that got all around 24 mpg with the horrible borg-warner trans and about 27 all around with the tree-in-the-tree and overdrive. I expect 30 when i finsh putting in the 5-speed. My Lark with the 259 got 23 all around and my last long trip in my 1949 3/4 ton Stude truck, Pasadena to San Clemente, all streets, i got 18 mpg! (Couldn't give you fwy est, truck only goes 45 mph, Can pull a house, just can't pass one!) And I had a 1964 spitfire with an 1197cc that got 40 on the highway.
  • 60
    Gregg Monrovia CA June 5, 2014 at 15:30
    Studebaker was known for its fuel economy. I have a 1953 Champ coupe that got all around 24 mpg with the horrible borg-warner trans and about 27 all around with the tree-in-the-tree and overdrive. I expect 30 when i finsh putting in the 5-speed. My Lark with the 259 got 23 all around and my last long trip in my 1949 3/4 ton Stude truck, Pasadena to San Clemente, all streets, i got 18 mpg! (Couldn't give you fwy est, truck only goes 45 mph, Can pull a house, just can't pass one!) And I had a 1964 spitfire with an 1197cc that got 40 on the highway.
  • 61
    Jim C Twin Citys July 22, 2014 at 00:14
    I have a 67 Plymouth GTX. Puts out 512 Hp to the wheels, 410 gear with a 5 speed. Last time at the strip it ran 12.61 @ 112mph. Point being, on a good day it will get 8mpg in town, 10 on easy short trips. I should by that 10 sec. Chevelle just for the fuel savings.
  • 62
    Greg D IL October 9, 2015 at 13:01
    The 66 Mustang pictured has the right side mouldings but has the 65 grille in it.
  • 63
    hughie Pennsylvania March 25, 2016 at 15:53
    Incredible how not one of the inventors of the world's most sold economy cars was included! Fiat Maggiolino, Barilla, 500, 600, 850, 124, 128, 131, 132, Ritmo, Panda, Uno.
  • 64
    Bob T Cloverdale, B.C. Canada May 26, 2016 at 14:22
    1996 Volvo 960 = Economy & comfort:- I took my 960 on a trip from my home in BC to visit a relative in Tucson AZ. The total round trip was 7,200 kms. Total fuel used was 203 U.S. gals. converts to 768.5 ltrs. x 72 = 10.673 l/100 kms. or, 26.45 mpg. How's that for fuel economy on a 3 ltr straight six engine? Neither did I spare the horses, and "we were not pickin' daisies" if you get what I mean. Here's the average mpg per fill-up. 22.76mpg; 27.80mpg; 25.83mpg; 29.65mpg; 25.78mpg; 27.47mpg; 30.165mpg; 26.379mpg; 29.627mpg; 27.75mpg; 30.723mpg. Our average for the trip wasw 26.46mpg. and I think that is as good as it gets for a vehicle having a gross weight of 4450 lbs. and all this in complete Volvo comfort and safety. Had I been on a more leisurely trip and considered "economy" in my driving, I believe I could have maintained 30 mpg on most fill-ups. The 960 is an awesome road-trip car. It provides comfort and economy. I purchased it in May of 2000 with only 18,000 kms on the odometer. It still had Volvo warranty remaining. it was in pristine condition It currently has 110,000 kms on the clock. At 83 years of age myself, it is the last car I will ever buy or own.
  • 65
    jack usa/uk March 12, 2017 at 12:56
    sorry but im calling b.s on a lot of these figures. and im betting this is u.s gal,s not imperial? plus lower ron rating weaker fuel. and mostly auto trans. nah i dont think so. even though im sure most of the people saying it believe it.

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