Feeling the Burn from Costly Gas


By Janet Ginsburg and Ilma Ajanovic Every time the price of oil goes up a buck, America's national economy takes a multibillion-dollar hit. But what about your personal economy? Exactly how much is increasingly pricey gasoline costing drivers?

Since 2000, the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gas shot up 39%, from $1.51 to $2.10. With record-breaking oil costs and seasonal summer price hikes, experts see no relief in sight. "The price at the pump will more than offset any increase in Saudi production," notes Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey, a market researcher that tracks the industry. Some experts predict gas will hit $3 a gallon in some parts of the country within a few months.

LIGHTER WALLETS. To find out how this affects your fuel bills, BusinessWeek Online has put together a list of the 20 most-researched vehicles on car-information site www.Edmunds.com and calculated the cost of operation per 10,000 miles, based on the Environmental Protection Agency's city mileage ratings, across a range of gas prices. We included hybrid models like the Toyota Prius, as well as a Hummer and a Mini Cooper (the EPA has no ratings for Hummers, but 12 miles per gallon is a reasonable -- and more likely a generous -- estimate).

If you chalk up 20,000 miles per year, double the totals. If you drive mostly on the highway, your costs will be lower. But in all cases, drivers' wallets will be lighter -- by hundreds of dollars.

Cost over 10,000 Miles at Various Gas Prices

Type of Car (miles/gallon*)

$1.51/gallon

$2.10/gallon

$2.50/gallon

$3/gallon

H2/Hummer (12**)

$1,258

$1,750

$2,083

$2,500

Ford F150 (14)

$1,079

$1,500

$1,786

$2,143

Nissan Pathfinder (15)

$1,007

$1,400

$1,667

$2,000

Toyota Tacoma, Honda Pilot, Infiniti G35 (17)

$888

$1,235

$1,471

$1,765

Toyota Highlander, Toyota 4-Runner, Ford Mustang, Ford Escape, Lexus RX 330 (18)

$839

$1,167

$1,389

$1,667

Toyota Sienna, BMW 3 Series, Honda Odyssey (19)

$795

$1,105

$1,316

$1,579

Acura TL (20)

$755

$1,050

$1,250

$1,500

Honda Accord EX (21)

$719

$1,000

$1,190

$1,429

Honda CR-V (22)

$686

$955

$1,136

$1,364

Nissan Altima (23)

$657

$913

$1,087

$1,304

Toyota Camry, Mazda 3 (24)

$629

$875

$1,042

$1,250

BMW Mini Cooper (25)

$604

$840

$1,000

$1,200

Honda Civic (29)

$521

$724

$862

$1,034

Ford Escape Hybrid (36)

$419

$583

$694

$833

Honda Civic Hybrid (48)

$315

$438

$521

$625

Toyota Prius (60)

$252

$350

$417

$500

* EPA city mileage ratings

** estimate

Source: Gas price data for self-serve regular is from Lundberg Survey Incorporated Ginsburg is a Chicago-based writer and Ajanovic is an editorial intern based in BusinessWeek's Washington bureau


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