I’m trying to find out about what the best years/makes would be for Hondas and Toyotas in terms of fuel efficiency, dependability and comfort. Does anyone have any ideas?
Please give us more info on budget and how you’ll use your car. Most all Hondas and Toyotas are pretty reliable. What ones do you like?
Fuel effieciency is mostly a matter of engine and transmission. Just pick the samllest engine (base 4 cylinder) and if you like to shift gears get a manual gearbox. Avoid any “sports” models; they have larger engines and will use more gas. They also usually have very expensive tires andd wheels. Avoid sliding roofs and other extras you don’t need.
Generally the latest models have the best fuel efficiency, unless you go back 15-20 years when those cars and their engines were a lot smaller.
Early 2001+ Hondas had poor transmission, so buy one post 2004 I would say. A good used Mazda Protege would be an excellent car as well.
In all cases, have the vehicle checked out by a COMPETENT mechanic; Any fuel savings will be quickly eaten up by an unexpected repair.
Though individual years may vary slightly by design intent, Hondas and Toyotas like MOST makes are all getting more fuel efficient, dependable and comfortable. Buy the newest you can afford with the options you want and generally, you get the best car made in that make. So 2010 is my best advice. It will definitely outlast a 2000 model :=).