Cars.com Identifies 20 Most Fuel-Efficient Models
CHICAGO --- As the price of gas approaches $3 a gallon, more and more car shoppers are putting fuel-efficiency near the top of their wish list. While fuel-efficiency typically takes center stage, the sticker price of the car combined with the lifetime fuel cost can offer consumers a more accurate picture of the overall savings during the lifetime of the car."Hybrid cars get a lot of hype when gasoline prices start to rise. They certainly are a great way to save money at the pump on a yearly basis and are typically better for the environment," said cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder. "However, if your overall goal is to simply save money, there might be better options."Cars.com has compiled a list of the 20 cars that give consumers the best bang for the buck based on vehicle price and the average lifetime fuel cost to operate the car. The new Toyota Yaris tops the list with a base price of less than $11,000 for a two-door hatchback and average fuel economy of 34 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. The most fuel-efficient vehicle on the road is the Honda Insight hybrid, which has a base price of more than $19,000. If gas prices average $3 a gallon for the foreseeable future, it would take an owner of a Honda Insight more than 17 years to offset the $8,000 price difference of a Toyota Yaris in fuel savings, according to Cars.com.The list was compiled by combining the base sticker price with a fuel cost estimate based on the car's average gas mileage. Fuel costs assume that the car is driven 15,000 miles per year, the percentage of highway driving versus city driving is 45 and 55 percent respectively, the cost of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.92 a gallon and the car is owned for eight years. Diesel costs are estimated at $2.96 a gallon.You can see the full list on Cars.com.