Chicago—May 10, 2006—As the price of gas approaches $3 a gallon, more car shoppers are putting good gas mileage near the top of their wish list. While fuel-economy typically takes center stage, the sticker price of the car combined with its predicted lifetime fuel cost can offer consumers a more accurate picture of their overall savings during the lifetime of the car.
"Hybrid cars get a lot of hype when gas prices start to rise, and they certainly are a great way to save money at the pump on a yearly basis and are typically better for the environment," said Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder. "However, if your overall goal is to simply save money, there might be better options."
Cars.com's ranking of the 23 cars that give consumers the best bang for their buck is based on vehicle price and the car's estimated lifetime fuel cost (assuming the car is owned for eight years).
The new Toyota Yaris tops the list with a base price of less than $11,000 for a two-door hatchback and average fuel economy of 34 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. The most fuel-efficient vehicle on the road is the Honda Insight hybrid, which has a base price of more than $19,000. If gas prices average $3 a gallon for the foreseeable future, it would take an owner of an Insight almost 17 years to make up in fuel savings the $8,000 price difference over a Yaris, assuming the cars were driven 15,000 miles a year.
The list, which can be viewed here, was compiled by combining each car's base sticker price with a fuel cost estimate based on its average combined gas mileage. Fuel costs assume that the car is driven 15,000 miles per year — 55 percent in the city and 45 percent on the highway — that the cost of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.92 a gallon and that the car is owned for eight years. Diesel costs are estimated at $2.96 a gallon.
For a more complete guide to fuel economy, including information on the cars with the best gas mileage, information on alternative fuel technology and fuel-savings tips, visit Cars.com.
Partnered with more than 200 leading metro newspapers, television stations and their websites, Cars.com is the most comprehensive destination for those looking to buy or sell a new or used car. The site lists more than 1.5 million vehicles from more than 10,000 dealer customers, classified advertisers and private parties to offer consumers the best selection of new and used cars online, as well as the content, tools and advice to support their shopping experience. Recently selected by Forbes.com as a Best of the Web site for car shopping, Cars.com combines powerful inventory search tools and new-car configuration with pricing information, photo galleries, buying guides, side-by-side comparison tools, original editorial content and reviews to help millions of car shoppers connect with sellers each month.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by six leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Knight Ridder (NYSE: KRI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).