I got 35-36 MPG on a tank of regular (87 Octane) gasoline. This was not highway, but an average of sitting in Chicago traffic and battling people from Michigan and Indiana going 75+. I should point out that for some reason our Contour gets between 23-28 MPG highway... I do not know why... we take care of it quite nicely. I must say that going from the Contour to the Cirrus was a serious upgrade... comfort, power, and reliability.
With over 140,000 miles on it now the Check Engine light has become a constant fixture... the Oxygen sensor is acting up as well as another strange code... number 12. "Battery or Computer recently disconnected." I have no idea what that means.
Overall... the Cirrus is a very nice transition from the Contour... I hope I could be of help.
I bought a 2000 Chrysler Cirrus about 9 months ago and overall I'm very happy with it. We did have to replace the tires, but I think it's not the car's 'fault', it just happens with every car. My transmission fluid was leaking a little, but I got a bolt tightened and it's all good now.
I'm just about to take it to the real challage, I'm going on a cross-country road trip with it next week, so we'll see how it's gonna do. It's good on miles, with today's gas prices, $26 fills the tank.
My only problem with it is that it takes a good while for it to speed up when going uphill. I live on a hilly area and I have to do the trip every day and I do struggle sometimes to get it up. The interior is very comfortable, although I wish there was a little more space for storage by the driver's seat. Other than that, it's a great car that I would recommend to all first-time buyers or just to somebody that likes to have a reliable car!
Seriously. You pay $3 per gallon? You're lucky then, because here in Sweden, we pay $8.75 per gallon.