2014 Jeep Cherokee Mileage Update: 9,437 Miles


Cars.com's 2014 Jeep Cherokee long-term test car continues to improve its overall average mileage after a slow start with somewhat disappointing fuel economy. The four-cylinder, all-wheel-drive Cherokee is steadily climbing toward its 24 mpg combined EPA rating. We've observed an average of 23.67 mpg after 9,437 miles using pump fill-up calculations to monitor long-term mileage, an improvement of 1.07 mpg from our previous update, which was more than 4,200 miles ago.

More on Our Long-Term Test Fleet

By Joe Bruzek | July 28, 2014 | Comments (6)

Gas Prices Approach Month of Daily Decreases


The cost of gasoline continues to slide even as the price of crude oil shows increased volatility, and Thursday marked the 26th consecutive day of lower prices at the pump, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Some daily declines during that stretch have been only fractions of a penny, but the steady slide over nearly a month has lowered the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded to $3.55, 4 cents less than a week ago and 13 cents less than a month ago. Diesel fuel declined by a cent the past week to $3.86, a 4-cent drop compared to a month ago.

Gas Prices See Sustained Slide

Oil, meanwhile, was trading at around $103 a barrel Thursday after it shot up to nearly $107 on June 25 because of worries over conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, and then briefly fell below $100 in mid-July. AAA noted that those conflicts have had little impact on U.S. gas prices. "Despite these issues, oil markets remain relatively unaffected because there has not been an impact to supply or distribution. Meanwhile, domestic refinery utilization reached its highest level of the year last week, which has helped to push gas prices lower," AAA said in its weekly analysis of fuel costs.

By Rick Popely | July 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

Gas Prices See Sustained Slide


If it seems like you're shelling out less for gasoline than in the recent past, it probably isn't just wishful thinking. Steady, widespread declines in pump prices during July have lowered the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas to $3.59, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Thursday. That's 5 cents less than a week ago and 7 cents less than a month ago. Moreover, the national average is 7 cents lower than a year ago, and motorists in many parts of the country are now paying less or about the same as they did on July 17, 2013.

Consumer, Environmental Groups Call for MPG Regulation in Car Ads

In the Los Angeles area, for example, the $4.10 average price is the same as a year ago. The same goes for the $3.57 average in the Atlanta area. Steep declines in the Great Lakes area in recent weeks might have some motorists doing a double take when they check pump prices. In Illinois, the average price has fallen 27 cents during the past month to $3.67, 29 cents lower than at this time last year. The price drop is more dramatic in the Chicago area, falling 33 cents in the past month to $3.79, 38 cents less than a year ago. Statewide averages dropped 12 cents in the past week alone in Indiana and Michigan to $3.45 and $3.60, respectively. Indiana's average is 42 cents lower than a month ago and 37 cents less than a year ago, and Michigan prices have dipped 34 cents in the past month and 32 cents year-over-year. In Ohio, prices have fallen 42 cents in a month, and the current $3.42 average is 21 cents less than a year ago.

By Rick Popely | July 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

Consumer, Environmental Groups Call for MPG Regulation in Car Ads


Ever get annoyed when car ads hype pie-in-the-sky mpg figures? Well, you aren't alone. Advertisements are notorious for shilling highway-only mpg, sometimes for specific trims that aren't widely available. Witness a Mazda commercial from 2012 that blared 35 mpg highway for the 2013 CX-5 SUV — an EPA figure only achieved by a front-wheel-drive, manual-transmission model. Or one of Ford's 2011 Fiesta ads that rolled "40 mpg" across the backdrop, which only the automatic SE with the Super Fuel Economy package received in EPA highway ratings.

Related: Gas Prices Continue Upward Climb

Both ads clarified the details in the small print, but you'd have to pause the DVR and get out a magnifying glass to read it. If a group of consumer, environmental and safety advocates get their way, such practices could change.

By Kelsey Mays | July 14, 2014 | Comments (7)

AAA: Gas-Price Relief Likely Short-Lived


As oil prices fell, so did the cost of gasoline in many parts of the country the past week, with the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded dropping 3 cents to $3.64, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Thursday. AAA noted that, although conflict in Iraq continues to impact oil prices, it hasn't disrupted the supply of crude oil from OPEC's second-largest oil-producing country, reducing fears of shortages. Oil was trading at around $102 per barrel Thursday, some $5 less than the 52-week high of $107.50 set on June 25.

Cars.com's Top 10 Fun-to-Drive Fuel Sippers

If recent history is a guide, however, prices could start to rise again later this month or in August, when summer driving and demand for gas peak. That was the pattern the previous three years: Pump prices fell in early July and rose in the second half of the month.

By Rick Popely | July 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

Gas Prices Hit Six-Year High Headed into Holiday


As millions of Americans prepare to hit the road for Fourth of July weekend, pump prices are the highest they've been since 2008, AAA said in its monthly gas price report. The travel service organization said it doubts that the national average of $3.67 for regular unleaded — 19 cents higher than a year ago — will deter holiday travel, predicting that nearly 35 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more by car over the long weekend. That would be the highest level of Independence Day car travel since 2007, despite higher gas prices. The July 4 national average for a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.48 last year, $3.34 in 2012, $3.57 in 2011 and — brace yourselves — just $2.74 in 2010 and $2.62 in 2009. In comparison, motorists were digging much deeper on July 4, 2008, paying an average of $4.10 for regular unleaded.

Tips to Stay Safe on Fourth of July Road Trips

Over the previous three years, pump prices declined an average of 21 cents a gallon during June as refineries resumed full production following annual spring maintenance and a switch to summer gas blends. This year, prices are unchanged from a month ago. AAA cited the continued unrest in Iraq that threatens oil production there, but expects gas prices to remain "relatively flat in the near future and could even decline a few cents as the situation stabilizes."

By Rick Popely | July 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Chevrolet Volt Review


"Although the Chevrolet Volt has received a big price cut, it still retains its novel extended-range electric car abilities — as well as its poor visibility, questionable touch-sensitive panels and cramped interior," said Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman. Check out Bragman's review for more.

2014 Chevrolet Volt Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Aaron D. Bragman

By Matt Schmitz | July 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

Gas Prices Continue Upward Climb


Gas prices continued to rise in most parts of the country the past week to a national average of $3.68 for a gallon of regular unleaded, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said Thursday. That's just 2 cents off of 2014's previous peak price.

In its weekly assessment of price trends, AAA said concerns over the ongoing violence in Iraq were keeping oil prices hovering around $106 a barrel, making it more expensive to produce gasoline.

Gas Prices Up Pennies as Iraq Turmoil Threatens Big Spike

Previously, AAA predicted gas prices would fall 10 to 15 cents per gallon during June, following a typical pattern for lower pump prices in early summer, but in a statement the organization said "that now appears unlikely due to higher oil costs. This means that even though the national average has only increased a few cents per gallon since the Iraq violence intensified, drivers are likely to pay substantially higher gas prices than they would have otherwise."

Indeed, the national average for regular unleaded gasoline is 14 cents higher than a year ago, and AAA pegs it as the highest early summer average since 2008.

By Rick Popely | June 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

Hyundai Adds Eco Model to 2015 Sonata Lineup


Hyundai redesigned its midsize sedan for 2015 and just announced a third powertrain for a new Eco model. The automaker says the Sonata Eco provides 10 percent better fuel economy than the base Sonata. 

2015 Hyundai Sonata: First Look

The new Eco trim uses a 177-horsepower, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission — a first for Hyundai. The 1.6-liter joins the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder and Sport 2.0T models' 245-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

Hyundai estimates that the Sonata Eco should deliver 28/38/32 mpg city/highway/combined, up from the 2.4-liter's 25/37/29 rating. It shares the base SE's equipment but adds extras like a chrome grille, side-mirror-mounted turn signal indicators, automatic headlights, a 10-way power driver seat, a 5-inch audio touch-screen and a backup camera.

The Sonata Eco will go on sale later this summer starting at $24,085, including destination. Base Sonatas start at $21,960, including destination, and are on sale now.

Manufacturer image

By Jennifer Geiger | June 20, 2014 | Comments (3)

Gas Prices Up Pennies as Iraq Turmoil Threatens Big Spike


Gas prices climbed in most parts of the country the past week as fighting among ethnic groups continued in Iraq, increasing worries that a prolonged conflict could spread to other countries and disrupt oil production. The national average for regular unleaded gas rose 2 cents a gallon the past week to $3.67, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report stated Thursday.

Survey: We Want Transportation Improvements and We're Willing to Pay

Pump prices usually decline in June, AAA noted in its weekly update of price trends, and dropped an average of about 20 cents the past three years, but "the recent turmoil in Iraq is likely to prevent that trend from repeating this year." AAA has predicted that gas prices will remain relatively high this summer, ranging from $3.55 to $3.70, though it warned this week that "this range may be higher if unrest in Iraq escalates or disrupts oil production in the region." The conflict in Iraq has yet to cause panic in oil markets; crude oil reached a 52-week high of nearly $108 per barrel late last week but was trading below $106 early Thursday.

By Rick Popely | June 20, 2014 | Comments (1)

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