Need new/used car advice


We’re a family of three. Back in January, we bought a 2003 Toyota Solara in great condition with low mileage. (We also have a 2001 Toyota RAV4.) Unfortunately the gas mileage is pretty lousy on the Solara (17-19 mpg). With gas prices skyrocketing, our monthly bill is insane. We love the V6 Solara, but it has to go. We don’t want to spend a lot of money(a new Prius is out of our range). Any suggestions for this Japanese car-loving family for under $15K?


Where do you drive the car? City or highway? If this is highway driving, something is wrong. The mileage is about the new EPA estimate for city driving.

If you drive in the city, consider a used Prius.


that’s pretty lousy mileage. You should be in the low 20’s at least. I’d say something is wrong with the car. My mileage is almost that (16-17) and I drive a pickup with oversize tires and part-time 4wd. Get the car checked or check you driving habits.


Do you still owe anything on the Solara? If you owe more than the car is worth, it is definitely not worth getting rid of, as you’ll be paying for the Solara AND your new vehicle.


I own a 2001 Dodge Stratus (smallest engine) and average 19 - 23 around town and have done as well as 35 on the road. Your driving habits need examining.


That’s simple. You want good mileage? Buy a Corolla.


Your driving is likely pure city. There is nothing wrong with your driving style, just type. Whatever you buy look at the city figure not the highway one.

Camry Solara revised EPA #'s are 17city/25MPG highway with the V6.


Honda’s ultimate high mileage champion would be the 1988-1991 CRX HF - - - 50mpg without any new fangled hybrid drivetrain junk :wink:

Do you require the room of a Solara? You can get a 2nd gen MR2 and get between 25 and 35mpg (don’t get the turbo if you’re going for mileage), and you get the bonus of t-tops and people all over the place admiring your “Ferrari” :wink:

Otherwise, any civic or corolla would give you decent mileage - - even the highest performance Civic, the Si, gets better mileage than you’re getting.


Or a Corolla wagon (aka Matrix) if you want more usable space.


Look for something with a four cylinder instead of a six. You should find plenty of good used foreign and domestics in the $15K range.


I think the 2 door Yaris is neat. It is definitely small.


Do you expect to get as much money selling the Solara as it will cost to buy another car? If not, how much do you expect to have to add into the deal? Take that amount and figure out how much fuel that will buy, then figure out how many miles it will be before the payback occurs. I bet it will be a long time.

Good luck.