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Best Deals on Used, Fuel-Efficient Cars

April 5, 2012

With gas prices averaging close to $4 a gallon, it's more important than ever to consider fuel-economy when shopping for a car.

If you drive 15,000 miles per year, each mile per gallon increase in fuel efficiency will save you around $150 in fuel costs each year.

Consumer Reports recently identified the best used car deals on fuel-efficient small cars for the 2007-2008 model years. These are vehicles that have already depreciated greatly, saving you a considerable amount.

Each model has average or better reliability, scored well in Consumer Reports' tests, and performed well in crash tests. Some of the models have been discounted by up to 40% compared to their original retail price.

Here are the recommended cars:

Make & modelMSRP (new)Selling to dealer avg priceBuying from dealer avg priceDrop in private sale vs. MSRPDrop in retail value vs. MSRP
2008 Suzuki SX4$15,870 $8,175 $10,025 48%37%
2007 Toyota Corolla LE16,3158,96011,07545%32%
2007 Honda Fit Sport15,9709,33011,35042%29%
2007 Volkswagen Rabbit16,0659,50011,60041%28%
2008 Toyota Corolla LE16,4159,81012,02540%27%
2007 Mazda3 i14,79510,01012,10032%18%
2008 Honda Fit Sport16,07010,87513,07532%19%
2007 Honda Civic EX19,51011,33013,67542%30%
2008 Scion xD17,34911,95014,15031%18%
2008 Volkswagen Rabbit18,65011,96014,30036%23%
2008 Scion xB16,60012,18514,40027%13%
2007 Toyota Prius22,17513,22015,47540%30%
2008 Mazdaspeed322,44014,80017,17534%23%
2008 Toyota Prius22,47515,17517,45032%22%
2008 Honda Civic Si29,50015,15017,70049%40%
2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STi33,49522,07025,22534%25%

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar, Edmunds, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
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Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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