Back in 1987, when I first started driving, I had a 1967 Dodge Coronet. It got 17 miles per dollar (mpd). That car had horrible mileage, a cranky carburetor, and generally drove like the tank it resembled.
When I got back from my first tour in Korea in 1992, I got a cheap Toyota. With advances in technology, I was able to average 25 mpd. Of course, I had rare need for air conditioning in Monterey, but that 25 mpd was mostly city driving.
My next car, the Dodge Neon, was a victim of a slight rise in gas prices, so I only got 23 mpd when I first got the cute little thing in 1995. By the time I moved on to the next car, I was only able to squeeze 17 mpd from the Neon.
The Ford Contour (crappy car, don’t ever get one) I got saddled with in 2000 made a then-sad 15 mpd. Power locks, air conditioning, but otherwise a simple auto.
Now we’ve got these insane fuel prices, and I drove to and from Dallas this weekend. The previous week, with commuting the primary fuel usage, I only made 7 (seven!) mpd. The highway trip made things slightly better, with a massive 11 mpd.
Of course, even a Toyota Prius would only average around 15-17 mpd nowadays. I don’t even want to do the math on that old Coronet (OK, fine – it would be five mpd). I think my “Check Economy” light is flashing…