16th Jul 2007, 18:52
About the gas mileage, I had a 1989 with a 4 spd and I have to agree that they can get up over the 50 mpg range. With mine it mattered where and what kind of gas I was putting in it. I have since bought another one and it does't do quite that well, but I have seen the 50 range and know it to be quite true. I am still kicking myself in the, but for getting rid of that one, but my new one is a 91 with a 5spd and its getting 47 on the highway.
23rd May 2008, 14:52
A few months ago I bought a 90 5 speed for $500. I replaced the rack and pinion and both axles with salvaged parts. I replaced the tie rod ends, lower control arms, anti sway bar bushings, shocks and struts with new parts. Night and day on the handling. I was amazed at the simplicity of the car: mechanical clutch and steering. No A/C on this one. MPG seems to be low 40s. I usually cruise at 70 though. One odd thing I have noticed though: When I put it in gear (1 or 2) while at stop, the rpm drops. It even happens when coasting so I don't think it is a clutch issue. Anyone seen this?
9th Jul 2008, 14:00
Best car I ever had. Drove 1989 for 5 years, 48 miles a gallon. Traded for a Buick that only lasted one year. Why can't they make them today???
22nd Jul 2008, 07:42
Bought my 90 Festiva L plus new... it now has 264,155 miles on it & still driving it to work every day. Very minimal work done. Only maintenance items.
The engine has never been touched except for replacing the timing belt as recommended.
Just purchased a 93 Festiva & it needs the rubber boots (Bellows) on the steering rods. Does anyone know where I can find them without replacing the whole steering rack?
10th Aug 2008, 02:38
A poster from a year or more ago, doesn't believe the MPG many are reporting here. Here's a report he really won't believe about U.S. gallon-sized MPG.
My Festiva averaged 45MPG for over 5 years, getting 46MPG while traveling over 4000 foot mountain passes, with a 53 MPG highway high on high altitude highways east of the Rocky Mountains. Hard to believe.
As the years rolled on, my MPG tailed off with MPG becoming sporadic. Then I replaced spark-plug wires & the timing belt. Three tanks in a row, involving mountain pass travel, averaged 51.3MPG! The last tank, 50.8MPH, was obtained in mountains, where the total calculated rise & fall was 10,300 feet! Extra undetermined ups & downs might push it to 11,000 feet! Really really hard to believe.
Anyhow, for those whose vehicles' MPG have dropped & its been 60,000 miles since you changed sparkplug wires & timing belt...well, don't wait any longer... change them. You might save your engine from destroying itself from a broken timing belt, & also your MPG may go up too.
11th Aug 2008, 20:10
This guy is right. The festiva is the best car ever made. MPG can reach 53 under ideal conditions. The only thing he's wrong on is actually great news. If the timing belt breaks it will NOT tear up your engine. It can't hurt to replace it, but as the Mazda 1.3 engine in the festiva is a NON-interference engine it will not tear up the engine when it breaks.
29th Aug 2008, 10:13
Don't believe anyone that says, "these cars can't get over 50mpg!" I own a 1989 with a swapped 5-speed and have gotten 53mpg going on a 100 mile trip back to the same gas pump. After that I made a 125 mile trip and had a 20-25mph tail wind the whole way. The Festiva got 61MPG. I wish they would make a stock car able to do this.
29th Oct 2008, 21:36
The Festiva is a great gas saver. I kinda got ripped off on the initial purchase of mine, but I'm making sure I get my use out of it to recover my hurting wallet. What I think is funny is that 2 people can lift the entire back end of the ground with their bare hands, and walk it around 180 degrees.
7th Nov 2008, 21:46
I owned four Festivas, and just today got my fifth, a 93 L five speed with no air.
The two 88 four speeds had no air and averaged around 42 mpg mixed driving.
The 88 LX and 93 GL five speeds got 45 mpg average mixed driving. This was 55 mph speed limit time folks.
The guy I got my "new" 93 from said it gets 42-45 mpg highway at 75 mph... which I find hard to believe.
I had a 91 Geo Metro three cylinder five speed and got 45 mpg mixed with it, occasionally up to 50 mpg.. again 55 mph time period. I did get 63 mpg on a trip at 55 mph with some stop and go and 45 and 34 mph speeds thrown in. My 95 Metro had air and was the newer heavier body style, and it was underpowered compared with the 89-94 style. Needless to say it did not do as good on gas...42 mpg usually. This was 55 mph time period too.
I do not think the gas mileage would be as good at todays highway speeds with the little Metro's doing 3000 rpm at 60 and 4000 rpm at 80. The four speed Festivas also did the same rpms. The five speed Festiva is doing 2500 rpm at 60 and might do better than the Metro at 80 mph.
Many cars today cruise at 80 mph at 2000 rpm - 3000 rpm and aren't straining hard to do 80 mph. Drive slowly in todays cars and most any V6 will do 30 mpg on the highway.
18th Mar 2009, 09:51
MPG!! I have 1990 and I drive it back and forth to work every day. It is a 10 mile drive each way, highway and stop and go. I measured it after reading all these skeptics, on 3 tanks I got an average of 53mpg! If you do not believe me, who cares, not me. I just thought I would share some facts.
2nd Apr 2011, 13:18
I think your battery's dead. That was your starter trying to catch by the sounds of it.
25th Dec 2011, 23:41
I agree. The best mpg was 45. That is driving 55-60 mph and shifting early. Parts were cheap if any were needed.
Just two issues are present; the windows would jam going up, and rear wheel bearings would loosen. The nuts on the spindles were backward as compared to traditional vehicles. ie.. left side RH twist, right side left twist. I have 350,000 miles on one of 6 Festivas.