CARS.COM — The national average for regular gasoline rose another 4 cents this past week to $2.60, continuing a steady climb that started around Christmas and has motorists around the country paying more to fill their tanks.
Analysts predict prices could continue to rise because oil has become more expensive, encourage more car shoppers to look for higher fuel economy. They may do well to look at the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe three-row SUV as it prepares for a redesign in the 2019 model year.
Crossover SUVs are the vehicle of choice these days, and some buyers avoid all-wheel-drive models because they consume more gas than front-drive versions. The difference, though, might not be that great. The 2018 Santa Fe, a mid-size three-row, is a good example:
* The front-drive Santa Fe has a 3.3-liter V-6 and a six-speed automatic transmission that earns an EPA combined city/highway mileage estimate of 21 mpg.
* The AWD Santa Fe has the same engine and transmission and an EPA combined rating of 20.
* The difference over 12,000 miles is that the AWD version will use about 30 more gallons of regular gas, which at today's average price is an additional $78.
Gas rose in most states this past week, the sixth in a row for higher pump prices. With regular at $2.60 on Thursday, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said the national average has climbed 17 cents since late December.
Premium gas rose 3 cents the past week to a national average of $3.11, and diesel gained 4 cents to $2.98. All three types of fuel are significantly higher than a year ago. Regular is up by 31 cents, premium by 32 and diesel by 48.
Over the past week regular jumped by 6 cents in Kansas and New Mexico; 7 cents in Florida; and 8 cents in California and Iowa. Regular fell in some Great Lakes states, where prices tend to fluctuate widely from week to week. Average prices fell by 6 cents in Ohio, 7 in Indiana and 8 in Michigan.
Four states were tied at $2.37 for the lowest average price for regular: Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. Hawaii had the highest average, $3.39, followed by California at $3.30 and Alaska at $3.06.
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