Low Gas Prices Could Save Families $550 in 2015


A government report released Tuesday predicts that the current drop in gas prices could save the average U.S. household $550 in 2015 versus this year. The $1,962 spent in 2015 will be the least spent on gas since 2004 when fuel cost families $1,598 a year.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Car in 2014?

U.S. oil prices closed Tuesday up just 2 cents to close at $55.93 a barrel but is down 50 percent since June. Read more here.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By David Thomas | December 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Gas Prices Drop 11 Cents in a Week


As oil prices keep falling, gasoline prices continue to tumble as well, and the forecasts for how low they can go keep changing.

AAA predicted on Monday, when U.S. oil was trading at just less than $66 a barrel, that the national average for regular unleaded gas "could test $2.50 by Christmas." But after oil prices sank to a five-year low of $60 Wednesday, AAA said on Twitter, "Gas prices may drop even faster than we expected."

Related: What's The Most Affordable Car in 2014? 

The national average for regular was down to $2.62 Thursday, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, and closing in on the lowest level since 2009. The average dropped 11 cents in the past week and 31 cents during the past month and has fallen $1.08 from the 2014 peak of $3.70 set on April 28.

By Rick Popely | December 12, 2014 | Comments (2)

What Mileage Does the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Get After 13,000 miles?


After climbing to its maximum average of 23.67 mpg, our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee test car just dipped below 23 mpg after 13,000 miles. A 16.8 mpg refuel marks the lowest recorded tank since our purchase of the four-cylinder all-wheel-drive Cherokee in March and was one of four fill-ups below 23 mpg since our last update 982 miles ago: 16.8 mpg, 19 mpg, 21.9 mpg and 22.8 mpg.

Related: More Long-Term Fleet News

By Joe Bruzek | November 26, 2014 | Comments (6)

New Ford F-150 Fuel Economy Released


Ford just released its fuel economy estimates for the much-anticipated F-150 pickup. Our site PickupTrucks.com has a full rundown on all the numbers but the highest rating of 26 mpg highway – while best in the class – might not wow out of the gate. Combined numbers however are more significantly improved.

Read the full report here: Ford Releases 2015 F-150 Fuel-Economy Numbers (PickupTrucks.com)

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By David Thomas | November 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

Gas Price Free Fall Continues


Gas prices have declined for eight weeks in a row, giving motorists a savings bonus just in time for the holiday shopping season and reaching the lowest level for this time of year in nearly five years. The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report pegged the national average for regular unleaded at $2.85 a gallon Thursday and said the price was below $3 at more than three-fourths of U.S. gas stations.

Related: Gas Price Decline Is Longest Since Recession Hit

AAA said the national average is poised to be the lowest for the Thanksgiving holiday since 2009, when it was $2.63 a gallon as a result of reduced demand due to the recession. The average price for regular unleaded has fallen 49 cents a gallon since the 56-day slide began on Sept. 25. AAA said the consecutive-day slide is the longest since 2008.

By Rick Popely | November 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

2016 Toyota Mirai: First Look


Competes with: Honda FCX Clarity fuel-cell, Hyundai Tucson fuel-cell

Looks like: A Toyota Corolla viewed through a fun-house mirror

Drivetrain: 153-horsepower hydrogen fuel-cell electric drivetrain

Hits dealerships: Fall 2015; California only

With the 2016 Mirai, Toyota finalizes a plan officially announced way back in 2010: to have a hydrogen fuel-cell electric sedan in the Toyota lineup by 2015 for a sticker price around $50,000. Mission accomplished. The 2016 Mirai goes on sale in fall 2015 with a $57,000 starting price, not including available state or federal tax incentives. A leasing option of $499 per month for 36 months with $3,649 due at lease signing is also available.

Related: Toyota Previews Production Fuel-Cell Sedan

The fuel-cell-powered Mirai combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity that drives the electric motor, unlike a typical electric car's primary power source, a large battery. The main emission of a fuel-cell vehicle is simply water vapor. Toyota says the Mirai has a range of up to 300 miles on a full tank of hydrogen, and the carbon-fiber tanks can be refueled in about five minutes. As an added bonus, Toyota will cover hydrogen-fuel costs for up to three years as part of an extensive list of ownership perks.

By Joe Bruzek | November 19, 2014 | Comments (3)

What Midsize Sedan Gets the Best Mileage?


Part of the scoring in our big 10-car $27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge comes from observed mileage over a drive route that consisted of close to 180 miles of both city and highway driving in and around Baltimore. The winner, the Nissan Altima, reported 32.4 mpg.

$27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge
Index | ResultsWhat the Judges Said

We made no effort to mirror the EPA test cycle, but more highway driving should benefit all the cars, and it didn't do so, at least not equally. One sedan hit its EPA-estimated combined mpg figure exactly, two fell short and seven exceeded their ratings.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | November 17, 2014 | Comments (2)

Gas Price Decline Is Longest Since Recession Hit


Gas prices fell for the 49th day in a row on Thursday, pushing the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded to $2.92 in what has become the longest consecutive decline since 2008, when the economic recession curtailed driving and demand for gasoline. The average price for regular unleaded is 42 cents lower than on Sept. 25, when the seven-week decline began, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Related: After Dip, New Vehicle Fuel Economy Holds Steady in October

At that time, the lowest statewide average price was $3.10, in South Carolina and Tennessee. Today, South Carolina has the lowest statewide average at $2.67, and 28 other states average less than $3. The average is less than $2.75 in seven states. AAA likened the drop in pump prices to a tax cut because it gives motorists billions of dollars to spend on other things. The travel-services giant said major indicators such as oil prices and an ample supply point to continued low prices for the near future.

By Rick Popely | November 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Volkswagen GTI Real-World Mileage With the Manual Transmission


We already put a redesigned Volkswagen GTI through a mileage challenge as part of our recent $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge. It bested the field with its optional six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission during that contest. When a six-speed manual transmission model arrived at Cars.com's Chicago office right around the time of a road trip to Milwaukee it seemed like it would be a good opportunity to see how it compared.

Related: 2014 Mini Cooper S Versus 2015 Volkswagen GTI

EPA ratings for the two transmissions are almost identical. Both are rated at 25 mpg city and 28 mpg combined, but the manual gets slightly better highway ratings at 34 mpg versus 33 mpg highway for the automatic.

By David Thomas | November 13, 2014 | Comments (1)

After Dip, New Vehicle Fuel Economy Holds Steady in October


The average fuel economy for all new cars sold in the U.S. in October held fast at 25.3 mpg following a 0.5 mpg dip the previous month, the biggest for that period in nearly three years. The study, conducted by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, calculates the sales-weighted fuel economy through monthly sales of individual new models of light-duty vehicles, including cars, SUVs, vans and pickup trucks, and is based on "window-sticker value" as opposed to real-world mileage.

Related: Gas Prices Dip Below $3 a Gallon

While the nation's fuel economy did stabilize last month, it's also the first time mileage failed to make a month-to-month improvement between September and October in at least seven years. The October trend from 2008 to 2013 was for fuel economy to go up by an average of 0.63 mpg, with the greatest improvement by a full 1 mpg coming in 2009, and the smallest upward increment of 0.4 in 2008 and 2010; those rebounds followed an average August-to-September decline of 0.33 mpg during the six-year period.

By Matt Schmitz | November 12, 2014 | Comments (0)

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