Gas prices have climbed for six weeks in a row, and new car and SUV shoppers might be wondering if they need all-wheel drive, given that AWD car and SUV models typically get lower gas mileage than two-wheel-drive vehicles.
With the 2018 Toyota RAV4, though, the mileage penalty for AWD is only 1 mpg based on the EPA's fuel economy estimate for combined city/highway driving, which vary by model. For front-drive LE, XLE and Adventure models it is 26 miles to the gallon; AWD versions of the Toyota RAV4 are rated at 25 mpg. For the front-drive SE, Limited and Platinum RAV4 trims, the combined rating is 25 mpg and for AWD model vehicle's it is 24 mpg.
Here's what it would cost to fill a RAV4's 15.9-gallon fuel tank at current pump prices:
- With the national average for regular gas at $2.79 per gallon, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, filling a RAV4 from empty would cost a little more than $44.
- In California, though, where regular is $3.60, the cost to fill this little Toyota jumps to more than $57.
- Arkansas had the lowest average price for regular on Thursday, $2.50 per gallon, and filling up that Toyota there would cost just less than $40.
In another sign of the growing popularity of crossover-style SUVs, the RAV4 outsold the Camry sedan — traditionally Toyota's sales leader — in the first quarter of 2018. All non-hybrid RAV4s come with Toyota's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic transmission and seat five.
Gas prices are the highest they've been since 2015, and AAA on Thursday said that regular averaged more than $3 in nine states, with Hawaii topping the list at $3.61 per gallon.
The national average for regular rose 5 cents the past week. Premium gas also rose 5 cents, to $3.31, and diesel fuel was up 3 cents to $3.05.
AAA said regular on Thursday was 39 cents higher than a year ago. Premium was also 39 cents higher and diesel 52 cents higher.
Pump prices have been driven higher by rising oil prices and growing demand for gasoline. The Energy Information Administration said last week that demand during April reached a record high for the month and exceeded levels typically seen during the peak summer driving season.
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