Study: Despite Recent Relief, Americans Spend More on Gas Overall

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As we reported earlier, a sustained decline in U.S. gas prices of late has led to this week's seven-month low, 11 cents less than motorists were paying the same day a year ago. While this recent period of plummeting pump prices is certainly a relief, an extended timeline tells a seemingly different story about how much we're spending on fuel.

Related: Gas Prices Are Up, but So Is Average MPG

According to a report released this week by Securing America's Future Energy, an advocacy group for reducing oil dependency, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average U.S. household spent more than $2,600 on gas in 2013 for a third consecutive year — an all-time high and a 111 percent increase compared with the amount spend a decade earlier.

By Matt Schmitz | September 26, 2014 | Comments (3)

Gas Prices Fall to Lowest in Seven Months

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Gas prices continued to decline in most states the past week, with the national average for regular unleaded falling 2 cents a gallon to $3.34, the lowest in more than seven months, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.The widespread decline in pump prices put the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded at 11 cents less than motorists were paying a year ago.

Gas Prices Continue to Slide as Expected

Drivers in some states were benefiting from much bigger year-over-year savings. Statewide averages were 20 cents lower than a year ago in Connecticut, Iowa and New Jersey, 22 cents lower in South Dakota, 23 cents lower in Kansas and 25 cents lower in California.

By Rick Popely | September 26, 2014 | Comments (1)

Gas Prices Continue to Slide as Expected

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Gas prices continue to decline across the country, following the usual post-Labor Day pattern, and travel-services organization AAA predicted they could fall by as much as 20 cents a gallon more by Halloween. "The average price at the pump typically falls during this time of year due to decreased demand and the transition to winter-blend gasoline, which is cheaper to produce," AAA said in its weekly analysis of gas prices. "AAA expects the national average to fall another 10-20 cents by the end of October."

Gas Prices Reach Half-Year Low

Retailers this week began selling winter blends of gasoline that are cheaper to produce because they don't have to meet more-stringent pollution requirements mandated during warmer months in many parts of the country. The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas fell 6 cents the past week to $3.36, according to Thursday's AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, 15 cents lower than a year ago and the lowest on this date since 2010, when lingering effects of the economic recession dampened demand. Diesel fuel declined 2 cents the past week to $3.77, 17 cents lower than on Sept. 18, 2013.

By Rick Popely | September 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

Gas Prices Reach Half-Year Low

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Gas prices continued to ease in most parts of the country after the Labor Day weekend, and motorists in some areas are now paying the lowest pump prices in months. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas fell by only a penny or two in many areas, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That was enough to push the national average down a penny the past week to $3.42, the lowest in more than six months. Diesel fuel also fell by a penny to $3.79.

Related: Gas Prices Continue to Fall

In Alaska, the statewide average fell 2 cents to $4, the lowest since the end of May. Hawaii had the nation's most expensive gas, with the statewide average unchanged at $4.27, followed by Alaska and Washington, $3.86, and Oregon, $3.85. Prices continued to retreat in California, falling 3 cents the past week to $3.81, the lowest average there since late-February.

By Rick Popely | September 12, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Ford Fiesta SFE Three-Cylinder: Real-World Fuel Economy

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Small engines and small cars go hand in hand, but the available direct-injected turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder in the 2014 Ford Fiesta SFE is positively miniscule, dropping 0.6 liters displacement versus the standard four-cylinder engine. Its small size has the fuel economy ratings to match with EPA-rated 31/43/36 mpg city/highway/combined compared to the 1.6-liter SFE's 28/38/32 mpg.

Related: 2014 Ford Fiesta EcoBoost SFE: Quick Drive

The EPA ratings are impressive for a non-hybrid, but ratings don't mean much if they can't be duplicated on real roads. Cars.com's observed fuel economy over a few weeks of testing was right on par or higher than the Fiesta SFE 1.0-liter EcoBoost's ratings.

By Joe Bruzek | September 9, 2014 | Comments (13)

Gas Prices Continue to Fall

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The good news on gas prices is that AAA expects pump prices to continue to fall now that the summer driving season is in the rearview mirror.

The bad news: Gas prices during the summer were the fourth highest on record.

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

The national average for regular unleaded was $3.43 Thursday, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That is down only fractions of a penny from a week ago but 7 cents lower than a month ago and 16 cents less than on Sept. 4, 2013.

AAA expects prices nationally could decline another 10-20 cents per gallon by the end of October because gasoline demand generally falls after Labor Day and refineries can produce less-expensive winter-blend gasoline.

By Rick Popely | September 5, 2014 | Comments (4)

Gas Prices Continue to Ease for Labor Day Travelers

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Motorists who take to the roads for the Labor Day weekend should pay less for gas in most parts of the country than they did a year ago as the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas slipped to the lowest level on this date in four years. The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said Thursday that the national average for regular unleaded was $3.43 a gallon. That is 12 cents less than a year ago and the lowest for Aug. 28 since 2010, when the effects of the recession suppressed demand and the national average was $2.68. The national average for diesel fuel was $3.80 on Thursday, 9 cents less than on Aug. 28, 2013.

August Gas Prices Hit Four-Year Low

AAA predicts that nearly 35 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend, the most since 2008, with 30 million traveling by car. Motorists are paying less for gas today than at this time last year in all, but about half a dozen states, mainly in the Western U.S., where refinery issues have reduced the supply, AAA said in its weekly assessment of gas prices. Californians, for example, are paying 6 cents more per gallon, on average. Statewide averages are higher than a year ago by 12 cents in Washington state, 13 in Colorado, 16 in Nevada and 17 in Oregon.

By Rick Popely | August 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Mileage Update: 10,261 Miles

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It's been a quiet 824-mile month for our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee tester that's otherwise averaged around double that through the first five months of ownership. Putting around the city has slightly dinged the average fuel economy by .12 mpg as the Cherokee takes a breather from the onslaught of road trips encountered in its first few months. Even with that drop, the four-cylinder, all-wheel-drive Cherokee is averaging very close to its 24 mpg combined rating.

By Joe Bruzek | August 28, 2014 | Comments (2)

Volkswagen Prices First Electric Car; 2015 e-Golf Will Cost $36,265

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Volkswagen today announced pricing for the all-new 2015 e-Golf as the electric hatchback prepares to "charge" into dealerships in the fall. VW's first fully electric, zero-emissions vehicle starts at $36,265, including an $820 destination charge, for the SEL Premium model.

Related: More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

The e-Golf, which we first saw at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, is powered by a compact electric motor and 24.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, good for 115 horsepower and 199 pounds-feet of torque. It's mated to a single-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen said the e-Golf has an average range of 70 to 90 miles and a 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger, achieving an 80 percent battery charge within 30 minutes. The hatchback offers three driver-selectable modes: Normal, Eco and Eco Plus.

By Matt Schmitz | August 25, 2014 | Comments (5)

August Gas Prices Hit Four-Year Low

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By Rick Popely

Gas prices have dropped to their lowest level in six months, falling 3 cents the past week to a national average of $3.44 for a gallon of regular unleaded, the lowest price for the month of August since 2010, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said Thursday. The national average for regular unleaded gas is 9 cents lower than a year ago, AAA said, and the $3.81 average for diesel fuel is 7 cents lower than a year ago. Motorists in all but a handful of states are paying less at the pump today than in August 2013. Among states where prices are substantially higher are Colorado, where the statewide average of $3.67 is 13 cents higher, and Nevada and Oregon, where drivers are paying 14 cents more.

Gas Prices Level Out, but Continued Drop Expected

The price breaks at the pump could continue beyond the summer driving season. AAA noted that refineries switch to less-expensive winter gasoline blends in mid- to late-September. In addition, demand for gas falls after the Labor Day weekend, and pump prices historically decline during the fall, barring natural disasters or geopolitical events that disrupt the supply.

By Matt Schmitz | August 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

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