Feb
13
1973 Dodge Colt

1973 Dodge Colt

We recently shared a list of Consumer Guide’s thirstiest gas guzzlers of 1973—you can check out that post here.

Here, we’re going to look at the most-efficient rides of that same model year. As with the gas-guzzler list, the vehicles on this list are as reported in Consumer Guide’s ’73 Auto Test magazine… the asterisk in the title denotes that there might have been even thriftier vehicles on the market in 1973, but Consumer Guide didn’t test them.

With a fuel-economy range of 24-38 mpg, the stingiest of 1973’s cars were actually a bit more efficient than the small cars of 2017. However, relative to today’s small vehicles, the compacts of 1973 were much, much lighter.

The lightest vehicle on the list below, the Datsun 1200, tipped the scales at a mere 1610 pounds. For comparison, a 2017 Nissan Versa, the lightest Nissan available the U.S., has a base curb weight of around 2400 pounds.

If you’ve spent time with any of the thrifty micro-rides on this list, please tell us about it. Be sure to note what sort of fuel economy you observed.

12 Worst Gas Guzzlers of 1973*

 

Fiat 128: 37.5 mpg

1973 Fiat 128

1973 Fiat 128

Body Style Tested: Sedan

Curb Weight: 1855 pounds

Engine: 68-cubic-inch four

Horsepower: 55

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 4.08:1

0-60 mph: 19.9 seconds

 

Datsun 1200: 36.6 mpg

1973 Datsun 1200

1973 Datsun 1200

Body Style Tested: Coupe

Curb Weight: 1610 pounds

Engine: 72-cubic-inch four

Horsepower: 69

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 3.90:1

0-60 mph: 18.4 seconds

 

Toyota Corolla: 35.3 mpg

1973 Toyota Corolla

1973 Toyota Corolla

Body Style Tested: Coupe

Curb Weight: 1935 pounds

Engine: 97-cubic-inch four

Horsepower: 65

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 3.90:1

0-60 mph: 18.6 seconds

 

Fiat 124: 34.2 mpg

1973 Fiat 124

1973 Fiat 124

Body Style Tested: Sedan

Curb Weight: 2095 pounds

Engine: 88-cubic-inch four

Horsepower: 68

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 4.10:1

0-60 mph: 15.4 seconds

 

Datsun 510: 33.0 mpg

1973 Datsun 510

1973 Datsun 510

Body Style Tested: Sedan

Curb Weight: 2015 pounds

Engine: 97-cubic-inch four

Horsepower: 92

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 3.90:1

0-60 mph: 16.2 seconds

5 Most Fuel-Efficient Cars of 1976

 

Volkswagen Super Beetle: 30.1 mpg

1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle

1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle

Body Style Tested: Coupe

Curb Weight: 1938 pounds

Engine: 97-cubic-inch four

Horsepower: 45

Transmission: 3-speed semi-automatic

Axle Ratio: 4.13:1

O-60 mph: 19.5 seconds

 

Volkswagen 113 Beetle: 29.8 mpg

1973 Volkswagen 113

1973 Volkswagen 113

Body Style Tested: Coupe

Curb Weight: 1827 pounds

Engine: 97-cubic-inch four

Horsepower: 45

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 4.13:1

O-60 mph: 22.6 seconds

Dodge Colt: 27.5 mpg

1973 Dodge Colt

1973 Dodge Colt

Body Style Tested: Sedan

Curb Weight: 2110 pounds

Engine: 98-cubic-inch four

Horsepower: 83

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 3.89:1

O-60 mph: 18.5 seconds

 

Toyota Corona: 27.7 mpg

1973 Toyota Corona

1973 Toyota Corona

Body Style Tested: Sedan

Curb Weight: 2190 pounds

Engine: 120-cubic-inch four

Horsepower: 97

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 3.70:1

O-60 mph: 16.6 seconds

 

Renault 15: 24.0 mpg

1973 Renault 15

1973 Renault 15

Body Style Tested: Coupe

Curb Weight: 2172 pounds

Engine: 96-cubic-inch four

Horsepower: 69

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 3.77:1

O-60 mph: 16.0 seconds

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