“What’s the best car I can buy?”
The question pops up quite often at family gatherings, social events, in random Facebook messages, and anywhere people find out I write for a car blog.
The answer is always the same.
“The one that makes you happy.”
Of course, people want more information than that. They want to be told which car offers the best value, best performance, best fuel economy, best reliability, and so on. Needless to say, there is no “best car money can buy.” There is a “best car for you.”
Today we’ll look at the best car to buy if you want an inexpensive used car with great gas mileage.
Even being that specific, there are variables to think about and consider. Do you do most of your driving in heavy stop-and-go traffic? Do you endure long hauls on the highway? Do you have a typical suburban commute? The answer will dictate whether a hybrid, a diesel, or a conventional gas-powered car is perfect for you.
If you’re a stop-and-go driver, the best inexpensive used car for you might be a Toyota Prius. They have proven reliability and will save money by running on electric power for at least part of the commute. These cars, like many Toyotas, seem to last forever. Plus, the first Prius came out in 2001, so there are plenty of used options out there.
Highway commuters would be better off picking up a diesel because of their longevity and high miles-per-gallon numbers on the highway. Cars with diesel engines tend to cost more than their gas-powered counterparts, but for the gas savings it’s often worth it. I’d get a used Volkswagen Jetta TDI and happily cruise for the next 200,000 miles.
If you’re more of a typical driver and do a mix of highway and city driving, your best bet might be a gas-powered car. Now this is where most bloggers and car people would recommend a Honda Civic. Sure, you could get one and be perfectly happy. But try this: Get a 2002 Saturn SL2.
I can hear the groans from here. Hear me out, though. The Saturn can be had dirt cheap, which means no car loan. It gets close to 40 mpg in highway driving, so it’ll save on your gas bill. Plus, it’s proven reliable and has lots of great reviews on CarGurus. If something does go wrong, parts are still readily available and inexpensive. If you truly want a car that’ll be reliable and save a ton of money, the Saturn is it.
What car is perfect for you?