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Fuel Efficient Used Cars from $4000 to $6000

Gas-Saving Transportation from a Stable of Attractive Used Cars


In the market for a fuel efficient used car, but stretched a little thin because of the economy? With a gallon of milk north of $4, a gallon of gas hovering at $3, and a credit squeeze, it can be tough to buy the car of your dreams. Here is a collection of fuel-efficient cars that won't give you nightmares. Pricing info courtesy of KBB.com. Reliability info comes from ConsumerReports.org and fuel economy stats come from FuelEconomy.gov.

Here are the abbreviations used with these listings:

  • CR = Consumer Reports
  • EPA = Environmental Protection Agency
  • 22/29 = city mpg/highway mpg
  • AFC = Annual Fuel Costs

1. 1999 Buick LeSabre $5190

Photo © GM

The 1999 Buick LeSabre was the most popular full-size car sold for 1999 and the previous six years, yet it's still a fuel-efficient used car. Some didn't like its "fuddy duddy" design, but it will get you most places comfortably. CR rated above average reliability. City mileage at 17-mpg won't do much for you, but above average 27-mpg on the highway will. AFC-$2656

2. 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier $5185

Photo © GM

The 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier has mundane styling but don't let that turn you off. It comes available as a coupe, sedan or convertible. CR marks 2000 model average reliability. Fuel economy should be a little better for a car this size, but it's still good at 21/31 AFC-$2327

3. 2001 Chevy Metro $5400

Photo © GM

You'll never confuse the 2001 Chevy Metro for a long-distance cruiser. The Metro, which at one point was sold as a Geo Metro, is a great little car for around town commutes. No CR info available. Offers great gas mileage from a small 1.3-liter engine at 27/37 AFC-$1802

4. 2002 Dodge Neon $5305

Photo © Dodge

With the 2002 Dodge Neon, I don’t know if this is a strong enough endorsement, but I’ve got one parked in my driveway. It’s been a trouper for us from day one with only negligible maintenance issues (like headlights and a trunk latch) that I’ve been able to fix myself. CR rated average reliability, 24/31 AFC-$2065

5. 1997 Ford Probe $5245

Photo © Ford

The 1997 Ford Probe is a sporty little coupe that's quite attractive. Cheap doesn't have to mean dull – nor poor handling. The Probe has plenty of great handling. No CR info available before 1998. Good fuel economy numbers, too: 23/30 AFC-$2232

6. 1998 Honda Civic $5450

Photo © Honda
Looking at a 1998 Honda Civic?You are rarely going to go wrong with a Honda Civic, regardless of the model's year, as long as it has been well maintained. CR rated above average reliability with great gas mileage of 27/34 AFC-$1858

7. 1997 Mazda 626 $5970

Photo © Mazda

The 1997 Mazda 626 sedan is a car that’s looks have held up over the years. No CR info available before 1998, model redesigned after 1997. Good fuel economy numbers for a car this size at 23/31 AFC-$2148

8. 2000 Nissan Sentra $5985

Photo © Nissan

The 2000 Nissan Sentra provides solid, four-door transportation to get you from Point A to Point B without a lot of fuss. CR marks 2000 model average reliability. Really strong fuel numbers for a four-door sedan at 23/32 AFC-$2148

9. 2000 Pontiac Sunfire $4660

Photo © GM

The 2000 Pontiac Sunfire is a possible alternative to the Ford Probe, even though it's not up to a true head-to-head comparison. CR marks 2000 model average reliability. Fuel numbers are OK for a coupe at 21/31 AFC-$2327

10. 1997 Subaru Impreza $5320

Photo © Subaru

The 1997 Subaru Impreza is the vehicle to drive if you're used to an SUV that can go anywhere. There are few places that can thwart the Impreza's all-wheel drive. $5320 No CR info available before 1998, but 1998 model earned excellent reliability rating. Good fuel economy for all-wheel drive at 21/28 AFC-$2427

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