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My wife's goin' for groceries car is a 2001 Echo, automatic, with less than 30,000 miles, bought new. I use it when the Prius is out for repairs (ran into a post) or once a month to 'scrape the rust of the brakes.' Otherwise, it just sits on the driveway.
We have no expectations except that it start when we want to use it and drive OK. It is still on the original tires. I do change the oil once a year whether it needs it or not.
2001 was a good year, I had a 2001 Saturn SL manual, it averaged 36 city and 44 highway. Only had 2 problems during the 122K miles. It was SMALL, you had to get out to take off your coat, and it burned oil, about 1 quart per 3000K miles. Incidentally the 2001 Echo and Civic HX were my two other choices, for fuel efficient cars that year, but could not get the price agreement with the dealers.
I have a 2005 Honda Civic HX (manual). The EPA estimate was 38-city/44-highway at the time, but has been revised to 31-city/39-highway. I faithfully tracked its FE, and it was averaging 44. My computer's hard drive went bad, so I lost my spreadsheet. I have been keeping track ever since getting my 2006 FEH 4WD. My Civic is averaging 46. I have a 2-hour, 63-mile commute, 5-days a week that is ideal for achieving the EPA highway estimate. It has been a good car as far as FE, which is the reason I bought it. I have not been real impressed with the build quality though. However, it is 40-months old with over 84,000 trouble-free miles (knock on wood).