Gas Prices Motor Toward Four-Year Low

GasPrices

Gas prices fell for the 28th straight day on Thursday, and the national average of $3.08 for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is the lowest it's been in nearly 45 months, according to data from the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The average price fell 8 cents nationally in the past week, and if the recent trend continues, the average could soon fall below $3 for the first time since December 2010.

Could National Average for Gas Prices Fall Below $3?

On several recent days the average price fell by only fractions of a penny, but the steady slide adds up to 26 cents over the past month and nearly 60 cents since the July 4th weekend. The last time gas prices were this low was January 2011. Regular unleaded costs 26 cents less than a year ago, according to AAA's national average, and diesel fuel is 24 cents less at $3.63.

By Rick Popely | October 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Mini Lowers Cooper Hardtop MPG Ratings After EPA Audit

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The redesigned 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop is one of those rare cars that puts a grin on your face and keeps it there even after refueling. The Cooper's window sticker lists highway fuel economy ratings near or above 40 mpg, depending on model, but it turns out that's not the case. According to the EPA, the frugal, fun 2014 Cooper isn't as frugal as Mini originally reported, and the agency is dinging both the Cooper's turbocharged three-cylinder engine and high-performance turbocharged four-cylinder Cooper S after auditing the cars in its own facility.

Related: 2014 Mini Cooper S Expert Review

What happened? "This adjustment was made as the result of retesting models following notification by the EPA that road load testing for one model had delivered different results. Engineers worked closely with the EPA to incorporate these findings into Mini's computer simulation testing," Mini said in a statement.

Combined ratings are down 1 mpg across the board for the Cooper and Cooper S Hardtop. See a complete list of before and after ratings below.

By Joe Bruzek | October 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Chrysler 200 Real-World Fuel Economy

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Chrysler's new 200 sedan is a dramatic improvement over the outgoing model, but it would almost have to be — the old Chrysler 200 (neé Sebring) was one of the most awful new cars on the market. But the new one is quite good, with its top-notch interior appointments, attractive styling, unique powertrains and class-leading multimedia systems.

Related: 2015 Chrysler 200 Expert Review

Comparisons of expected fuel economy with the previous-generation 200 are difficult, as the new 2015 200 is a completely new vehicle, riding on a different chassis with a much talked about nine-speed transmission. When an example of the latest 200 landed in our Detroit office's test garage, we figured it would be a good opportunity to see what kind of mileage we could get on real-world roads.

By Aaron Bragman | October 23, 2014 | Comments (2)

Could National Average for Gas Prices Fall Below $3?

GasPrices

Gas prices fell for the 21st straight day Thursday as the AAA travel services organization estimated that at least a third of gas stations across the country were selling regular unleaded for less than $3. The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $3.16, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, 9 cents less than a week ago and 22 cents less than a month ago.

Related: Gas Prices Reach Lowest of the Year

Regular unleaded averaged less than $3 in 13 states, with Missouri posting the lowest average at $2.84. Most of the under-$3 states were in the South, where low state gas taxes help keep prices down, but the list included Delaware, where the average price was $2.99; New Jersey, $2.98; and Minnesota, $2.95. Motorists in St. Louis were paying even less than the Missouri statewide average, at $2.79 a gallon, according to AAA, among the lowest for major U.S. cities.

By Rick Popely | October 17, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Ford C-Max Energi: Car Seat Check

2014FordCMaxEnergi

The Ford C-Max Energi hatchback is a fun-to-drive hybrid that Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman said "delivers comfort, style and efficiency," but warned that it "compromises cargo capacity." That's not all that the 2014 C-Max Energi has had to compromise.

Parents who purchased the C-Max Energi hoping for convenient car-seat installation might be disappointed with it. Although the 2014 version earns a couple of A's for the easy install of our booster and infant seats, the rest of its report card looks like the answer sheet of a high school student guessing on every question of a multiple-choice test: C, C, C ... see what we mean below.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Matt Schmitz | October 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Gas Prices Reach Lowest of the Year

GasPrices

More motorists were paying less at the pump as the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas fell 8 cents the past week to $3.25, according to Thursday's AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report — the lowest national average in 2014. The previous low for the year was $3.27, set on Feb. 7, and AAA predicted prices could fall another 5 to 15 cents by the end of the year if current conditions continue.

Related: New-Car Fuel Economy Sees Uncommonly Big Drop

The average price in Missouri dropped 14 cents the past week to $2.97, the first time any state has averaged less than $3 since Jan. 23. Missouri's average back then was $2.99 a gallon. Some gas stations in more than two-dozen other states were posting pump prices below $3.

By Rick Popely | October 10, 2014 | Comments (3)

Mazda Leads, Fiat Chrysler Trails in Latest EPA Fuel Economy Report

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Mazda's 28.1 mpg led all major automakers in average fuel economy for the 2013 model year, according to a new EPA report on industrywide fuel economy. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' 20.9 mpg, meanwhile, trailed the 11 automakers surveyed. The 148-page report notes that all major automakers except sixth-place Toyota and ninth-place Ford saw their averages increase between 2012 and 2013, and the industry's overall 24.1 mpg is the highest average since the EPA began tracking the data in 1975.

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

Preliminary 2014 model-year data shows Mazda still in the lead, with 28.8 mpg. That beats Honda (27.6 mpg), Subaru (27.5 mpg), Nissan (26.8 mpg), Volkswagen (26.7 mpg), Toyota (25.8 mpg), BMW (26.0 mpg), Daimler (22.8 mpg), Ford (23.4 mpg), GM (22.0 mpg) and FCA (21.1). The overall 24.1 mpg incorporates corrected mileage from Hyundai-Kia, but the EPA didn't include the Korean automaker in its rankings because Hyundai-Kia is under a continuing investigation for the mileage corrections it issued in late 2012.

By Kelsey Mays | October 9, 2014 | Comments (3)

New-Car Fuel Economy Sees Uncommonly Big Drop

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The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. experienced its biggest dip in nearly three years in September. That's according to the latest figures from the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, which show last month's fuel economy to be 25.3 mpg compared with 25.8 in August.

Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: September 2014

While small drops are not uncommon, the last time the average fuel economy fell that sharply was in December 2011, when it dipped to 22.6 mpg from 23.1 mpg in November of that year, also a decrease of 0.5 mpg. The biggest month-to-month decline since the institute began tracking average fuel economy seven years ago came in 2009, when it plummeted from a then-record 22.4 mpg in August to 21.1 mpg in September, a 1.3 mpg drop that followed a year of steady increases. However, fuel economy quickly rebounded in October of that year, jumping a full 1 mpg to 22.1.

By Matt Schmitz | October 8, 2014 | Comments (1)

AAA: Winter Could Bring Widespread Gas Prices Under $3

GasPrices

The trend downward trend of gas prices should continue at least into December, and pump prices could fall below $3 a gallon in many areas by the end of the year, travel services organization AAA said in its monthly report. AAA estimated that nearly 4 percent of gas stations across the nation, scattered among 26 states, were selling gas for less than $3 for a gallon of regular unleaded, and that "this number should increase significantly over the next couple of months."

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

The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Thursday put the national average for regular unleaded at $3.33 a gallon, the lowest on this date in four years. AAA predicted that the national average could fall to between $3.10 and $3.20 by the end of the year, with several states slipping below $3. "If everything goes smoothly, buying gas for less than $3 per gallon should be refreshingly common in many parts of the country this winter," AAA spokesman Avery Ash said in a statement.

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

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)

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