Originally Posted by fly135
Probably because of this....
"I drive a little more than 60 miles per day so MPG's are important."
I look at it the same way many (most?) of us look at buying a boat... If you can afford $27k for a new car you can afford the gas for it.
Aside from that, I'll make a disclaimer that I'm not a GM guy, but I don't see any reason an '80s Regal/Monte Carlo/Grand National couldn't get similar MPG to the new Regal. New Regal looks like 19/31 MPG. Compact cars in 1960 were getting over 32 MPG highway. Full size cars today are getting mid-high teens city and mid teens highway. With a fuel economy build and a modern 5 speed (or 4 speed slushbox even), there's no reason a midsize 80s car shouldn't be able to get at least high 20s to low 30s on the highway with a small block or forced induction 6 cylinder, and have a buttload more power and style than a new econobox.
Also remember MPG is a game of diminishing returns. My truck gets 10.8 MPG towing my boat. If I tweak the jetting and tuning curve and manage to squeeze 1 more MPG out of it, for 11.8 MPG it will make a big difference in my fuel expenses. If I'm riding my bike, which gets about 42 MPG, and manage to make some similar jetting and timing tweaks to get 1 more MPG for 43 MPG... I probably won't even notice the difference. For example, 10.8 vs 11.8 MPG over 1200 miles, one month of driving in this case, is $33.90 in savings. 42 vs 43 MPG over the same miles is a $2.39 saving.
Even if you're driving an old big block car getting 16 MPG (my '68 Galaxie with a low compression 460 and 3 speed slushbox gets 16 MPG highway at 70 MPH), when comparing to spending $27k on a new car you're looking at 248,000 miles before you break even when considering current gas prices. That's over 17 years to start saving money! Figure on $5/gallon gas like the media says and it's still 179,000 miles or well over 12 years before breaking even.
Those time frames get longer if you figure paying interest on a loan if you don't pay cash. As I said, if you can afford a new car you can afford to put gas in it. There is no money to be saved in buying a new car to spend less on gas. If you're really worried about saving money on transportation you need to look at an old compact car or a motorcycle.